I’ll start this off with a confession/correction. I have to take something back that I wrote about the 49ers after their blowout loss to the Steelers.
It’s to the point now where I’d be shocked if they didn’t give Kaepernick another season after this one, provided he doesn’t get killed behind this offensive line.
The 49ers are even worse than I thought, and I thought they’d go 6-10. Their offense makes the top high schools look professional by comparison, the defense isn’t any better, and it doesn’t look like the players expend more energy for Jim “Dennis Erickson 2.0” Tomsula than they would for any other coach. Colin Kaepernick supposedly reworked his mechanics and everything else about the way he passes, but he threw two pick-sixes off his back foot in the first six minutes of this game.
Arizona’s Tyrann Mathieu, postgame: “Their passing game has been simplified so much, it was easy for us to anticipate routes.”
— Bruce Jenkins (@Bruce_Jenkins1) September 28, 2015
What’s amazing is the 49ers didn’t like what they saw in Kaepernick a year ago, and their solution was to promote their quarterbacks coach to offensive coordinator, hire a sports talk host from North Carolina as the new quarterbacks coach, and put a defensive line coach in charge of the entire operation. No matter what you thought of the previous regime, at least the pieces that were in place made some sense. Now it’s just about money. Tomsula came cheap. They promoted two yes-men to the coordinator positions (Mangenius — LOLOL). They had enough cap room to sign Evan Mathis, but NO. They decided to trade for a Patriots reject in Jordan Devey instead.
They came into today’s game, against a division opponent they’ve played fairly well against for several years, thinking they could make a statement. They made a statement, alright.
“We aren’t better than we were a year ago. In fact, we are much, much worse.”
But ripping Kaepernick, the offensive line, the secondary, the pass rush, Tomsula or the coordinators seems about as logical as yelling at first graders in a school bus when it shows up late. Who’s driving the bus?
It’s Jed York, of course.
Yes, the same individual who compared Tomsula to Steve Kerr. Instead of opening some books and learning that most great NFL head coaches aren’t as fun to deal with as Tomsula, who LITERALLY PICKS UP AFTER THE PLAYERS, York decided he’d shift the paradigm (or whatever awful Silicon Valley phrase you prefer).
So York now has a head coach he likes … who responded to a terrible loss with an even worse defeat, in the process raising eyebrows by keeping his starters in the game throughout. The 49ers are just lucky NaVorro Bowman didn’t injure his knee in the fourth quarter, or this catastrophic day would’ve been even worse.
Where do they go from here?
The Packers come to town next Sunday. The 49ers’ defensive backs allowed several long throws with very little resistance in Glendale. (When did Eric Reid get so terrible?) The Packers, even without Jordy Nelson, are the best offensive machine in the league.
Oh, you’re wondering about long-term? Tomsula is in BIG trouble. Not financially, but the rumors are going to start flying out of Santa Clara pretty soon — he has no control over the team, the front office was never in favor of his policy of giving the players time off during meetings to check their phones (even though they probably loved the WSJ story about “The NFL Team that is solving Millenials”), etc.
Trent Baalke is bulletproof, but one has to wonder if York will give him a pass for completely ignoring the quarterback position over the last few years. I can just hear it now. “This team was built on great quarterbacking. Trent did a lot of great things for the organization, but a team can only go as far as its quarterback will take it.”
— “I’ll be the first to tell you, if we aren’t winning a Super Bowl, you should hold me accountable. You should jump down my throat. I welcome that and I’m ready for the challenge.” — Jed York (Dec. 29, 2014)
— The 49ers have been outscored 90-25 in their last two games. They surrendered 60 points in the first halves of those games.
— Cardinals leading receiver: Larry Fitzgerald (9 catches, 134 yards, two TD)
— Who’s the happiest person employed by the 49ers after today’s 40-point loss? Shareece Wright.
— 49ers leading receiver: Garrett Celek (3 catches, 29 yards)
— At least Kaepernick didn’t “Kaepernick” after his first rushing touchdown of the season.
— The 49ers should’ve cut ties with Vernon Davis after last year.
— What on earth was Geep Chryst thinking with that handoff to Carlos Hyde out of the shotgun from the 1-yard line?
— And why did Chryst keep calling plays that led to sideline throws?
— The end of this season is going to be full of Jarryd Hayne. He had a very nice 37-yard punt return that led to the 49ers’ only score, and they’re going to need some fun stories to get them through this season.