Let’s get one thing straight: tanking to tank sucks. Any fan of a team should hope they don’t have players not giving their all every play on every game. The New York Jets have probably gone into full tank mode with all the moves they’ve made in the offseason, but don’t tell the players that, because they are fighting for wins every Sunday.
And definitely don’t tell the San Francisco 49ers that. They are not trying to tank in this culture change, but it’s obvious that they don’t have a Super Bowl-caliber roster. Yet. The Los Angeles Rams have a better roster—whether it’s championship caliber is up for debate—and they very well could have lost to the 49ers if a phantom offensive PI call didn’t come flying in towards the end of the game. They came back from mistakes and hung with a roster that had far more talent than theirs and probably should have won. Moral victories are kind of crap, but given how the team has lost for two straight years, these are things you have to take note of. How is the team losing? Well they aren’t getting blown out in back to back games yet.
But what if that call didn’t come, say the 49ers did win? Then what happens? We can toss a W onto the record and then have a harder time in a quest for what hopefully is the last draft where they pick in the top-10 for some time. The 49ers should play to win, but it’s safe to say that roster still isn’t where it needs to be. It needs more top playmakers. Knowing that, a win in that game could have hurt the future, not helped it. Maybe the officials did everyone a favor.
We all know how hard it is to get one of the top picks. We saw that last year when the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers were in a competition for largest dumpster fire. The draft coming up might be even more crucial than 2016 with the (alleged) great QBs coming out of it. Plus the 49ers have a few winnable games coming up on the schedule. With the talent they have, they very well could surprise with a few more.
The team is showing progress and getting better every week in some facet, but it’s far from there. If that’s the case, maybe a loss like this isn’t such a bad thing in the long run. The 49ers are going to make a few surprises this season and this game was one of them—they didn’t quit. A win would have been awesome Thursday night, but not just a loss—but they way they lost, may make a better future.
Given how that game ended and we’re a few days removed, do you think a loss was the best ending?