As painful as it is to admit, the Super Bowl loss is almost a fitting way to end the season. This is a talented team. It had a great season, and until the Super Bowl, it played great games at just the right time.
This was also a maddeningly inconsistent team. Its inability to string together wins, for one, was particularly haunting. I don't think I wanted to admit it at the time, but I was worried during the regular season. I was worried that the team couldn't win a string of games. Rationally, I know this is stupid. One season is too small of a sample size to say definitively that the team can't win a certain amount of games in a row. This season saw a numeric blip. But, in that crazy part of my head, I was worried the team didn't have what it takes to string together enough wins in order to be Super Bowl champions.
And that's not what happened. It's not like the team couldn't mysteriously win. There are a lot of reasons why the team lost the Super Bowl, but inconsistency is a major one - and that's been a problem all year. Were we getting pressure on Joe Flacco? A bit, but it was inconsistent. Were we in good coverage? Not very consistently. How was Colin Kaepernick's play? About as inconsistent as it comes.
I don't know how to fix this problem. There are vague answers. The secondary needs revamped. The Rogers-Brown-Culliver tandem really has no business staying together. I'm not sure how they upgrade over these players and who gets the axe. Based on this season, I might say Rogers. Based on this post-season, Culliver. We need to take a serious look at Donte Whitner too. His regular season wasn't nearly as bad as his post-season, but he still can get abused. As can Dashon Goldson, though he seems to be better in coverage than in the past. In addition, the pass rush needs to be addressed. As good as the Smith brothers are, teams are starting to figure them out. One triceps injury shouldn't tank a unit.
But really, inconsistency is a reflection of the coaching staff. This is a fantastic staff - one of the best in the league. It has its problems, yes, but not so many that we need to blow it up and restructure. I just hope that Harbaugh and Co. can change course next season and get that ring.