San Francisco 49ers: What Can Little Brother Do?

Ryan The BrokerAnalyst INovember 23, 2011

Maybe it has to do with the approaching Thanksgiving Day, “Harbaugh Bowl”. After all, this is the first time in NFL history two brothers will be coaching against each other as head coaches.  

Jim Harbaugh (49ers) vs. John Harbaugh (Ravens).

So that’s probably what got my train of thought going in this direction. Unfortunately—like a train —this mind of mine can be difficult to stop, right direction or not. 

When I think about this 49ers game, team and season, the Harbaugh brothers are not the brothers I think about. I think about two figurative brothers: You have the big tough brother (defense) and the little younger brother with tons of potential (offense).

The 49ers are now 9-1 after their eighth straight victory against a sad Cardinals team, so that’s great. 9-1 for the first time in over a decade, you have to love it, right? 

Sure you do. 

For 49ers fans, a 9-1 team is amazing and gives us another reason to be thankful this holiday, and you won’t hear me complaining about any 49ers victory on game day. But as an analyst, I have to analyze and call it how I see it. 

Big brother has proven he can kick the tail of any schoolyard bully. But little brother—without big bro to save the day—would have been victimized by almost any kid in school.

It’s not to say that little bro has no chance of being just as scrappy or feared as his older sibling. In fact, he has all the potential in the world to do just that. This is exactly why it’s so frustrating to see him live in his brother's shadow.

The 49ers are far superior to Arizona. They should have beaten the Cardinals by a landslide. They failed to capitalize in the red zone over and over again, even after five defensive 49er takeaways. 

Bad pass after bad pass, dropped catch after dropped catch; the 49ers offense looks frail in comparison to the defense—almost unrelated.

On Thursday and moving forward into the inevitable playoffs, little brother (offense) is going to have to man up. He can’t expect big brother (defense) to fight his battles forever.

This 49ers team and offense has all the potential in the world, but will they live up to it?

Try and fight the turkey coma on Thanksgiving night and tune in for what is sure to be a great game either way. 

Have a great Thanksgiving and enjoy the game!


This article was originally published in the Benicia Herald.

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