Sometimes I wonder if we, as San Francisco 49ers fans, simply set our expectations way too high. Jim Harbaugh came in and took over a miserable football team, and he started winning big games immediately. He took this team to the NFC Championship three years in a row, and the Super Bowl in one of those years. Sure, this team didn't win a title, but it was still kind of incredible, wasn't it?
You hear a lot about close, ugly wins and having to rely on fourth quarter heroics in big games over the last couple years. I've heard multiple people suggest that other "good" teams haven't had to do that as much and I kind of wonder where that sentiment is coming from. Yes, the New England Patriots struggle here and there. Of course Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos occasionally slip-up against bad teams.
It's normal. It happens more with the 49ers, it seems, but despite my overwhelming pessimism over the past two weeks and following Thursday's game, I have to wonder if we're all acting just a little bit spoiled. There is no excuse for how poor this offense has looked this season, granted, but the 49ers have already won seven games, and any other season that would normally be enough to have them well into the playoff race discussion.
It just so happens that this year is a little tougher. The bad teams are really bad and there's few teams separating themselves from the rest of the pack. That makes for a crowded playoff hunt, and it makes every loss sting all the more. I understand that, when the 49ers struggle against a poor New York Giants or a poor Washington team, it can be frustrating, but I do have one important thing to say:
Can't it be a problem that could be fixed without getting rid of head coach, all coordinators and the quarterback? We have people suggesting that Jim Harbaugh is on his way out ever since Jed York made that apologetic Tweet (personally, I think that notion is rather silly -- an owner should be able to apologize for the poor product that he's ultimately responsible for without everyone flipping out and the coach getting his feelings hurt -- this isn't junior high).
I just think it's outright lunacy to be talking about getting rid of Harbaugh as a result of this season. If he wants to go -- if there's any truth at all to some of the rumors that have been percolating -- then fine, that's one thing. But suggesting that being 7-5 at this point in the season after three excellent seasons isn't just wrong it's complete and utter stupidity. Show me one other example of that situation playing out in the history of the NFL. I'll wait.
Yes, something has got to change. We have to figure out what's wrong with the offense. We have to determine whether or not there's a problem with Harbaugh. We have to determine if Greg Roman is to blame. We have to find out why Colin Kaepernick has regressed the way he has.
These are all important things, but they're the kind of things that you work on without hitting the big red button after morphing into a huge sea of reactionary malice.
We as 49ers fans have a right to be angry and frustrated, but we also need to take a step back and realize that it's not that bad and if it is, it hasn't been that bad for very long. I know we're not that far removed from Mike Singletary, Mike Nolan and all of them, but turning so quickly to insecurity and desperation is clearly not the answer.