The 49ers have suffered worse losses from a point-differential perspective … but not many. They haven’t allowed 40 points in a game all that many times, but it’s happened in each of the last two Sundays. But a 40-point loss? Even the famous 40-8 loss to the Eagles in 1994 (the first 49ers game I attended) wasn’t as pathetic as their performance yesterday in Glendale. The last time they lost by this many was
in the Meadowlands, when Joe Montana was obliterated by Jim Burt and the 49ers lost 49-3 in January of 1987 2006, when they lost 41-0 in Kansas City.
A 40-point defeat to a division rival, when the defense was supposed to be stout enough to “keep them in games.” It’s still difficult to comprehend.
The 49ers won 13 games the year after that loss to the Giants. They reeled off 10 straight victories after the Eagles blew them off the field at Candlestick, then went on to win their fifth and final Super Bowl. The response to what happened yesterday is huge, because a loss that embarrassing will resonate beyond this weekend. This is a key moment for this franchise. Things can unravel quickly, to the point where we’re seriously talking about first overall picks, new quarterbacks, and coaches getting fired. Based on what we’ve seen from the 49ers in the 24 hours since they lost 47-7, they don’t seem to have a grip on how to turn their season around.
Carlos Hyde on Colin Kaepernick
Jerome Bettis was the Bus, and one could argue that Hyde was a bus driver who backed up over his quarterback after the game.
Team might have more locker room problems than I thought. pic.twitter.com/qoEbwCz6ki
— So Cali Steph (@SoCaliSteph) September 28, 2015
“I wouldn’t say the game plan has to change,” Hyde said. “It’s not that you can’t throw it, you just can’t make that turnover. There was guys open. The ball just dropped down to the other person.”
Give him credit for honesty, but after watching the way the other local championship teams won their titles, the lack of support from one teammate to another is striking. And it wasn’t just Hyde who seemed upset with how the 49ers are doing things. Anquan Boldin looked beside himself at times on the sideline. NaVorro Bowman was visibly frustrated after Larry Fitzgerald caught a 16-yard pass on 2nd-and-15. It’s pretty common to see players vent when things go poorly, but confidence that positive change is on the horizon wasn’t evident yesterday.
The first player has jumped ship (since the season started)
Source: #49ers cornerback Shareece Wright is seeking a trade or his release.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 28, 2015
This isn’t all that surprising after Wright’s tweet-and-delete yesterday. The 49ers have had disgruntled players in the past — Braylon Edwards, Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James come to mind — but usually the “trade me or cut me” stuff doesn’t happen until a little later in the season than Week 3.
Tomsula makes a frightening admission
From today’s press conference in Santa Clara (emphasis mine):
Q: Some would say that, getting back to Colin, that being a pocket passer and running the read option are not compatible, that you cannot develop a pocket passer if you continue to run the read option a lot in the game. Did you guys have that conversation during the offseason and if you did, what was the conclusion?
Tomsula: Yeah, we did. And I guess that’s where it comes back to trying to be sensitive to what we’re asking out of our quarterback and of our offense. Maybe that’s where the scaled back thing, because I don’t know that I would term it that way. Yes, there’s less volume, but there’s a lot of concepts. It’s still a hefty amount of plays on the call sheet. But, I think that, we’re not a drop-back team. We’re not built that way. We’re not built like other teams. We’re not comparing ourselves to those teams. We’re not built to be, first and second down empty and spreading the ball around all over the place. We’re built more with our tight ends and we like the tight end group. We like where that’s at. And we like to use formation to get us some air when we need air. But, my perspective is playing to our strengths.
“Not a drop-back team”???
It’s the NFL! In 2015! The rules are set up and modified each year to reward teams that pass, and the 49ers have decided to play like Army in the 1950s?
And why is this the case? Their offensive line isn’t much better at run-blocking than they are at protecting Kaepernick (not when opposing defenses know exactly what they want to do, anyway). Is this why the 49ers ran the ball more than 10 times in a row yesterday when they were down by four scores? When Tomsula says they aren’t built like other teams, look at the receivers. Most teams have three good ones. The 49ers are forced to play Quinton Patton whenever they have three on the field, and he’s not just bad, he makes at least one phenomenally stupid mistake every time he plays more than five snaps.
Or, look at the quarterback. It’s clear at this point that Kaepernick is going to be the fall guy here. They’ve already talked about simplifying the playbook to cater to his strengths. He was Jim Harbaugh’s guy, although it sounded like he might have been trying to distance himself from Harbaugh with his bizarre comments last Wednesday about being asked to do things outside his character last season. It’s a little early to make the switch to Blaine Gabbert, because that’s a white flag move and seven home games remain (the last thing this team wants: shots of empty seats every time a game is played at Levi’s). But the 49ers are going to start playing the blame game if the season keeps going like this, and the read-option quarterback with a year-to-year contract seems like the obvious choice.