Niners face first crisis of the Jim Harbaugh era

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The 49ers have had a couple of great seasons under coach Jim Harbaugh.  After Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the Colts, the organization faces the first real crisis of the Harbaugh era.

As explained during the Sunday Night Football postgame show, the 49ers are under .500 for the first time since Harbaugh became the head coach.  (It’s actually the first time Harbaugh has had a losing record since November 15, 2008, when Stanford lost to USC and Pete Carroll.)  They’ve also lost consecutive games for the first time under Harbaugh, and they’ve been outscored 56-10 in those two straight defeats.

Complicating matters are All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith’s indefinite leave of absence, the reported verbal dispute between running back Frank Gore and Harbaugh, and suddenly subpar performances from quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who has no touchdown passes, four interceptions, and 277 total passing yards in the last two games combined.

Now, the 49ers have to head to St. Louis on a short week to face the Rams, who went 1-0-1 against the 49ers in 2012.

It could be a good thing that the 49ers have a short week.  It leaves Harbaugh and others in the organization less time to stew over Sunday’s 20-point loss to the Colts.

101 responses to “Niners face first crisis of the Jim Harbaugh era

  1. I am still waiting to hear who has “it” better (whatever this “it” is) than the sanfrancisco 49ers.

    Please tell me, for I am searching.

  2. Hahahaha maybe the chiefs will give you back Alex smith. Not that I got anything against the niners but I’m glad karma is bighting them in the ass for trading away Alex smith lol

  3. Personally, I hope they lose by 20 points every week. That’s not going to happen. Being 3 games into the season, I don’t think they are going to panic either.

  4. winning cures everything, and the Rams suck this year. can we go ahead and say that Sam Bradford isn’t good? Has he ever had one dominant game in the pro’s ever?

  5. Kaepernick isn’t an elite quarterback. Therefore, a team can figure out his gadget style and work to defeat it. Same for a one dimensional coach. Harbaugh can only win when he has an advantage, which he no longer has. What has been his history of solving a crisis?

  6. So the 49ers are not playing good at 1-2, it got pushed around at home, and so far has only defeated the 1-2 Packers… if only that would stop Seahawks fans from whining that they don’t get enough respect for beating the 49ers at Seattle.

  7. I saw the 9ers week 1. Even though not being pressured, Colin was scrambling and throwing in a paniced state. His receivers were great at quuckly finding an open spot, but gadget offensives are quickly figured out in the NFL.

    Ask Miami how long the wild kitten lasted.

  8. Everybody! Quick!

    Firmly plant your fist square into that big red button with the “PANIC” label!

    The 49ers have 2 losses in 3 weeks! ALL IS LOST!!

    Seriously though, stop with the chicken little junk. It’s week three. If they’re under .500 come around week 9 or 10. Then dial it in.

  9. It takes one set of coaching skills to take a bad team and turn it into a very good team. Harbaugh did that extremely well. But it takes an entirely different set of skills to take a very good team and make them elite. Harbaugh can’t pull that one off. In the past, he has been able to move on to the next job before he had to make a good team great. Now there’s no other job to escape to and he and his team are self-destructing instead. It’s early in the season, and even though I’m a ‘Hawks fan, I hope he can turn this around. If the 49ers are better, the Seahawks are better.

  10. I hate to jinx it, but if the Raiders win tomorrow night, I wanna know what happens to all of the lousy bandwagon west coast “Niners fans”

  11. “Expectations run amok” have killed much better teams than this current Niners’ squad.

    When I heard that Kaepernick was partying at the Playboy Mansion, I knew where this was going to go. That, and Super Bowl Losers Syndrome.

    Anyway, two more injuries of consequence and the whole thing will unravel. It’s predictable, like a sunset.

  12. lmao. I cannot help but chuckle a bit. all this talk about how amazing CK is and how ineffective Alex Smith was. and now the chiefs are 3-0 with Smith and the 49ers are 1-2 with Kap.

  13. I know it’s still real early, but is it possible that the ’49ers did something similar to what the Chargers did heading into the 2006 season: they had Brees and Rivers, and let Brees go – in favor of the young rising star. Brees went on to great success and led the Saints to Super Bowl glory – while the the air left the Chargers balloon not too long afterward,

    Here, the ’49ers let Smith go to KC – where he’s enjoying success and taken a 1-15 team to a 3-0 start — while the young rising star, Kaepernick, has largely struggled.

    Just something to think about.

