Well, we knew this 3-game stretch against the Chiefs, Seahawks and 49ers would be a true test of this team's metal... and that was before Jake went down. After dropping all three, we're left with lots of questions, a couple of answers and a collapsing margin for error.
As far as what happened today, I'll sum up the negatives quickly:
1. The refs jabbed us
2. Reynaud landed some vicious uppercuts
3. Loggains and Gray ended it with haymakers
Sure, we couldn't catch a break all day, but we also lost the playcalling battle on both sides of the ball. Once again the running game was DOA, and the result was a very-un-Titans like 41 passes against just 10 called runs. On defense, Gray just couldn't get a step ahead of the 49ers when it came time to make a big stop.
Munchack is now in a spot where he needs to really connect with these men during the bye week. I don't care how much easier the schedule gets, we can't afford to lose more than one or two games the rest of the way and expect a shot at the playoffs. Committing 100 yards in penalties (several of which cost us turnovers, ended offensive drives and extended the defense's time on the field), losing the turnover battle and giving away points on special teams are obstacles that must disappear if Much wants to keep his job.
A few more random thoughts:
- As someone who grew up with local NFL team, a closet full of red and gold Zubaz and collected every Joe Montana card printed between 1986-1991, I can assure you that 95% of the 49ers fans I observed today are heartless, soulless posers.
- I'm pretty convinced that Bruce Matthews is not a good, never mind great, offensive line coach at this point.
- Jake Locker's performance was the closest I've seen to Steve McNair toughness in a long, long time.
- If I'm Munch, I would make Britt start returning kicks in order to toughen up, and cut Reynaud immediately.
- I don't know if it translated on TV, but CJ looked like he was busting his hump every time he got a look at the ball.
- Darius Reynaud has directly cost us 16 points so far this season, and it's not even halfway over.
- Despite this slide, I feel better than ever about Locker, Wright, Walker, Casey, McCourty, Verner and Brown. It's been a while since we had that much young talent to believe in.