This morning feels like the day after you found out that Santa Claus is a fraud. It's like everything we've been told for the past two years was all just one big lie. They said our coaches were brilliant, that our running game was sound, that our run defense was stout, and our off-field character above reproach. And in just two short weeks it's all come crashing down. On this grim Monday morning, that 49ers dream castle looks like just one more liquor store on 3rd and Newcomb...
NFL writers reached deep into their thesauruses for synonyms to describe the darkness that has descended on the 49ers. This morning's links tell of a "particularly dark," "morose," "reeling," "flummoxed," team coached by a "desperate man" making "horrible decisions" that has lead to "implod-o-rama." Well, at least no one is overreacting to what is hopefully just a little bump in the 49ers road. On Tuesday we can regain some composure and perspective. But Monday is officially freak out day.
And now for the links...
The Beat Writers
On a morose afternoon the 49ers were overall left stunned by a second straight defeat. Gore had just three carries for 12 yards after halftime. | San Francisco 49ers lose badly to Colts (Inman)
The 49ers had no other serious threats in the passing game. | Kaepernick, 49ers' offense struggle again (Maiocco)
The obvious way to view Sunday’s implod-o-rama is to say that karma and the Law Of Finite Fortune took turns on the San Francisco 49ers. | Harbaugh, York, 49ers receive badly needed comeuppance (Ratto)
"There’s no way to wash it away until we go out there Thursday and get a ‘W,’ " safety Donte Whitner said. "Last week was terrible. This week’s going to be a lot worse and we brought it on ourselves." | Another bad loss has 49ers in a downward spiral (Barber)
This 49ers team is reeling. | Indianapolis Colts prove tougher than 49ers in romp (Rosenthal/NFL.com)
The AP jumps in on the coaching staff beat down. Janie McCauley writes: The Colts sure appeared to be better prepared. | Luck outshines Kaepernick in Colts' upset of 49ers (McCauley/AP)
It's not a good sign when your company's PR department responds to a crisis with a press release proclaiming the company is "baffled." | 49ers Baffled After Loss to the Colts (49ers.com)
Other Game Notes
Notebook: The 49ers have surrendered 351 rushing yards in past two games, the most since the final two weeks of the 2004 season. | Notebook: Aldon Smith on 'indefinite leave' (Press Dem)
The problems are serious and the beleaguered defending NFC champions somehow have to find a way to rebound on short notice. | Floundering 49ers have big problems (Williamson/ESPN)
Cs and Ds all around. | 49ers report card: Week 3 (Barrows)
Cohn's blistering takedown of the coaching staff is worth a read. Abandoning the running game, clinging to the pistol, and not getting Moore more offseason reps top his criticisms. | 49ers 7, Colts 27: Grades
The 49ers were seemingly ready to gouge an injury riddled defense that ranked 29th in rushing yards allowed in 2012. Instead, Gore had just seven carries in the final 50 minutes. | Game Grades (Branch)
The 49ers coaching staff is under serious fire for the first time since it took over the team two years ago. From the decision to play Smith, to the inexplicable abandonment of a running game that was on fire, the coaching decisions were absolutely mind boggling.
Frank Gore had some "choice words" for Harbaugh and was "angry" at his head coach after the game, Tweets Lynch. | Frank Gore Had 'Choice Words' For Jim Harbaugh (Lynch)
Asked if the 49ers should have continued with the running game, Jim Harbaugh said the goal was to stay balanced. Funny. Because I thought the goal was to win. | 49ers notes: Ground game runs into more trouble (Barrows)
Fans booed Kaepernick at the end of Sunday's game. This was the sound of a team that is, if not in free-fall, completely flummoxed, at wit's end and without answers. | Colts easily dispatch Kaepernick, 49ers - NFL - Austin Murphy - SI.com (Murphy/SI)
49ers Decision-making tops ESPN's list of Week 3 duds around the league and Kaepernick rounds it out. | NFL Week 3 Sunday Studs and Duds (ESPN)
Jim Harbaugh sold out the class and integrity of the 49ers by playing Aldon Smith against the Colts on Sunday. It was a horrible decision, an unacceptable decision by a desperate man. | Cohn: This is the lowest point for Harbaugh (Lowell Cohn)
Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers cut ethical and moral corners Sunday to win a football game that they still lost. | 49ers' performance, handling of Smith case mark low point of Harbaugh era (Kawakami)
"What message are you sending to young people in sport? Go ahead, do anything. Be a bum, act like a clown, I’m going to play you on Sunday. I disagree with it totally." | Mike Ditka blasts decision to play Aldon Smith
Former NFL coach Tony Dungy: "I think Jim Harbaugh could have sent a stronger message." | Aldon Smith taking indefinite leave from 49ers
it was right that Smith played. Had he been banished from the team, he might immerse himself into the dark place that led him to a DUI on Friday morning. | On second thought, the 49ers made the right decision playing Aldon Smith (Lynch)
Broncos fans on this SI team site think Smith has it worth than Miller. I agree. | Who Has a Worse Situation: Von Miller or Aldon Smith?
San Jose Merc reader poll overwhelmingly against decision to play Smith. | Poll: Should the 49ers have allowed Aldon Smith to play against Colts?