  14. No doubt the 49ers have offense probs. But the most compelling thing i saw was that once-scary 49er defense now is not even mediocre… allowing RBs to literally walk into the endzone for two weeks.

  15. It’s a good thing Kaepenik spent that time this off season training with those sprinters…. Sure is paying off now!

  16. Oh yeah….. Colin Kaepernick isn’t even qualified to lace Russell Wilson’s shoes. Do you miss Alex Smith yet? Come on, entertain us a little bit let’s hear some excuses. Was your own stadium too loud. Kap is a one hit wonder and is SUNK!

  17. This team is in trouble. Injuries are really hurting this team, but that’s only one factor. Distractions, such as arrests and trash talking to opponents through the media, are also not helping. I hate to say this because I’m a Niners fan, but this organization needs to clean up its act and re-establish some class. Long gone are the days of Jerry Rice scoring a touchdown and acting like he had done it a million times by simply flipping the ball to the official. Even our head coach stoops to the point of engaging in media spats with opposing PLAYERS (ie Clay Matthews). Time to grow up and act like professionals Niners. Your losing is a disappointment, but in my eyes the classless, which can be controlled, is even a bigger one. And don’t think for a second that these issues are isolated because there’s no doubt that the lack of professionalism is contributing to your on field disaster.

  18. It’s not “crisis”, it’s karma. Harbaugh didn’t have to invoke Bo Schembechler back in June and imply that his team was “above reproach” and at the same time impute that Pete Carroll was a “cheater.” No, all that this is, is karma, coming back to bite Jim Harbaugh in the arse for hubris and arrogance.

    Niner fans, there’s your scapegoat.

  19. The read option QB’s like Kaepernick & Wilson are having a much tougher time this year because DC’s have had an off season to prepare for them.

    Wilson finally had a good day, but it was against the Jags.

    Letting Smith play yesterday was a big mistake and gave Harbaugh’s credibility another hit with the players.

  20. Is anything better than seeing Harbaugh and Kaepernick on the sidelines with that constipated look knowing the wheels are coming off the bus this season?

  21. 2 weeks where the Defense kept them in the game late, only to succumb to fatigue and penalties.

    Until Roman and Mangini can concoct some sort of an answer for the Offense, this will continue to degrade.

    Good Teams survive adversity.
    Let’s see where the leadership shows it’s face.

    Going back to the SB loss, Roman failed to find the right answers when the chips were down.

    Hope that Frank Gore made his point about the vanishing success of the run game vs. Indy.
    Why get things moving only to get cute and move away from it?

    Luck made plays when it mattered.
    Kaep got no help from upstairs.

  22. The read option seems to have run its course. Russel Wilson still seems to be the only one still winning with it but their defense has as much to do with their record as anything.

  23. How’s that Boldin trade working out for ya? Kinda loving having $7million Marlon Brown, Vontae Leach, and the six guys that made up that salary Hahahaha!!!!

  24. its a long season. but I do wonder if having Alex Smith did really help Kaepernick in preparation. I’m not one that thinks they made a mistake there, but I think that they may have underestimated his impact on colin.

  25. Harbaugh has stumbled into the cliché coaching blunder of self-righteousness – thinking its all about him instead of the the game, the players and the opponent. We’ve seen it many times before at all levels of football.

  26. This took a year longer than I anticipated. His, “I’ll punch you in the scrotum if you disagree with me” style, quickly becomes tiresome, when losses start to accumulate.

    Especially when you’re no longer dealing with college kids.

  27. Gut check time for the Niners. Harbaugh and his coaches need to address multiple issues. This team is too good to play like they have the past two weeks. I think they will make a stand on Thursday and get back into the win column.

  28. Well….

    That team on the other side of the bay isn’t looking like it only hung with bad teams anymore does it?

    I honestly expected Kaep to take a step back this season before finding his rythm again. He stormed out of the gates last year and burned stadiums down before teams knew he showed up. With a little more tape, a better game plan and the crazy off season…I figured teams would slow him down to start the season. Maybe not this much but….

    They’ll turn it around. They’re to talented not to. It just doesn’t look good right now. Every year a bad team starts good and good team starts bad…I think this is a good team.

  29. Problem here? Collin Kap is seriously over rates! Everyone bought into the hype last year, biggest one of all is that they lost the Super Bowl, might be the jinx. Teams that lose the SB rarely make the play offs the following year.

