One from Mick Jones . . . Well, it’s back to the Big Easy. The site of some of the highest highs and some very low lows. Montana to Rice vs Denver, and 5 yards away vs Baltimore. Last season’s penalty-filled game, and many many others.
That being said, the airwaves are once again filling with 49ers past and present stating things like Harbaugh is gone, the locker room is broken, we need to get back to what we do well, execution, on and on. Jerry has weighed in. Steve as well. Frank has dropped his words, Bruce Miller as well. When all is said and done though, it happens on the field.
No one doubts that talent on this team. A battered and short-handed defense is playing spectacularly well. The retooled Ferrari of an offense is in the shop with a timing problem, and what appears to be a clogged fuel filter. Shit ain’t moving right. We sputter and stutter regularly, and have bigger problems in the red zone.
So, wherein lies the problem? Since everyone has an opinion on this, it varies from Kappy not picking up his reads to the play calling to the rudimentary passing design to the play calling to Harbaugh sealing his own fate by losing and he and the Brinks truck travel to the Big House in Michigan (the Raiders? Shit, even he won’t touch that turd pile) to the 49ers throwing too much to the play calling.
Think it’s the play calling? At this point, who knows? All sides play their part in this struggle. But certain things haven’t changed. Getting plays in on time. Getting to the line with a sense of urgency. Scoring in the red zone. Since these issues have been part of the 49er landscape since before Kaepernick (and even before Harbaugh), one would think the onus lies on the coaching staff to devise ways to fix these things. Harbaugh talked about these very issues before the season started, and yet they remain. They had to take a timeout on their first drive last week. They burn timeouts like fishsticks (you’d have to know my mom to get that one).
They’ve tried things like no-huddle in the AZ game, and since it worked so well, they never used it again. Same with misdirection passes to Anquan Boldin. Oh, that works? OK, we’ll save it for next year. Thing is, there may not be a next year for these coaches. This ios a winnable game, sure. But going to the Super dome to fix your ailing offense and stand behind your depleted defense is a tall tall order. Win, and the outlook is suddenly pretty good, what with a roadie in Jersey coming. Fight and lose a close battle, and the talk will be of a disappointing season with too much adversity to overcome. Lose big like the Denver game, and the fallout will be immediate and loud. Harbaugh’s tenure will be finished.
Such is life in the NFL. Riding high in October, shot down in December.