The Seattle Seahawks exploded the San Francisco 49ers' football program. Set back the franchise for who knows how long.
If you are a 49ers' fan, if you think my statements are strong, harsh, you are ignoring reality. You are indulging yourself. Funny how one damp gray afternoon in the Pacific Northwest can inflict major harm.
The people who run the 49ers from Jed York on down must ask themselves who they are. Must ask where they are. Nothing less. We are talking deep existential questioning.
Start with this. The 49ers team that just exited the playoffs is loaded. It could be the most talented squad in the NFL, but it's not getting any better. Understand that. Jim Harbaugh could not win with this team. So, is he going to do better next season when Frank Gore (14 yards rushing Sunday) is 31, when Justin Smith is 35, when NaVorro Bowman (horrible knee injury) may no longer be NaVorro Bowman, when Mike Iupati is recovering from a busted leg or maybe isn't even a 49er anymore? When Anquan Boldin may leave as a free agent?
You tell me. This was the Niners' shot — this season, last Sunday. For this group, the shot may be gone forever.
You want more?
What happened in Seattle must make York and general manager Trent Baalke question the coaches. It should. And that means question Jim Harbaugh. At the end of the game with everything still possible, the coaches blew it. The loss was on the coaches. Sure, Colin Kaepernick threw that miserable interception. No need to go over that again.
But Harbaugh and his overrated offensive coordinator Greg Roman (17 points against Seattle) made a mess of the clock like they always do when coaches need calm and forethought and presence, need that special coaching demeanor. These guys just freaked. You could see them freak.
The Niners had first down at the Seahawks' 18 with 30 seconds left in the game. Why they let the clock wind down to 30 seconds is still anyone's guess. But they still had two timeouts. Those they had. Pure gold.