Jim Harbaugh had been 23-6-1 in the regular season before Sunday night. His team had been within an overtime fumble of a Super Bowl appearance in his first season, which marked San Francisco’s first playoff appearance in a decade. There has been precious little to point to if you wanted to criticize Harbaugh. Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat appears to have been waiting for just such a moment. San Francisco provided it last night when they lost 42-13, in a game where they could not get off the field on third down (Seattle was 11 for 12 until a final kneel down) and in which the team got beaten up.
The 49ers have been falling apart since the second half in New England. They barely held on that time, but the fall had begun and they’ve been plummeting ever since. What is the cause of the big plummet from the sky? Actually, who is the root cause?
Harbaugh is. It is the coach’s job to get his team ready for a big game, something Harbaugh is unable to do.
Ahh, yes, falling apart for a whole week by beating last year’s Super Bowl team on the road. They’ve been plummeting for that whole week. This is post-game wailing at its finest. Harbaugh is unable to get his team ready for a big game because I get to define which ones are big games or not. New Orleans last year? Not a big game. New England last week, when a loss puts San Francisco in danger of losing the division, and a win means they can absorb this week’s loss, not a big game.
If you’re Jim Harbaugh — and I know someone who is — and you’re wondering why you lost so badly, just look in the mirror.
For his short, dramatic, tempestuous, successful tenure as Niners’ head man, Harbaugh has conducted himself as someone who invented football. It’s like no one ever thought about offense or defense until he applied his gray cells to the issue. Bill Walsh who?
And here we have it, Harbaugh thinks he’s smarter than Lowell Cohn. Well, that may not be true, because there’s no way Cohn is going to say something that proves that axiom “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”
He is not on the Tom Coughlin level or the Leslie Frazier level — Leslie Frazier? — and he sure isn’t on the Jeff Fisher level. He couldn’t beat Fisher in two tries this season despite having the better roster. We always assumed he was above the Pete Carroll level going back to college ball. Not anymore. After Sunday, he’s lucky to be on the Pete Carroll level.
Those are the four coaches for teams that beat San Francisco this year. I guess the positive is that Bill Belichick isn’t on Jim Harbaugh’s level.
[photo via USA Today Sports Images]