Let’s see: the 49ers have lost five in a row to the Seattle Seahawks. Of course, all those losses came with Colin Kaepernick at QB. This Sunday, Blaine Gabbert will be at the helm, attempting to end the string of losses. His chances of doing so are about as good as finding Elvis alive and well in a northern Minnesota cabin, but the 49ers are hard up for hope this year. And this is what we got until sometime Sunday afternoon.
Those of us who packed Hope away in a time capsule last February, or more recently in September or October, aren’t burdened with the idea that any such virtue is applicable to the current Santa Clara regime. There may even be a few of us who wouldn’t mind seeing a meteorite thunder down upon 4949 Centennial Blvd. during an upper management spin control meeting. And it might take just such an unlikely event to resuscitate the franchise.
In the mean time, all Gabbert has to do to keep his fingers around the starting job is produce ten points. Heck, eight would do. Kaepernick hasn’t gotten over seven in any of his past three games against Seattle, heaving up 3, 7, and 3.
The Seahawks are only one game ahead of the Niners at this point. But the Seahawks have a point differential of +20, while the Niners have one at -97. The 49ers 3-6 record accurately reflects their lousiness, but the Seahawks might be one the best 4-5 teams in NFL history.
IOW, the one game separating these two teams in the standings in no way describes how far apart they are in talent.
Seattle is having a year much like the Niners had last year. The wear and tear of three straight seasons ending in late January or early February, some personnel losses and injuries, some locker room testiness, etc. What they don’t have is an owner undermining their efforts. And what they won’t have is a complete gutting of the coaching staff and players after the season is over. GM Trent Baalke referred to “reloading” last February, and that’s what Seattle will do. And what Baalke didn’t.