They came so close, and that actually made this loss easier to take. In the first half it looked like the Niners were going to look like one of those AFC teams in the 1980s and lose 48-17 or something. At least they made it respectable. Now that we’ve gotten the whole “perspective” thing out of the way, let’s start ripping. There’s a long list.
LaMichael James: Don’t fumble. It’s pretty simple. Yeah, an extra yard or two sounds cool. But you aren’t playing Arizona State.
The secondary: Simply terrible tonight. Chris Culliver got screwed on the play before the ridiculous Jacoby Jones TD that ended the first half, when Torrey Smith should have been called for offensive pass interference. But that aforementioned ridiculous Jones TD was an embarrassment that Ed Donatell and Vic Fangio will probably never recover from. Also, there’s no way the Ravens should’ve been able to convert on 9-of-16 third downs. And Carlos Rogers gave a valiant effort, but Anquan Boldin killed the 49ers. AGAIN.
Randy Moss: Maybe there was no way he could’ve caught the pass that was intercepted by Ed Reed. But would it kill him to put his hand in the air, just to let the spectators gauge how uncatchable that pass was? It’s time for the 49ers to find some young receivers who aren’t afraid of contact that deserve to play alongside Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis, two guys who sold themselves out to win this game.
Brad Seely (49ers Special Teams Coach): It sure seemed like David Akers was TRYING to kick it as deep as he could, regardless of where Jones was. Um, how about kicking AWAY from the best kick returner in the world? Would teams kick it to Devin Hester five years ago? No. And how about telling LaMichael James to sit on it when he catches a kickoff eight yards deep? He isn’t Jacoby Jones!
#QuestForSix: Such a terrible hashtag. If you’re into hashtags, you probably believe in things like superstitions and not counting your chickens and all that. Dropping #QuestForSix every day almost makes it seem like we should’ve expected the 49ers to crush whoever the AFC put out there. While I still believe San Francisco had more talent on that field than Baltimore, that doesn’t always guarantee victory (thank you, Capt. Obvious).
Jim Harbaugh: When a head coach’s team starts out every playoff game terribly, that’s on him. And because I’m pretty sure he has the ultimate veto power over Greg Roman when it comes to offensive playcalling, I’m blaming this Harbaugh bro for ignoring Frank Gore after Gore brought them to the freaking 7-yard-line. Even if Colin Kaepernick threw a touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree (the idea they seemed to be stuck on), the Ravens would’ve had plenty of time and timeouts to come back and win on a field goal anyway. It’s not like the defense was super awesome.
The White Stripes: I can never listen to “Seven Nation Army” again. So many mouth-breathing Baltimore Ravens fans ruined that song all week by chanting “OH, OH OH OH OH OHHHH OH” every single day. Get a guitarist, assholes.
I can’t blame the Superdome, because that actually helped the 49ers. Lights out? Okay, things are getting weird, let’s do this. The 49ers almost won. Almost, almost, almost. But after the playcalling got weird late, I realized that I made one of the worst purchases in my life, with all due respect to Beyonce. The 49ers may recover from this loss, but history says Super Bowl losers often take a step back. Jim Harbaugh just lost to his brother, and now he faces his greatest test.