Bouquets have been pouring into 49er HQ this week, with encouraging sentiments such as “GET AN OFFENSE, YOU STINKING BUMS!”
OC Greg Roman seems to be getting the most bouquets, followed closely by QB Colin Kaepernick and the group politely called Wide Receivers, who are neither wide nor do they receive much. There were also many references to fellows not fondly remembered in these parts: Mike Nolan, Jim Hostler, Mike Singletary, and Jimmy Raye. Being associated with these guys is the NFL equivalent of being a registered sex offender.
But these old names conjured up a technique frequently employed by desperate fans in those long ago dark days: the glass half full outlook. Now that the team can no longer entertain the hope of winning the NFC West, it can focus on the easier task of grabbing one of the Wild Card spots. This means focusing almost exclusively on the NFC North (Green Bay, Detroit, and Chicago) and keeping Arizona in our rear view mirror.
Of course, the glass half empty is that the road to the SB goes through either Seattle or New Orleans. In fact, we might have to beat both of them in their own houses in back to back weeks.
But that’s for January. For now, we need to make sure we get there. Unfortunately, the 49ers play at New Orleans this weekend, which is probably the worst place in the league to show up without an offense.
Or more specifically, without a passing game. The running game works great, it’s the best in the league. The passing game is dead last. The very definition of a cave man offense. Where did the passing game go? Did Roman get stupid during the offseason? It seemed to work last year. Or did it? It was only ranked 23rd in the league. But it was good enough to get us within five yards of winning the Super Bowl.
The answer to the missing offense is pretty simple. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree. Crabtree has been out all year. Vernon exited last Sunday’s game in mid-second quarter. The Niners led 9-0 at that time. If Vernon stays in that game, the team wins it going away. Not even close. As the old gum throwing idiot from Chicago once said, “You gotta have the horses.”
As you can see, my 49er mug is now brimming with half-fulledness. Vernon will be back, probably this Sunday. Crabtree will be back in a couple of weeks. People will stop ranting about Kaepernick’s faults and resume raving about his abilities, as we roar down the stretch in full red and gold wonderfulness. It is better to have the horses in January, than a division title in December.