The only difference between Thanksgiving and Thursday night for the 49ers was the absence of an apology from owner Jed York.
He should apologize – for blowing up a once-proud franchise.
What owner, in his right mind, pushes out a proven winning coaching staff on a personal whim? In the NFL, personality contests don’t matter. Winning matters. York scuttled Jim Harbaugh and Co. and has reaped what’s he sown – a team only a year and a half removed from a Super Bowl run, now 2-5 and strewn like sand in a desert storm.
John York, Jed’s father, and general manager Trent Baalke were seen in the vicinity of the 49ers’ locker room after their 20-3 loss to Seattle on Thursday. There was no sign of Jed. No apology issued this time. Only a vacuum.
Jed has his team. His sieve for an offensive line. His coach in Jim Tomsula. A wounded quarterback in Colin Kaepernick (more on that later). Super Bowl 50 will be Jed’s party at Levi’s Stadium in January. Maybe his staff will serve lunch.
Remember when Jed went out of his way to undermine Harbaugh on Thanksgiving, tweeting the 49ers’ 19-3 loss was “unacceptable”? Well, Thursday night’s game presented a replay almost to the number. But York wouldn’t knock Tomsula because the owner handpicked him. York let his chosen coach speak.
“It was not acceptable,” the coach said.
The 49ers gained 164 yards against Seattle last November and lost 19-3.They gained 142 yards this time and lost 20-3. The Olsen twins aren’t more identical.
Jed’s creation, the one Harbaugh guided to within a few yards of a Super Bowl win only three years ago, had more punts (nine) than first downs (eight). In the game’s first series, Quinton Patton took a wrong cut, followed by a drop by Reggie Bush. The three-and-out preceded Seattle’s first touchdown. The NFL could have saved us some time had it announced “game over” on the spot.
It’s official: Seattle owns the 49ers. The Seahawks, regressed offensive line and all, all but raid the 49ers’ locker room and pilfer the valuables. They’ve won six of the last seven, and there are legitimate reasons. Richard Sherman, who looked beatable in recent games, shadowed Torrey Smith and held him without a catch. Sherman didn’t even have to munch on turkey at midfield to make his point.
Seattle, even at 3-4, is better than the 49ers at all but four positions. Take away the 49ers’ Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Anquan Boldin and NaVorro Bowman, and it would be a Seahawk sweep. The 49ers were outclassed even without committing a turnover.
Kaepernick wore a painful souvenir, a heavy wrap on his right thumb, during his postgame meeting with the media. “Just some swelling,” he said.
Fact is, the quarterback from Pitman High was lucky he wasn’t carted off on a stretcher. He was sacked six times, as the Seahawks batted him right and left like a piñata.
Kaepernick personifies the 49ers’ matchup issues with Seattle. In his seven games as a starter against his nemesis, his team has won only once while he’s been sacked 27 times. In the last three games versus the Seahawks, the 49ers have totaled only 13 points.
Twice, Kaepernick was sacked on back-to-back plays. That happens in the NFL only to teams that are inferior before they tee it up. Kaepernick had to be superhuman just to keep the 49ers competitive. Instead, he sailed passes out-of-bounds and projected the same confusion/uncertainty he’s shown most of the time against Seattle.
Much was made about the Seahawks losing four fourth-quarter leads, but their personnel still towers over the 49ers. By the way, the winners of those four games are a combined 19-3. The Seahawks are still the same team that came within a brain-locked coaching decision of repeating as Super Bowl champs last February.
“They have great players over there,” Kaepernick said. “They are talented and we didn’t match their intensity today.”
Tomsula, the former position coach, says he’ll stick with his quarterback. But keep an eye on Kaepernick’s thumb. Only an injury will interfere with the 49ers’ commitment to Kaepernick. That said, it’s anyone’s guess about the QB’s status after this season, especially if the 49ers stay on this ominous track.
As beatings go, this wasn’t as calamitous as the mess in Arizona. The consequences, however, sink all 49er hearts. That’s two lopsided losses to rivals within the NFC West. And more misery at the hands of the Legion of Boom.
But on another level, Jed York must take ownership. The boos at Levi’s Stadium came from his jury, the fans. He choreographed the 49ers’ demise, and his silence is deafening.