Four straight wins! Colin Kaepernick running and throwing with authority! The defense (mostly) shutting out a superior (just kidding) opponent on the road! These are the 49ers we know and love. I, for one, absolutely love a game where the most nervous I get is after a 24-0 lead becomes a two-score one in the fourth quarter. Those are problems I can deal with.
Jokes about the close call aside, I had no problem coming up with something to grind my teeth over watching our Niners play this weekend: time management. My goodness.
Remember when one of those knocks on Alex Smith was that he couldn’t manage the clock to save his life? He would burn timeouts to avoid delay-of-game penalties weekly. Don’t even try to count the amount of penalties he did wrack up, lest you get lost in triple digits.
Well, now we know that wasn’t an Alex Smith problem. It’s a San Francisco 49ers problem. Because this weekend, again, the team wasted at least two timeouts on giggle-goose grab-assing around before snapping the ball.
I’m worried that Kaepernick actually doesn’t know how to tell time. Did he miss a class in elementary school? Was he raised by that Amazonian tribe with no abstract concept of time? And good luck checking in with the coach. Jim Harbaugh is way too busy practicing angry faces on the sideline to keep track of the clock himself. Calm down, Harbaugh. We're going to get through this together.
I'm worried about what the stress is doing to Harbuaugh's health—but also to his ability to correctly perceive events on the field. Our coach has developed a penchant for challenging plays that were obviously called correctly. He's so cute when he puts on his Rage Goggles. I'd be shocked if his booth isn't telling him the same thing after watching the definitive replays. It's a dirty little habit—that costs the 49ers even more timeouts. Of which they have three to start each half. Just three.
You know who never has time management problems? Peyton Manning. The quarterback formerly known as “unbeaten.” A title which now can only be applied to the fearless leader of the Kansas City Chiefs. His name is Alex Smith. He’s 7-0, and he does a hell of a job of time management. Damn that hurts to write.