The San Francisco 49ers just lost a third one-score game moments ago. With an 0-5 start no one could have predicted, it certainly is a cloudy future for the Bay Area.
It appeared at one point both Mike Singletary and Alex Smith could be done with the team, but a late game charge may have saved them both for another week.
Again Frank Gore had a poor yards per carry average and also put it on the grass twice.
Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis were both involved, and the offense looked great when they were getting the ball, receiving 105 and 104 yards respectively.
The true question marks to this point are in Alex Smith's mentality and ability to throw the ball. Also, at what point do you let Brian Westbrook or Anthony Dixon get a few carries? Gore isn't running well and perhaps if his struggles continue you have to give the other two a chance.
The defense was extremely shaky at times but with some help from a mental mistake from LeSean McCoy got the key three-and-out to get the offense back on the field.
Perhaps there is trouble in the discipline, or perhaps the 'Niners were not ready for the expectations they had entering this season. The 49ers play Bay Area rival Oakland Raiders next week, and this could be Smith and Singletary's last chance (if they even make it to next weekend).
Regarding the future of the team, if the struggles continue through the year, Bill Parcells could be brought in to revamp San Francisco like he was when the Miami Dolphins were struggling. Also, Bill Cowher should be desired by multiple teams looking for a head coach. Cowher could be brought in as a Super Bowl-winning coach to restore the once winning ways of San Francisco.
Regarding Alex Smith, if the losing ways continue, they may earn themselves a high enough pick to land Washington's Jake Locker or Stanford's Andrew Luck. If a new coach is brought in, drafting a franchise quarterback could be the first move. Smith has been progressing since his arrival in 2005, but there is no evidence that he will ever be a special quarterback in this league.
The 49ers had Joe Montana, Steve Young, and even Jeff Garcia when they were a great team, and until they find an elite starter, it seems that they will never be able to return to being an elite team.
With 11 games remaining, it is impossible to predict how the 49ers will finish, but if the season were to end after Week 5, it would seem that there would be a semi-rebuilding period for San Francisco. Perhaps in the 2011 offseason the 49ers will bring in a new coach and the franchise quarterback they have been so desperate for since Jeff Garcia's departure.
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