Around the NFC West: No excuses for 49ers

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says fans shouldn't make excuses for the 49ers, and neither should reporters. He thought coach Mike Nolan was clinging to the five-turnover explanation the way a drowning man clings to a dock.

Paul Gutierrez of the Sacramento Bee assesses J.T. O'Sullivan's first start as 49ers quarterback. O'Sullivan was just so-so, and that wasn't good enough.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers had grand plans against the Cardinals, but they forgot one thing: the ball.

Also from Barrows: The 49ers weren't happy about a key roughing-the-passer call. I also thought this was a tough call.

More from Barrows: The 49ers are in the market for a quarterback now that backup Alex Smith is hurting. Problem is, the Patriots need one, too. Chris Simms?

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News offers a 49ers report card, featuring a C-minus for O'Sullivan.

Also from Brown: Same old 49ers? "New era, same errors," he writes.

And this: The 49ers' elevator doesn't go all the way to the top. Or was it the bottom? Seriously. Some of the Cardinals' coaches had to run through the stands to the locker room at halftime.

Ann Killion of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers started more poorly than even a year ago, and now they have fewer options at quarterback.

Matt Maiocco of Instant 49ers takes a hard look at the stat sheet and wonders what to make of the 49ers.

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News calls out 49ers receiver Isaac Bruce for disappearing during and after the game. Wide receivers caught only four passes for the 49ers. Not good.

Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says Takeo Spikes was playing a new position on special teams when he misjudged a pooch punt, a key play in the 49ers' defeat.

Also from FitzGerald: QB Smith could be finished as a 49er.

Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle says the usual first-game disclaimers "stick like pet hair" in the throats of 49ers fans. Meanwhile, Nate Clements questioned the 49ers' intensity, a bad sign in the opener.

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle quotes Nolan as saying O'Sullivan "didn't disappoint" him with his three-turnover performance. Overall, though, the 49ers' new quarterback didn't do enough.

Monty Poole of the Contra Costa Times says the 49ers lost count of their turnovers, easy to do when there are so many.

Cam Inman of the Contra Costa Times "just says no" to the 49ers after their opener.