Jim Harbaugh is seeing some serious problems emerging for his 49ers. That and a few other takeaways from the latest NFL action.
Lackluster preseason for San Francisco 49ers leaves questions on Harbaugh
Three points scored in two games and 57 points allowed. Hardly the ratio people have come to expect from the San Francisco 49ers after three-straight seasons of deep playoff runs. Injuries have played their part in the issues, but these problems go beyond that. San Francisco has always been hailed for their depth, which means something else is going on. One has to wonder if it has something to do with head coach Jim Harbaugh. After all, concerns have been hinted at dating back to last season that players were getting tired of his firebrand style to the point that they were tuning him out. Team representatives and Harbaugh himself insisted those were just pointless rumors. Two ugly performances into preseason, those “rumors” are starting to look oddly factual.
Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley leading surging linebacker class
A number of experts around the NFL believe that the linebacker position in its traditional sense is going the way of the dinosaur, particularly on at the inside position. Apparently somebody assumed too much. The 2014 draft class is making sure of that as a number of its inside and middle linebackers have made plays regularly throughout the preseason. Leading the way are 1st round picks Ryan Shazier and C.J. Mosley. Both led their teams in tackles in week two and have made impact plays from interceptions to sacks. They may not have the old school look, but they are helping send the message that the demise of the linebacker position is greatly exaggerated.
Peyton Manning dominance does not dismiss need for running game
It seems like it happens every year. NFL fans and experts swear that Peyton Manning is further proving that he and the Denver Broncos offense have no need for something as pointless as a reliable ground game. Through two games no Broncos front line runner has been able to top 30 yards rushing. Montee Ball still hasn’t played due to an appendectomy. Meanwhile Manning continues to dazzle. Denver doesn’t need a running game, right? Little do they remember that as a team the Broncos rushed for 17 yards in their humiliating Super Bowl defeat against Seattle. Their inability to slow the game down and get the Seahawks defense off balance was a big reason why. Until that changes, no amount of Manning regular season wizardry will change it.