The 49er season, and probably the Jim Harbaugh era, came to an ignominious end Sunday in Oakland. The team is in such disarray and so riddled with injuries that it’s difficult to see them winning another game this season.
The 49ers didn’t just lose to the one win Raiders, they were soundly beaten on both sides of the ball. The defense got no pressure, the makeshift secondary couldn’t cover, the offense ran the ball effectively, but chose to mostly pass ineffectively. It was the Niners who looked like a team that had only won one game all year.
It took most of the season, but the past two opponents finally realized Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman weren’t playing ILB for the Niners this year. The Seahawks and Raiders have single-mindedly torched our backups. Chris Culliver went down with an injury in this game, leaving not a single starting CB in the lineup, and the nickel corner a guy signed off the street a couple of weeks ago, Leon McFadden.
The offensive line lost its starting center a few weeks back, played most of the year without starting RT Anthony Davis, saw Alex Boone turn into a liability, and never got settled the entire season. It’s mercifully over now.
Of course, the Harbaugh-is-gone rumors have swirled round the team all year and clearly cast a pall over the players concentration and focus. These rumors had to have originated with the Niner Front Office, so take a bow suits, your campaign to force out Harbaugh at whatever cost has probably born fruit. Be careful what you wish for, though. If the next HC can’t cut it, guess who’s going to get the blame?
In some ways, this loss is a relief. Hanging to a thread of hope week after week is painful. This team, this year, just didn’t have it.
Not that it matters to most fans, who are going to want to see some blood spilled to pay for this disastrous season. Obviously, that blood will be Harbaugh’s and OC Greg Roman. If Harbaugh goes, it’s likely DC Vic Fangio goes with him. It’ll be square one next season, with a tumultuous offseaon ahead of us.
Time to dig in, load up on the popcorn, and get ready for the fireworks.