Sep 23, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh against the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the 49ers 24-13. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

Don't Worry, San Francisco 49ers are Still an Elite Team

The San Francisco 49ers played an awful football game Sunday against the New York Giants.  The team looked terrible on offense, defense and even special teams.  They were out played, out coached and over whelmed by the defending Superbowl champions in every phase of the game.  They haven’t looked that bad since the Mike Singletary era.

Here’s the thing, it was only one game!  The sky is not falling 49er fans, the quarterback does not need to be replaced, the team does not need a face lift, and most importantly, the 49ers are still amongst the NFLs elite.  An NFL season is usually one of ups and downs and very rarely does a team have a season like the 2011 49ers who were competitive in every single game on their way to a 13-3 record.

Teams have bad days, it happens, and it happened to the 49ers.  They still have the NFLs best defense, the leagues top running game and an evolving offense full of play makers.  The coaching staff is still trying to figure out the proper way to utilize all the new toys they picked up in the off season and this team is still jelling.

Will this years 49er team end up with a 13-3 record, no, probably not, but that’s not what matters.  What matters is how they evolve and what happens in the playoffs.  I’m actually glad the team took a loss like that before a division game on a short week.  Had they defeated the Giants, they might overlook the Seahawks, more importantly, they might not learn the hard lessons they need to learn before the post season.

Alex Smith had his worst game in a long time and the calls for Colin Kaepernick are knee jerk reactions by fans that are used to hating Smith throughout his career.  Take the name Smith off the back of his jersey, and he would be celebrated in San Francisco based on his body of work in the Jim Harbaugh era.

The team needs to get back to basics on offense, running the ball, establishing Frank Gore early and making Vernon Davis a priority in the passing game.  The Kaepernick stuff is nice, but it shouldn’t be a big time fixture in the offense.  Defensively, not much needs to change if anything, they got carved up by one of, if not the best QB in the NFL.  I’d like to see the team look at the match ups a little more in the secondary and dictate what corner matches up against what receiver instead of allowing the positioning the opposing offensive coordinator takes on each play to dictate those match ups.  I’d also like to see the team give outside linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith a breather from time to time so they can be a little more fresh on pass rushing downs.  Be a little more creative an aggressive when blitzing the passer.

Small adjustments are always needed in the NFL, especially after a loss, this is a team that is going to be around as a contender for a long time 49er fans, so relax and enjoy the evolution.

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