  30. Media and Seattle (No RINGS) Cheathawks need to calm down and be quite. THe fact is out of the 6 NFC playoff teams last year, 5 of them have current losing records. #goniners we are not going any where #nobodyhasitbetter.

  31. The Seahawks beat them up bad and showed the NFL how to attack them. Seahawks will run away with this division.

  32. I’m sure Harbaugh will handle it with class and not be a whiny little baby about it. Oh were talking about Jim? Never mind he can definetly be found on the sidelines throwing a tantrum with that stupid look on his face. D-Bag Harbaugh Style!!!!!!

  33. Also dont foget the status of Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis at gametime. However injuries are NO EXCUSE as all teams have them and deal with them. The 49ers have been really lucky the last couple years at avoiding injuries to multiple key players. Lets see how they respond


  34. I said it at the beginning of the year and Niner fans didn’t like it.

    3)San Fran

  35. Seadderall Cheathawks need to win something before they talk. Your stadium is built to amplify noise. Your fans are no more special than any fans in the NFL. #artificialnoise #norings #slimeballcoachranfromUSCbeforethehammerdropped

  36. Mr. Tolin Kipernack looks/plays/performs exactly as he is, a second year quaterback. Remember back in Dec/Jan/Feb when there was talk of Kipernack being “like”that other qb??? Lets wait until Mr. Kipernack is 30 minetes out from his third Superbowl win before there is talk of that other SF qb. Go 9 ers.

  37. Still early in the season. They just need to make better play callin. Our receivers need to get seperation cuz we dont do well against man to man. Boldin is a good against zone but not so much against man. And we crabtree, Vernon, Manningham, & LMJ back. Defense needs Culliver and to stay healthy n less off field dumb stuff.

  38. Interesting how 9er receivers can’t get open…We can’t spread the field at all…Kapernick is running around looking for someone open to no avail…The O line can only block so long.

  39. I stand by my critiques of my Niners. However, these Seahawks fans sure do a lot of trash talking for a team that has really never won anything. Hey Seahawks fans here’s some advice, you guys are winning, so act like winners. Have some class for goodness sake. I guess this lack of class is not all that surprising because this is a franchise that has quite frankly been one of the worst in NFL history, now they’re finally winning and their fans don’t know how to handle it.

  40. adoombray says:Sep 23, 2013 12:47 AM

    winning cures everything, and the Rams suck this year. can we go ahead and say that Sam Bradford isn’t good? Has he ever had one dominant game in the pro’s ever?

    Through 3 games this year:


    Kaepernick-Completion %-56.4 ,3 td’s, 4 int’s
    Bradford-Completion %-62.4, 6 td’s, 2 int’s

    And the Ram’s and Bradford aren’t any good?

  41. Stop criticizing Kaepernick! Ron Jaworksi already blessed him with the notion that he could be “one of the greatest to ever play the game.”

    Man, that’s rich. LOL.

  42. If…”if” this team turns it around, will all you haters and failures at life still be around? It’s still week three, and dancing on someone’s grave this early, especially in this league, is a little premature.

    Meanwhile, my Bears are 3-0 !!! We’re gonna keep gettin’ better, then we’re gonna come for you Seahawks…it’s only a matter of time before the league and “karma” catches up with you too…tick…tick….tick 🙂

  43. First off, Russell Wilson hasn’t really been playing good either…. so you can’t really say he is better than Colin this season. Secondly, why isn’t anybody giving the Colts any credit for this game. Also, it’s the third game of the season…. They will get it together. Didn’t the Cardinals start 3-0 or 4-0 last season, look how they did. So don’t even bring the chiefs and their record in like that. But, with all of that said, seahawks are better right now, but I think the Broncos are the best team in the NFL, because as a whole i think they have been playing the best.

  44. borisbulldog says: Sep 23, 2013 4:28 AM

    Who has it better than the 49er’s?

    Except my Lambs! Who conveniently play the whiners Thursday night. After they embarrass us in primetime no less, all you’ll hear about is how they righted their ship & all is well. Bank on it Friday morning. Sad how when teams play us they all of a sudden look like SB contenders. (See Cowgirls exhibit A).

  45. Second off, Jonathon Virgin, I absolutely can say Wilson has been playing better than Kap and if you look at the stats you’d realize that. Wilson – 6 tds, 2 ints, 64.4% completion, 109.6 rating – 3rd in league. Kap – 3 tds, 4 ints, 56.4%, 72.5 rating, 25th in league. And yes, Wilson has room for improvement, so watch out when he does.

