The response to the San Francisco 49ers 16-6 loss at the hands of the Baltimore Ravens has been many things, but more than anything, they've been reactionary. Overreaction has dominated the team's first loss in eight games and second loss in 11 times out this season, but it's easy to understand the feeling. It's even more frustrating when the team suffered injuries and were called for quite a few penalties.
Needless to say, some of the responses have really been all over the place. There are people after Alex Smith, fans looking for Chilo Rachal to rough him up a little bit (if the Ravens did it, why can't they?), folks upset with Jim Harbaugh and people freaking out about being anything less than the Packers.
This is par the course - keep it steady and remember the circumstance. Couple days rest, traveling 3,000 miles and playing a team who is presently undefeated at home. More than that, the Ravens were simply the better team on Thursday. Will they be a better team if they were to meet, say, in the Super Bowl? That's really up for debate - I certainly wouldn't pick the Ravens to win 16-6 ten times in a row even in last night's situation.
There was one response, though, that I found to be particularly odd. It seems like a situation in which the person was just waiting for a loss to pull out. Now, I've got nothing against him and think he's been a solid writer in his coverage over the years, but Kevin Lynch of the SF Chronicle said something really, really odd on KNBR Thursday night.
Lynch said "They're (49ers) playing better than their talent," and went on to say that they have been playing so well because of the coaching from Harbaugh. That last part is partly true - the 49ers have been brought together and have been able to execute with Harbaugh coaching as opposed to guys like Mike Singletary and Mike Nolan, but to claim that the 49ers are playing better than their talent is somewhat absurd. Really, it's a bit more than absurd, it's downright silly, something I almost never say in regards to another beat writer's comments.
Over the past few seasons, the 49ers have been regarded as one of the more talented teams in the league who continues to underwhelm and play poorly. A huge part of that was, of course, the coaching, but being coached up doesn't suddenly mean that the team is now overachieving.
Suffice to say I'm in disagreement with Lynch, this team is right where it should be based on the talent on the roster, and that the 49ers got beat last night by a good team in a bad situation. Nothing more, nothing less.