In what has been a season of high expectations, the 49ers CEO Jed York raised the temperature on the hot seat even more. The Seattle Seahawks humiliated the 49ers in a lopsided 19-3 loss in Levi’s Stadium on Thanksgiving.
This was a game dominated in all phases and only the defense kept the score closer than it really should have been. York tweeted with the following statement apologizing for the loss:
“Thank you #49ersfaithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”
Logic says, it could mean that changes will be coming. With the 49ers offense been on the downside, there are still more questions than answers that lie ahead.
The 49ers fell to 7-5 and are now 1-3 against the NFC West division. The 49ers have won 43 regular season games under Jim Harbaugh in his 3.75 seasons with the team, which is the second most since 2011. However, there is an underlying feeling that their current 7-5 record has signs of a downfall.
Another all-time low is how this is the first season the 49ers have lost to all three division rivals in the same year since 2003. They always would sweep at least one rival, which included the 2004 49ers who went 2-14, but swept the Arizona Cardinals.
Prior to this season, Harbaugh did not lose three home games nor five games in a single season. He reached both distinctions tonight with their third home loss and fifth of the 2014 season.
The last time the 49ers took drastic action in the middle of the season, was when Jimmy Raye was relieved of his duties in 2010 for Mike Johnson at offensive coordinator. This season was the beginning of the end for Mike Singletary.
This was only the first of two games the 49ers will see the Seattle Seahawks with the return game in two weeks. A loss in Seattle could end the team’s season with an uphill battle in a tough NFC conference.
While there has been speculation and reports that the 49ers locker room has been in disarray, the team will not fire Jim Harbaugh on the spot. However, it’s possible that offensive coordinator Greg Roman could be dismissed after a disaster on Thanksgiving against one of the biggest division rivals.
The offense looked out of sync against Seattle and it could have been a shutout if it weren’t for some penalties on the Seahawks’ defense. Roman is responsible for a good share of the offense, but he would be the instant scapegoat when Jim Harbaugh himself is the head coach and in charge of the team.
Harbaugh is in the fourth year of his initial five-year contract with the 49ers. After accomplishing several wins, three NFC Championship appearances and one Super Bowl, it only appears that winning a Lombardi Trophy would be the remedy to this trouble he’s in.
With York tweeting a public apology to the fans, there could be drastic changes if failure comes this season. Harbaugh faces his greatest challenge yet with his back against the wall in these next four games. He is officially on the clock and the question remains: How does he respond to the pressure? It’s heating up fast.