It’s been a magical season for the 49ers. And for the fans. But Sunday’s loss to the Cardinals all but ended any delusions of making a Super Bowl run this year. That journey now would require a ticket from the Divine Intervention bureau and they seem preoccupied in Denver these days.
If the team can’t beat Arizona on the road, there’s a good chance they can’t beat Seattle on the road, either. And with Pittsburgh coming to town next Monday night, it may take a final game victory over St. Louis to even reach eleven wins for the year.
The defense has carried the team all year, but it failed big time against Arizona. After Frank Gore’s 37 yard TD run early in the third quarter, the 49ers had their typical 19-7 lead and the game should have been over. The defense had no respect for John Skelton and paid the price, giving up three huge, careless plays to lose the game.
This is the time of year when the offensive line should be settling in and improving. Instead, they seem to be regressing. The 49er receivers are drawing single coverage and not getting open or making any plays. Michael Crabtree is our best receiver, but the team curiously ignores using him in the Red Zone, where the team’s failure to score touchdowns is becoming legendary.
The 49er weaknesses all made an appearance Sunday. Deep pass coverage, shaky O-line, cautious QB, ordinary receivers, 16 points left on the field. 23 points if you throw in Ted Ginn’s lost in space effort on a perfectly thrown deep pass. 30 points if the refs don’t disallow the fake field goal surprise. The points are out there, but the Niners are not taking them.
I’m not here to crap on the team, however. They’ve overachieved this year and given us a hellava ride. The defense, despite its abysmal failed effort Sunday, is a playoff calibre defense. The great teams with great QBs can torch anybody’s defense. It’s our offense that is not ready for prime time. It could have been burying teams this year, instead of getting these efficient close game victories. If the offense did its job Sunday, Arizona would never have been in the game.
And we are going to the playoffs. We might even win a playoff game. With one more victory or a loss by the Cowboys, the 49ers will lock up the number three seed. The number two seed is still in play, but hanging by a thread. A lot of fun football coming up and what promises to be an interesting offseason.
But today is Blue Monday. The kind of rotten day that used to be the norm. And no amount of cheerful thinking can cover up the truth. It sucks.