Monday, December 1, 2014

Can't Bear To Watch

I'd mentioned that due to Thanksgiving family functions and the fact that I am outvoted on the TV front, I was relegated to DVRing the game that night. But in this age of technology, I was being fed updates on my phone throughout the evening, and as the game progressed and the results proved to be of the turkey-regurgitating variety, I felt little desire to watch the recording of the game when I got home. It's Monday, and the 49ers and Seahawks played on Thursday night. I still haven't watched the game, and I can't say I have any desire to. The 49ers probably put their worst effort out on the field in the most important game to this point this season, pretty much no-showing a Nationally Televised game against their most hated of rivals and losing to the Seahawks 19-3.

After last week's middling effort against Washington on the heels of another pair of unimpressive games against the Gnats and New Orleans, I talked in great depth last week about the general blah-ness of the offense, and in particular the play of Colin Kaepernick. I surmised that Kaepernick, who has a habit of playing his best in big-stakes games, might rebound against Seattle. But that didn't happen. In fact, for as bad as Kaepernick looked in the previous two games, he was downright embarrassing against Seattle, and I didn't need to see the game in order to know that to be true. Kaepernick completed 16 of 29 passes, which is actually a good game for him as far as completion percentage is concerned, but those 16 completions got the 49ers all of 121 yards, and when you figure in the 4 sacks he took, the 49ers offense gained all of 100 yards through the air. The rushing game did no better and the end result was the 49ers finished the night with 164 yards of offense, and that's not even getting into the two interceptions from 49ers nemesis Richard Sherman. Add it all together and this was a wholly miserable performance that team owner Jed York deemed unacceptable.

York has taken some flack for his tweet, but he's got a point. This wasn't an acceptable performance and the fan base has begun to abandon Kaepernick, Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh in droves. A season that has been marred with injury, inconsistency and internal turmoil may now be coming to a head. This isn't good and kind of underscores the "season from hell" talk that's been flying around the team all year long. Somehow, the 49ers have managed to keep themselves in contention, and at 7-5 they are still very much in the hunt, but in a deep and competitive NFC playoff race, they find themselves currently on the outside looking in.

But the success of the team has been a one-sided effort, as the defense, a unit that's been really decimated by injuries and suspensions, has carried the team. The defense has, at one time or another, been missing Patrick Willis, NaVorro Bowman, Aldon Smith, Eric Reid, Glenn Dorsey and others has played sterling football all year long. The offense has been the problem, and when you look at the level of talent that the 49ers have, the blame naturally lies with the Quarterback and the Offensive Coordinator. Think about the local teams and the daily floggings their QB and OC have taken this season. No team is immune, and when you consider the high bar that's expected from the 49ers Quarterback, you realize how impossible a situation Kaepernick is in. But his early success has contributed to that bar being raised so high. We know he can play better, but he's not. Not even with 4 All-Pro caliber recievers (and that's not even including Vernon Davis) at his disposal. Is it his play? Is it the play calling? Is the situation involving the supposedly imminent departure of Jim Harbaugh wearing on this team more than they let on?

I guess it remains to be seen. All I know is that there's 4 games left in the season and, basically, the 49ers need to win all of them if they want to realistically give themselves a shot at making the playoffs for the 4th consecutive season. That would mean that the 49ers would need to go into Seattle in two weeks and win, so the odds are right now very much against that happening. But, stranger things have happened in the NFL. The bottom line here is that this team needs to get its act together, because they're not playing at the level they should be playing at, and they haven't done so at all this season. They manage to win games simply because they're an incredibly deep and talented team and can overcome opponents because of that at many times, but this isn't going to work when the Big Boys come to town and Big Boy Seattle exposed this to the point of embarrassment. And now you know why I don't want to watch Thursday night's game.

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