by Daisy Barringer
There are people who don’t like to see the 49ers criticized. People who after reading what I’ve had to say about this “football” team the last two weeks have urged me to “be faithful,” “have more positivity,” and (my favorite sexist comment of them all) “try to smile.” People who, even though the writing is on the wall, pretend they left their glasses at home and can’t see how awful this team really is. Those people should stop reading now. Because if blind faith about this 49ers team that looks like it couldn’t win a game of Nerf flag football, much less an actual NFL football game is your thing, then not only are you delusional, but you’re not going to like a single word on this page. Because the Niners? They suck. And that’s not about to change anytime soon.
You want positivity? Here you go: The offensive line looks fine.
Unfortunately, that’s the nicest thing there is to say about this pathetic excuse of a football squad right now that was totally decimated by the Seahawks in yesterday’s 37-18 loss. And don’t let that score fool you. The real score was 37-3. The two garbage time touchdowns by the 49ers were nice for people with Carlos Hyde on their fantasy team, but other than that, those touchdowns were totally meaningless.
The problems started on defense. A defense that allowed 418 total yards. A defense that let the Seahawks convert 9 of 14 third-down opportunities. A defense that let the back-up running back rush for 106 yards and two touchdowns. A defense that allowed the Seahawks to go up 7-0 after only 53 seconds of play. A defense that allowed the Seahawks, a team that only scored one touchdown in its two previous games, to make it to the end zone FOUR times. Sure Bowman forced a Jimmy Graham fumble and yeah, there was an interception late in the game after Seattle’s back-up QB came in to replace an injured Russell Wilson, but, honestly: who cares. The defense looks atrocious.
Of course, they don’t look as atrocious as the offense, which is really saying something because wow does the 49ers offense look awful. I know what those people who insist on being positive are going to say: It wasn’t Blaine Gabbert’s fault! The receivers couldn’t get open! And to those people, I say: SHUT IT. No, I don’t Blame Gabbert (sorry, that’s not even funny, but I can’t help myself) for everything, but man, oh man, is that guy a terrible quarterback. It’s going to take more than a guy who can barely complete half of his passes (14 of 25 for 119 yards, 1 INT) and doesn’t understand that on third down you need to get the ball to the marker in order to get a new set of downs to get this team headed back in the right direction.
Basically, at this point, it’s clear that Colin Kaepernick is going to start a game in the near future. Even one of the Seahawks’ defensive guys — a guy who WANTS the 49ers to lose — thinks Kap should start since Gabbert is “no challenge.” Of course, Chip Kelly said that Gabbert played “okay” and that he will remain the starting quarterback, but, come on, of course he’s going to say that. And Gabbert probably will start next week against the Cowboys. And against the Cardinals. But I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Kaepernick take the field when the 49ers travel to Buffalo the third week in October. By then, I’d imagine, we will literally have nothing to lose except more football games, but we’re going to lose those anyway, so
If for some reason it starts to feel like Chip Kelly is going to stick with Gabbert all season no matter what, well let me just be very clear that I don’t ever root for players to get hurt, but I probably wouldn’t cry if Gabbert limped off the field and straight into the locker room. Maybe Kap will come in and totally suck but at this point at least let the fans see for themselves.
It’s hard to know who to blame for the pathetic state of the 49ers and the fact that I spent my Sunday pouting in front of the television instead of getting a sunburn and heat stroke with every other San Franciscan. Did anyone on that team show up with passion yesterday? No. We saw no energy or fire from the coaching staff or the players. So I put the blame on them. They’re the ones who didn’t do their jobs in the moment.
However, looking at the bigger picture Tim Kawakami puts the blame firmly on Trent Baalke (“Sunday’s game was about Baalke’s roster, Baalke’s plan, Baalke’s young defensive players buckling vs. Seattle’s offense, and Baalke’s inability or unwillingness to acquire offensive playmakers.) and NinersNation agrees (“This game is on Trent Baalke.”).
The thing is though—there’s nothing that can be done about that now. I want Trent Baalke gone as much as any 49ers fan, but 1.) If that does happen, it won’t happen until the off-season and 2.) We’re stuck with the players he drafted and the coaches he hired, so We need to find a way to make the best of it.
The sad thing is, seeing how we’re playing on all sides of the ball, I’m not sure there’s anything to make the best of. This team is bad. Really, really bad. A few weeks ago, I optimistically said I thought the 49ers could win five games this season. Right now, I think we’ll be lucky if we win three.
The good news, if we can call it that, is that one of those wins might just be at home next week against the Dallas Cowboys. Of course, I won’t get my hopes up. (That’s a total lie; I will. It just won’t happen until right before kickoff and I’m sure the 49ers will bring me back to earth within a few minutes of the first quarter.)
So, yeah. Sorry if you’re looking for something to be positive about. At this point, all I can think of is that it’s clear Gabbert is not the future of this team. There’s a good chance Baalke gets the axe in the off-season. And we might have a really good draft pick come April 2017.
Next Week: The (2-1) Cowboys come to Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers could beat them. But we probably won't.