For the second consecutive season, the 49ers managed to be the dominant team in their own division without actually being the division champion. They also once again finished one game short of making the playoffs. The day late and a dollar short franchise.
Say what you will about the Mike Singletary era, and we just spent a whole season doing exactly that, but at least he put together a team that could whip hell out of Arizona. Lordy, lordy. Yesterday’s 38-7 trompathon was the third straight complete shellacking of the two time NFC West division champions, and the fourth straight win over them. Unfortunately, the Cardinals are now the worst team in the NFC West and all the 49ers have accomplished by leap frogging them is a downward slide into third place.
Yesterday’s game also marked the end of the Alex Smith era in San Francisco and our hero saddled up his lame pinto pony and hobbled out of town in style. So long Alex. We’ll probably still be seeing you twice a year, but in either a Seattle or Arizona uniform. The way things go for the Niners, you’ll probably kick our butts regularly over the next decade.
After eight straight years of futility, 49er fans have become adept at moving along quickly from the scene of yet another train wreck season. So 49ers Live now gives way to 49ers 2011 and we are once again 0-0, with excitement in the air. In the next day or so, Trent Baalke will be getting a new name plate on his door, that of General Manager. This will not be a ratings triumph, but it also won’t be on the front pages for more than one day. The real drama will be how the team fares in the great Jim Harbaugh sweepstakes.
By leaking to everyone in civilization that Harbaugh is the guy they want, the 49ers have set themselves up for a pie in the face if Harbaugh opts for the University of Michigan instead. If he opts for Denver, he will be written off as an idiot. So it’s the 49ers vs Michigan, the NFL vs College, and may the fattest wallet win. If Harbaugh goes to Michigan, it will be to become the next Pete Carroll. If he comes to the 49ers, it will be to keep on whipping Carroll.
Thanks to some other games around the league, yesterday’s win over Arizona did not sabotage the 49ers’ position in the 2011 Draft. Instead of the 5th spot, which a loss would have secured, we now have the 7th spot. This might actually be better, since it will remove the temptation to draft a hit-or-miss defensive lineman or a QB other than Andrew Luck. [Hint: another Alex Smith]. What the team desperately needs is a top flight cornerback and number 7 is a great spot to get one.
Nate Davis is expected to sign a futures contract this week, leaving the Niners with him and David Carr going into the off season. I’m not sure if Davis is smart enough or dedicated enough to succeed in the NFL, but he will have a golden opportunity this year to seize the moment. With a new offensive minded Head Coach, he might even get an opportunity to run a real offense instead of the place holder offense we have trotted out the past two years.
In closing, I would be remiss if I did not thank the 2010 49ers for their memorable accomplishments this past year. I hastily donated these memories to a local homeless shelter, where they can be properly appreciated. As in, being homeless is not so good, but it’s better than being the 2010 San Francisco 49ers. Count your blessings and pass the soup.