  46. I like how any time Seahawks fans trash talk on 49ers articles you get these guys saying ” act like winners” or ” have some class”. I’d like to point out to those 49whiner fans with thin skin that watching football is all about trash talk. I have friends that are Bears and eagles fans and all we do is trash talk. Suck it up. Go look at a Seahawks article and look at the comments. You’ll find a 49whiner fan named Norcalmafia, why anyone is proud of being in the NorCalmafia I don’t know…. It’s the weakest of all the fake mafias , he still has a right to talk trash, I welcome it. It makes kicking your butts even better. Grow a pair and quit acting like your d-bag coach and your fragile minded QB. #D-BAG HARBAUGH STYLE!! #GOHAWKS

  47. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Sep 23, 2013 2:06 AM

    Here, the ’49ers let Smith go to KC – where he’s enjoying success and taken a 1-15 team to a 3-0 start — while the young rising star, Kaepernick, has largely struggled.


    Chiefs had 2 wins man, give us the respect we deserve!!!! 🙂

  48. look at all the haters just eating it up. its week 3 guys. and in all 3 weeks the niners have played 3 playoff teams from last year and probably from this year as well. It also doesnt help that the receivers cant get open and we arent running the ball like we should. On defense we are causing so many penalties that our linebackers feet are inside their own endzone. 3rd and 10… no problem… defensive holding. 3rd and nine… no problem pass interference. and then when its the offenses ball at the 10 yrd line its penalties there too. You have to get first downs and you have to stop 3rd downs. Neither is happening due to a perfect storm. The league may have studied the niners all offseason. But now the niners will adjust. and the tables will turn once again. bet on it.

  49. So sick of hearing “Seattle has never won anything” The Seahawks have won five division titles since 2002, which is tied for fourth in the NFL since the league realigned that season. Here’s a look at the leaders in division titles, as well as playoff berths during that span, where the Seahawks also are tied for fourth:
    Team Division Titles
    Patriots 9
    Colts 7
    Packers 6
    Seahawks 5
    Chargers 5
    Eagles 5
    Steelers 5

    Team Playoff Berths
    Colts 10
    Patriots 9
    Packers 8
    Ravens 7

  50. It’s been a disappointing two weeks, thats for damn sure. Two straight weeks the niners were outcoached, and outplayed. I expected a loss in Seattle, and expected to win against the Colts (not a 10.5 cover, but a win – no offense Colts). So after three weeks, this does not look good. Not sure why they strayed away from the running game as it was the only thing moving the chains. Granted Davis, Crabtree and Manningham aren’t there to help Kaep, but the run was effective. Hopefully they can compete on all fronts agaisnt the tough Rams who are not going to lay down. At 1-2, you are what your record says you are. No excuses – this team may have needed this wake-up call. So disappointed but thankfully there’s still a lot of football left. Champions aren’t crowned after 3 weeks, but this is definitely alarming.

  51. Kaep wants to play for a winning team. Maybe he had it right during the off season when he donned that Dolphin cap. Miami 3-0, S.F. 1-2

  52. This is why 9ers won’t get to the SB this season:

    1) Kapernoob failed and choked in the SB just last season, every opposing team is
    ready to knock off the 9ers who represented in the SB for the NFC.

    2) The running game isn’t as good with Kapernoob as it was with Alex Smith and
    Gore the work horse of the 9ers RB is past 30.

    3) Kapernoob’s offense march down the field much faster, unlike with Alex Smith,
    which weakens the 9er defense cause they have to be on the field longer and more often.

    4) This is Kaper”noob”‘s 1st full season though every opposing defense
    have game tape on him and the overused unsurprising QB option.

    5) The 49ers WR CROP still fails even though Harb and Baalke has had 3 Seasons to
    improve and fix it.

    6) Seattle has improved both on defense and offense roster wise, they are even harder to beat
    at home with the 12th man now and will have a very good record, which means they have a good chance of winning the division and gaining home field advantage through out play-offs.

    7) Aldon’s DUI doesn’t help anything, in fact it makes Harb look like a HC with no discipline and the team look bad.

    8) Harb’s constant whining and double talk about players and to the media is Bad
    Karma and it shows.

    9) Kapernoob’s over hyper over rated off season publicity, commercials, magazines
    got to his head, he showed his true maturity by sporting a dolphins hat and got defiant about it when confronted by fans. He needs to be knocked off of his high horse and realize he isn’t elite yet and he
    hasn’t earn that status, maturity or respect.

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