KPIX 5 Sports Anchor Dennis O’Donnell offers his unique commentary on the Bay Area sports scene:
Is a loss a loss, regardless of how it transpires? Judging from yesterday’s outcomes for both the Raiders and 49ers, I think a loss can have completely opposite effects on a football team.
The Raiders game in Chicago featured six lead changes before Robbie Gould’s 49-yarder handed Oakland a heartbreaking loss, dropping their record to 2-2. In the locker room after the game, you didn’t sense frustration, despair, or football Armageddon. What you heard was a disappointed team, but one very much in sync. They knew why they lost and knew how to fix it. There was cohesion and chemistry in their words. You believed the Raiders would recover and, perhaps, become a stronger team as a result.
In Santa Clara, the opposite was true. The 49ers continued to unravel. A reality show gone bad. Frustration evident at every turn. Stands half empty. The heat? The team?
Clay Matthews told Colin Kaepernick “You ain’t no Russell Wilson, bro.”
On Fox, when asked about Kaepernick, analyst Jimmy Johnson quipped, “I’d get another quarterback.”
49er fans booed, players yelled on the sidelines. Jim Tomsula said, “It’s all on me,” when we all know it really isn’t. In the locker room, players spoke but nothing resonated. Words without meaning. No solution, no easy fix.
It’s a shame because the 49ers defense came up big. They held mighty Aaron Rodgers and the Packer offense to 17 points. You hold the Packers to 17 points and you can win that football game. Except they didn’t because the offense can’t move the football.
Fox analyst Troy Aikman said during the game that Colin Kaepernick shoulders some of the blame for the six sacks because he doesn’t trust his offensive line to do the job. C’mon Troy, would you? I remember years ago when Bill Walsh benched Joe Montana because “Joe needed a rest.” He was back on the field the next week and was better than ever. I think Colin Kaepernick needs a rest, nothing more. No quarterback controversy, no Blaine Gabbert commentary, just a rest for a battered, mentally and physically shaken quarterback.
The Raiders will host Denver at the Coliseum next week. It’s an old, eyesore of a stadium, a stark reminder of a remodel-gone-bad. But RaiderNation won’t complain about the heat and seek shelter well into the third quarter. The place will be on high decibel alert with fans screaming in hopes of a stunning upset over undefeated Denver.
The 49ers will face a week of doubt, scrutiny, and uncertainty followed by a cross-country trip to New York where they will face a resurgent Giants team and Eli Manning. They will get ripped on twitter, the radio, and the websites.
Two teams, two losses. How strange sports can be.
See you on TV.