This is normally the time we disparage our upcoming opponents and scoff at any notion they might be able to beat the mighty 49ers. Two wallopings in a row kind of takes the swagger off the mighty, though. I hope the team’s confidence isn’t shaken as much as its fans’ has.
Thursday night games are usually pretty ugly, which suits the way both the Rams and Niners have been playing this year. Any win at this point would be acceptable, though, ugly or not. The 49ers need to somehow stay in the hunt for the playoffs until their injured playmakers return to duty.
Opinions about what is wrong with the team have varied from Jim Harbaugh sucks, to Greg Roman sucks, to Colin Kaepernick sucks, to the WRs suck, to Hahaha eat it – signed Raider fan. Admittedly, that last opinion lost some traction after the Monday night game, which the Raider QB Terrelle Pryor described thusly on Twitter: “Sorry about the loss RaiderNation. I don’t remember much ! Good hit by whoever it was. I heard our team fought well.”
The team has lost two games in a row for the first time since Harbaugh became the head coach. If they make it a threefer by losing to the Rams, it will begin to stir memories of what it felt like with Mike Nolan and Mike Singletary running the team. It would also make Harbaugh 0 for 3 against Rams coach Jeff Fisher. That would be two coaches in the NFC West who have Harbaugh’s number, with Pete Carroll being the other.
The elephant in the room is also in play here. The locker room credibility of management could be eroding. From the shabby treatment of Alex Smith last year, to the look the other way motif regarding Perrish Cox, Ahmad Brooks, and now Aldon Smith, it’s a bit of a stretch to be chanting “Who’s got it better than us?” and standing on a soap box of righteousness.
It’s also possible that two years of college style rah-rah from Harbaugh is finding more and more deaf ears. The local press is smelling blood swirling in the water around a head coach who has treated these scribblers with disdain and arrogance, even questioning their motives. It’s hard getting up the mountain, but it’s easy as hell falling off of it.
Thursday night’s game against the Rams is a critical mass game, no doubt about it.