It’s been a rough couple weeks, huh? Everybody is so negative and brooding about the 49ers lately. They’re off to their worst start since Jim Harbaugh took over as head coach, but if I may bring some positivity to the situation for a moment … I think it’s going to be okay.
Everybody needs a little levity here, so I made some GIFs. No, not GIFs of the protection breaking down or Colin Kaepernick missing open receivers — those will come soon. I went through the game again and hand-picked some highlights for you guys. The NFL requires I throw some one-liners into these things now so forgive the sarcasm, although I’m sure you and I are on the same page anyway. Take it away, Imgur:
3. Frank Gore is still alive and kicking
I heard it all week: “Frank Gore looks like a shell of his old self!” “He doesn’t cut or get to open space!’ “Gore looks done!”
Gore didn’t look done on Sunday, especially during the second drive when he chunked the Colts’ defense for runs of 22, 11 and 21 yards. Here’s one of those runs, and look at his blocking. His cuts look fine on this run too. Maybe the old man legs all these radios guys are talking about haven’t magically appeared on Gore just yet …
2. This offense still shows plenty of life
I know, I know — it was the only touchdown of the game, but it’s a perfect example of utilizing the proper personnel at the proper time. Kendall Hunter is used rather sparingly, and not everything works with him, but this draw play took the Colts by surprise and then his speed did the rest.
Just like I didn’t put a fork in Gore, I’m not putting a fork in the 49ers’ offense either. They just need to go back to a little less cute, and a little more of what they do best.
1. This defense will still hit you in the mouth
I had to include multiple GIFs in this one, so let’s get what you’ve all been waiting for out of the way right now:
He may be suspect in coverage, but Donte Whitner is liable to crush somebody if he gets a running start (I think this affected Ahmad Bradshaw later in the game). The penalty on this play was pretty egregious, and it’s something the NFL needs to figure out. Judgement call personal fouls account for just as many yards as open-and-shut personal fouls. Instead of Whitner setting a physical tone, the 49ers ended up on their heels immediately.
The 49ers still got their licks in. Glenn Dorsey absolutely demolished Trent Richardson and Eric Reid showed no signs of jitters about making a big hit after his concussion. Still, Patrick Willis delivered my favorite moment of the day:
Get well soon, indeed.