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Golden Nuggests: Actually, the sky is falling

Monday, September 23, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of San Francisco 49ers links from around the Internet.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

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

The 49ers' current skid seems particularly dark. | 49ers find themselves down in the dumps (Barrows)

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 49ers were dominated on both sides of the football in a 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon. | 49ers struggle, Willis goes down (Gin)

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)

It wasn't anybody on the defensive unit who caused the most consternation Sunday. | Purdy: 49ers offense nowhere to be found (Purdy)

The problem isn't so much that Sunday's loss represents a bump in the road, but that it looks like part of a trend. The team seems to have run out of magic. Everything the 49ers have built over the past two seasons is on the table. | It's all going badly (Ostler)

This 49ers team is reeling. | Indianapolis Colts prove tougher than 49ers in romp (Rosenthal/

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 (

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)

Safety Donte Whitner acknowledged that the team has reached a pivotal point in the season but added that the "sky is not falling." | Locker Room Buzz: San Francisco 49ers (Williamson/ESPN)

It’s nervous time in San Francisco. | Rapid Reaction: Colts 27, 49ers 7 (Williamson/ESPN)

In addition to outside linebacker Aldon Smith, who will begin treatment this week for what's believed to be a substance-abuse problem, San Francisco could be without inside linebacker Patrick Willis. | Willis could miss game against St. Louis (Branch)

It was only a matter of time before someone fingered Kaepernick's glam filled offseason for the 49ers woes. Ailene Voisin asks: "Is there such a thing as a GQ jinx?" | Ailene Voisin: From Kaepernick to defense, 49ers not making plays (Voisin)

Jerry Rice sprinting the length of the field in a suit was about the only upside Purdy found in his search for a silver lining. | Purdy: Positives to be taken from 49ers' 27-7 loss to Colts? (Purdy)

227: Combined passing yards thrown by 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick over the past two games. | 49ers vs.Colts: By the numbers

There is currently no supporting cast behind Davis and veteran WR Anquan Boldin. | Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree show their value to 49ers as receivers (Gin)

148 Rushing yards for Frank Gore this season, the worst three-game start to a year for the team's all-time leading runner since 2005. | This & That... Stats & Facts

For those of you who like/need pictures. | Slideshow: San Francisco 49ers take on the Indianapolis Colts

Report Cards

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)

Coaching Staff

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 - (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)

To Play or not to Play

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?