New week. New opponent. Familiar outcome. The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 1-6 today after losing another heartbreaker, this time to the previously winless Carolina Panthers.
Once again the 49ers proved unable to play a complete game of football in this the latest loss for a once respectable team that is quickly becoming one of the bottom feeders of the NFL.
This week was slightly different than previous losses in that San Francisco only committed one turnover. Unfortunately, it came at the absolute worst time and led to the game-winning John Kasay field goal with 39 seconds left on the clock.
Much maligned San Francisco quarterback Alex Smith was injured when he suffered a sprain to his left shoulder, but backup David Carr proved to be far more inefficient than Smith. For Niners' fans who have been calling for David Carr, his performance in today's game only shows that there is no right answer at quarterback in San Francisco this season.
Maybe this week's call will be for Troy Smith.
Alex Smith finished the day going 9-for-19 for 129 yards and a touchdown compared to David Carr's line of 5-for-13 for 67 yards and an interception. Frank Gore finished the day with 159 total yards including 102 on the ground but once again failed to find the endzone.
It's amazing how the 49ers can start the day clicking on offense and for the majority of the other 55 minutes of the game look completely lost outside of Frank Gore. Even against a winless Panther team, the 49ers still managed to look mediocre.
After seven games and two offensive coordinators, the 49ers are still looking for answers. They committed a season-high 11 penalties for 81 yards today. Both the offense and defense showed flashes of greatness along moments of ineptitude.
Life as a San Francisco fan gets more and more depressing with each passing week. It's bad enough to lose games; it's a whole different level to see a team that often appears to regress from week to week.
It's no longer as simple as blaming Alex Smith. The blame for this disaster of a season is the responsibility of coaches and players from every unit on the team.
Drastic changes are needed for this once proud franchise. It's time for a regime change. It's time for a new head coach. It's time for a real quarterback.
Goodbye Mike Singletary. Goodbye Alex Smith.
The rats are on the move because this ship is quickly sinking. And there is no bucket in the world big enough to bale the water out in time to save it.