The San Francisco 49ers are 1-4 on the season, coming off four consecutive losses since dominating the Minnesota Vikings in Week 1. I can't answer why they looked so good against the Vikings but not so against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals or Green Bay Packers.
As to whether or not they looked "good" against the New York Giants last week is certainly up for debate. I don't think they did, but there were aspects of the game that were definitely promising -- something this franchise desperately needs at this point in the season.
I said multiple times throughout the offseason that I thought the 49ers would be fine this year. Part of that comes from me believing in Jim Tomsula as a leader of men and part of that comes from being confident in the roster as a whole. I'm still confident in the former aspect, but may have oversold the latter by a solid margin.
I can't say for certain that Tomsula will wind up being a good head coach in the end, but I just really like the guy, and hope that he can find success in some level, not just for the franchise but for him in particular.
Today, the 49ers will play the Baltimore Ravens, a team coached by John Harbaugh, brother of the former 49ers coach, Jim Harbaugh. You all know that story, you know that John's team beat Jim's team in the Super Bowl and you know that the media is more than happy to bring this up like it's at all relevant to where either team is at this stage of this season.
It obviously isn't, but it's pretty clearly a must-win if being competitive is at all in the cards for the 49ers. Some would argue that the game against the Giants was the real must-win, citing various playoff odds and percentages when a team does or does not win its first few games. But I'm not sure I even think a successful season has the playoffs at a necessity, I think expectations have to be re-assessed and I think seeing strong play from one player or another is the most important thing.
I'll be rooting as hard as anyone when the 49ers play the Ravens today. You won't ever find me suggesting the 49ers should be playing for some kind of draft pick, not in Week 6 and not in Week 17. Never. The 49ers should win every time they're out there.
But I do have news for you: the 49ers are doomed. Super doomed, unfathomably doomed. Just as all of us are doomed. It's a sad state of affairs for everyone involved, really. Doom is inevitable, and for the 49ers, it's a particularly gut-wrenching, sour kind of doom that hovers in the air. We all know it's there.
I'm something of a doom scientist, actually. I measure levels of doom, and I do it with the help of you lot here. We ran the Doom Index throughout the offseason, and again before the 49ers played the Vikings. People were feeling pretty good before that game, actually. I made an Imgur album with the results of all of the Doom Indexes thus far, which you can find here.
But below, here is a screenshot of the results from last time, before the Vikings game:
I brought out the big guns for that poll -- I invoked the name of Kwame Harris. Niners Nation veterans will know that Harris is easily my least favorite 49ers player of all time and I think he will be a permanent fixture in the "most doomed" category.
So the Ravens are up next, and the 49ers are doomed. They've lost a bunch of games, been blown out a whole bunch but had a decent showing against the Giants in Week 5. Are they as doomed as they can possibly be? You decide!