The San Francisco 49ers, by all accounts, got destroyed this past weekend at Seattle. For some reason, the Seahawks seem to have the 49ers’ number in the thunderous stadium now known as CenturyLink Field. Yet, the 49ers’ outspoken coach and active quarterback both took the right first steps towards righting the suddenly leaky ship: taking responsibility.
Colin Kaepernick rightly told the media that his team could not win the way he played. After a breakout performance against the talented Green Bay defense, this game proved to be a reality check. This guy has only started 12 NFL games, after all. Nevertheless, it was painful—and not just for the eardrums.
Jim Harbaugh correctly took the blunt of the blame while acknowledging that everyone failed at times. Harbaugh’s biggest coaching misstep, thus far, appears to be the lack of discipline instilled in his team. Yes, this is a counterintuitive criticism of the old-school coach, but when a team racks up 121 penalty yards, something is wrong.
The two biggest faces on this team—and, yes, they now shine brighter than Patrick Willis, who had some choice words on the NFL’s cut blocking rules (which allow for blocks like the one that knocked out Ian Williams for the season)—faced the crowd and criticism. Now, they must move on and take on the next challenger. This only happens to be Harbaugh’s former great, Andrew Luck, and the Indianapolis Colts. This past Sunday may give 49er players nightmares for some time still, but the first steps have been taken to move past the noise and continue what has the potential to be an incredible season.