The writing on the wall was seen long before this game against the Raiders by many experts and fans. But somehow, there was always that last thin thread of hope that we could hang on to, and the possibility of playoff glory still lingered in the back of our minds. Now, even that has snapped and the 49ers have fallen once again into abyss. Oh mathematically they are still alive, but mentally this team has already given up.
Coach Harbaugh mentioned in his post-game presser that the effort was there, but sadly, the focus and the fire was not. It has not been the easiest of seasons by any NFL standard—with major injuries, coaching uncertainty, front office turmoil, media distractions and an offensive unit that just never made it out of pre-season form. Whatever hope there was that this team had enough heart to overcome all these tests were left on the field at Oakland.
Now the 49ers are left with nothing but their pride, and even that may not be enough to keep them in the game next week against a Seattle team that is surging at the perfect moment. San Francisco is back once again to being the role of spoilers like they were before Harbaugh came. It was a good three year run for him, but it feels over in almost every way except for the fact that there are three games left. If there is one reason to keep from total despair is that Trent Baalke still knows how to find talented players for good value. No matter who the coach is next season, you know that the roster will have quality players who can compete. This is not how I wanted this season to go, but I will still root hard for the now underdog San Francisco 49ers.
49ers fall to Raiders in ugly performance (Biderman)
Recap: Oakland vs. San Francisco (SacBee)
Rapid Reaction: San Francisco 49ers (Gutierrez)
49ers 13, Raiders 24: Grades (Cohn)
49ers' season continues to spiral (Gutierrez)
Brooks' down year gets worse for 49ers (Barrows)