It was a game the offense deserved to lose and a game the defense deserved to win. In the end, the home town refs stepped in to prevent the defensive win by negating a strip sack fumble with a cheesy roughing the passer penalty. That left it up to the offense to win and they promptly made fools of themselves with one last crumbling effort, allowing the Saints to creep out of the stadium with a 23-20 win.
For the second week in a row, the 49ers had the ball with two minutes left in the game, needing only a FG to win. And each time, they could not even manage one first down. And there was Colin Kaepernick, for the second time this year, blissfully running OB with no game awareness whatsoever, giving the Saints a free clock stoppage they would then use to maneuver into range for their own game winning FG. With a big assist from Kassim Osgood, who brain-farted into a fair catch punt returner and then lay on the ground attempting to disclaim any knowledge of himself.
The 49ers have 348 combined yards in the past two games, the fewest in back-to-back games since 2007. We all know that year. The year of the Hostler. The year the 49er offense was so inept it was physically painful to watch a game.
Right now, the 49ers have a Super Bowl defense and a Dollar Store offense. The entire season rests on the assumption that the return of Michael Crabtree in a week or two will magically transform Kaepernick and the offense into a dangerous group again. If it does, you can bet Crabtree’s agent will be licking his chops over the next contract he signs.
And if his return doesn’t spark the offense to another level, we can all start speculating on a tumultuous offseason where SOMEONE MUST PAY. Most likely that will be OC Greg Roman, but the blame is on GM Trent Baalke, too, for whiffing in the 2012 draft and failing to bring in some decent WRs. And HC Jim Harbaugh has to eat some of the pie, too, for leaning too heavily on a run first philosophy with spread QBs trying to manage it. And Kaepernick, too. Maybe he should spend this coming offseason learning the game rather than parading around the country kissing himself, blowing off the fans, and acting like a superstar instead of the project he is.
When the offseason starts looking more exciting than the real season, and you’re only in mid-November, it’s safe to say this is not a good thing.