Turn out the lights, the party’s over.
The Seahawks may or may not be as good as last year’s club, but there’s no question at all that the 49ers aren’t what they used to be. And the fall off has been precipitous.
They were soundly beaten in every way Thursday night. The air went out of them after Colin Kaepernick threw his first pick, straight to Richard Sherman. From that point on, it was all Seattle.
This game could be viewed as a mercy killing. The 49ers have been gamely hanging around all year, living off their reputation and their defense, pretending they still were an elite team, but all that stumbling effort just masked the obvious. Their offense is flat out terrible. How it got so bad has been the big debating issue of the entire year.
The FO brought it some very talented WRs last offseason, to build the offense around Kaepernick and not Frank Gore. The results have been disastrous. The offense was expected to improve as the season went along, but it has actually regressed. Kaepernick has simply not been up to the task. And his teammates know it.
When decisions turn out this badly, though, it falls on the coaches who made the decisions. Jim Harbaugh went all in with Kaepernick and now he’s stuck with him. Four years into his career, he looks more like a rookie than a guy growing into great QB. Opposing defenses know if they take away the deep ball and his running, he can’t beat them.
Harbaugh staked his 49er career on being able to mold Kaepernick into a potent NFL QB. He had never failed in that capacity before. But this time, he has. When the Niner beat writers are openly mocking the QB’s poor decisions and poor throws via Twitter while the game is being played, you know the problem has become so obvious that only an idiot would continue to insist that the QB is not the problem. There’s no way to design good plays when the QB is incapable of utilizing them.
What should happen now is Kaepernick should be benched. Let Blaine Gabbert take a whack at it. The team is going nowhere this year anyway and the surly Kaepernick could use a dose of reality. It won’t happen, of course. Harbaugh is going down with the ship this year. It’s going to be a whole new ball game next year. But a decision that has been this disastrous will probably set the franchise back for quite a while.