On Monday Night Football, the San Francisco 49ers embarrassed the Arizona Cardinals 27-6. Derek Anderson embarrassed himself in his postgame comments. Beanie Wells is involved in another fumble. Brian Westbrook rushed for over 100 yards. Ken Whisenhunt is again "disappointed" and "frustrated." Frank Gore is injured. Mike Singletary wore sunglasses all game. All this happened in a game between NFC West pretenders.
People are making a big deal about how San Francisco is only a game out of first place in the division. Yes, the division is bad, so in theory even the Cardinals still have a shot. But the 49ers still must play in Green Bay, in San Diego and in St. Louis (the Rams have been great at home). Those will be losses, which brings San Francisco to ten losses. They are done. Add to the fact that starting running back Frank Gore fractured his hip and is out for the year, and you have a two-team race in the NFC West between the Seahawks and Rams.
It seems that the whole world has heard or seen what happened with Derek Anderson in the postgame press conference. If not, here it is to see. In fairness to Anderson, it was only three seconds on smiles, it really isn't our business what he and Deuce Lutui were saying and he was frustrated with the game, but because so many people saw it and wanted to know what it was (and whether we could be in on the joke or whatever), it was a fair series of questions from Kent Somers.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt had little answers to offer. He said that "it was a poor effort," but at the same time rejected the idea that players were quitting on him or on the game. He said that they "had a good week or practice" and that he thought they "had a good plan going in," but obviously things went wrong. Darnell Dockett echoed the coach's sentiments about practice, but that it is about making that connection between practice and game day.
Steve Breaston was tired of hearing about what happened in practice. "I don’t know what’s going on…. ‘X’s’ and ‘O’s’ are cool, but sometimes, you gotta jump over somebody, you gotta run through somebody. That’s all about being a football player and playing beyond the expectations of that play." He was one of the only players that consistently shows the effort to make something happen on the field. His catch where he ripped the ball away from the defender's possession is exactly the type of thing he is talking about.
The one thing that I find troubling is what Whisenhunt said. He stated, "We know that if we do things the right way we will get it fixed and that's what we're going to continue doing. It's worked for us. We believe in what we're doing." He talked about how he knows that if they do it it will happen on Sunday. But the very next thing he said is that he'll "pray" that it will happen in the game.
It's always a bad thing when the head coach is relying on divine intervention for things to happen on the playing field. Additionally, it has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting the different results. Yes, what they (the coaches) are doing has worked, but it was with different personnel. It might be time for self reflection to determine whether what they are trying to do will ever work with the current group of players they have.
We have learned that there are no plans to start either Max Hall or John Skelton, Derek Anderson is going to be the guy. Fans, though, are at the point that they want to see the young guys because the season is lost. It is a bad football team this year. Mathematically they are still alive, but their playoff hopes were over when they lost to Seattle at home.
What can we expect in the next week? Fans are done hoping. Fans are done expecting, except for bad results. As long as those are the expectations, no one will be disappointed. As for hoping, many at this point are hoping to be bad enough to get Andrew Luck in the draft. But considering the Cardinals this year, they will likely do that poorly as well.