For the third consecutive week, the 49ers jumped out to a first half lead, then imploded in the second half. The lead was big enough in the first game to withstand the brown out, but last week and this week, it wasn’t.
For the second straight year, the team is 1-2 after three games. Last year, they promptly won five in a row to right the ship. To do that this year, they have to start by beating an Eagles team next week that has so far been the exact opposite of the Niners. The Eagles have fallen behind in the first half, then roared to victory in the second. A loss next week would give Jim Harbaugh the first three game losing streak during his tenure.
Counting out a Harbaugh team has been a foolish enterprise in the past, but this year’s squad might be different. They seem rudderless. There’s no on field leadership, and they are committing penalties at a rate that would make the Oakland Raiders envious of their ineptitude. 28 penalties in the past two games. Eat your heart out, Raider Nation.
The 49ers have not scored a TD in the second half this year. That is a mind numbing statistic. Meanwhile, opposing QBs are merrily marching up and down the field against the Niner defense like it was a scout team in practice.
Colin Kaepernick put up decent stats Sunday, but once again, the more he was needed, the less he delivered. You have to wonder if his confidence has been shaken by his repeated fourth quarter failures over the past two years. He seems to have no poise in the pocket when the game is on the line.
Still, it is the defense that has turned into an embarrassment. Specifically, the pass defense. There’s no pass rush and the secondary is just not that good. Ahmad Brooks has been invisible this year and Aldon Smith’s replacement, Corey Lemonier, has just been useless. Meanwhile, the only D-lineman who showed any pass rush skills in the preseason — Tank Carradine — sits on the sidelines inactive.
Rookie Jimmie Ward has been overmatched as the slot CB, surrendering a league high four TD catches so far this year. The guy who should be in the slot is Perrish Cox, but he’s been filling in at left CB for the injured Tramaine Brock. And he’s probably played the best of any of the secondary players.
It’s gonna be tense at 4949 Centennial Blvd. this week. The local media vultures are circling overhead, eagerly eyeing the carcass of the Jim Harbaugh Era. There will be plenty of “fans” throwing rocks and bottles over the fences, too. It should all make for an exciting week in the blogosphere. More exciting than the team has been so far, that’s for sure.