2011 NFL Season: Why the San Francisco 49ers Get No Love

James StantonContributor IIIOctober 6, 2011

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 02:  Michael Crabtree #15 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates with teammate Josh Morgan #84 after Morgan scored a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at Lincoln Financial Field on October 2, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

It's funny how a few minor changes can drastically change a culture.  After eight seasons of sheer futility, it's a pleasant surprise at this point of the season to see the 49ers sitting at 3-1.  The season is only a quarter of the way done, and the 49ers have more challenging matchups on the horizon, but there appears to be a different mindset that emanates from the team.

No more hoping that they can win.

No more pointing fingers after poor execution.

No more mismanagement of the quarterback.

The 49ers are finding ways to win games by walking away from the very things that held them back.  Surely, they're not winning pretty.  It's not likely that their style of play is even sustainable. But, what the team has shown each week is a slow and steady progression.  

From the painfully boring game against the Seahawks in Week 1, to the thrilling comeback against the proposed "Dream Team" Eagles, the 49ers have been turning the proverbial corner and getting better each week.

The team is not without their shortcomings, even at 3-1.  The secondary has still been an eyesore.  The pass rush is still inconsistent.  The offensive line has been nothing but offensive.  Through it all, the 49ers are battling through these setbacks and coming out with the win after a hard fought 60 minutes.

These same 49ers are exhibiting the basic fundamentals that were lacking during Singletary's tenure as coach.  Solid tackling on defense, on all levels.  Even the much maligned Tarell Brown has been a sure tackler in the open field.  The 49ers may give up big plays in the secondary, but at least they wrap the ball carriers.

So even after three wins in four games, the 49ers still receive little to no press. Where's the love?

The hapless Buffalo Bills, who have been even more woeful than the 49ers, are receiving the Cinderella treatment while the 49ers are being treated like an unwanted stepchild. The fact that it's a quarterback driven league and the Bills are one of the highest scoring teams, it should be obvious, right?

Do the 49ers even care? Probably not.

Would they like a little more action on the highlight shows? Maybe just a little.

These 49ers aren't going to blow anyone away with a flashy passing game. Alex Smith isn't going to toss around touchdown passes out of thin air.  The 49ers work for every point they score.  What is to truly behold is how they make the other teams work even harder for theirs.

Take the Eagles game for instance.  On paper, the game should have been a laugher in favor of Philadelphia.  But the 49ers only surrendered two touchdowns on seven red-zone trips.  That's amazing considering the 49ers weren't given much of a chance to win that game, especially on the road.

But after pulling out the tough road win, where's the love?

If it takes having to score 30 points a game in a finesse offense to get some press, it seems that these 49ers could care less.  They would much rather take care of business without that national spotlight.  Just ask the Dallas Cowboys.