The blogosphere bellied up to bar last week, thumping and howling for scalps, and then spilled out into the streets to burn and pillage the town of Ninerville, USA. It was an ugly and embarrassing spectacle of fandom gone berserk. Fie uponst thou, fickle and wimpy creatures. Shame, shame, and quadruple shame.
Not here at the Outsider, however, which is a Yahoo Free Zone. And tonight the 49ers will take the field again to play football game number two of the 2010 NFL season. Hallelujah!
The team’s NFC West rivals all spent Sunday losing their games, which was nice. And also a reminder just how bad this division is. The Rams lost to the Raiders, the Seahawks were slaughtered by Denver, and Arizona was slaughtered by Atlanta. Maybe we should rename the division to Slaughter House Four. The Rams are the only team yet to experience a slaughterdom, and they are 0-2.
Four of the off season’s major concerns for the 49ers were how fast the young O-line would jell, how different Jimmy Raye’s offense would look this year, how well Alex Smith would play in his long awaited second year in the same offensive system, and how vulnerable the secondary might be. The first game fiasco in Seattle ripped open all four scabs rather pointedly.
That the team failed miserably in all four categories of concern was enough for many fans to quit on the season after one game. This site prefers to keep a Daubers Up attitude and focus on one game at a time, realizing that this division is so bad it could put a team in the playoffs that sports a losing record. The NFL has seen an 8-8 team make the playoffs, but not yet a 7-9 or 6-10 team. It could happen this year.
That’s a worst case scenario, just to calm down the nerves a bit. It still seems likely that this team will mature into a better team than last year’s 8-8 squad and improve as the season progresses. The O-line will get better. Michael Crabtree will catch more than two passes for twelve yards. And the secondary will be good enough to beat most teams.
Outside of the team lighting up the scoreboard somewhere along the line this season, however, Raye & Smith will continue to get roasted by fans whenever the team loses, and a lot of times even when they win. These two fellows have become icons of fan frustration and that will not go away. Even making the playoffs will not be enough to make these two popular.
Tonight’s game against the Saints will be at Candlestick and the team will play much better than it did in Seattle. They played good up there for the first twenty-three minutes, much like an Exhibition game, but the second team did not come in as in those games, and instead the first team stayed in there to look like second stringers.
Whether an improved performance tonight will be enough to beat the Saints is doubtful. Still, it’s an easier game to watch simply because of the low expectations. You can’t beat the Saints without a pass rush and there was none in Seattle. Ahmad Brooks returns to the lineup tonight, but it’s difficult to imagine him making an impact after a six week layoff. Travis LaBoy appears to be our best hope in that department for now. Parys Haralson seems to be playing his way off the team.
The mood of the fans is definitely testy right now. Another ugly loss would unleash the Fire Someone Now maelstrom. A win would be epic. It’s only the second game of the season, but it already feels like playoff atmosphere tense. Let’s go guys! Bring the fans back to life tonight!