A quarter of the way through the 2010 season the San Francisco 49ers are still in search of their first win. But that doesn't mean they haven't come close.
After a bad performance in Seattle, the 49ers lost to the defending Super Bowl champion Saints by three points on a game-winning field goal. Last week, San Francisco cornerback Nate Clements picked off Matt Ryan which should have secured a victory over Atlanta, but Clements fumbled the ball before he could get down. Small mistakes have led to some crushing defeats for the 49ers. But make no mistake about it; the players in the Bay City have far from packed it in.
"Our mood right now is great," said 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis. "Obviously, we would love to be 4-0, or 2-2, or anything other than 0-4, but that's the card we've been dealt the first quarter of the season. The good thing about it is that we still have time to put things together."
And time they certainly have. The NFC West has a three-way tie for first atop the division, with the Cardinals, Rams and Seahawks all at 2-2. Even without the luxury of a win, the 49ers are only two games out of first place. Head coach Mike Singletary said if his team just plays their game, it's only a matter of time before the wins start to come.
"We're going to go into the game and try to do what we do," Singletary said. "I think the thing for us is that we strive on bring a team that is going to come out and play hard, play for 60 minutes, and really just strive to be consistent."
But even the head coach can admit that his team has suffered some tough losses through four games this season. It's just the kind of start that coaches fear, as four straight losses to open the season can kill a team's drive going forward. But Singletary sees it differently. He thinks that if the team can get the slightest taste of success, their poor start will help them in the long run.
"Well we've had a couple of (tough losses) very early here," Singletary said. "I think it's only going to make us stronger. I think the guys have responded very well. I think they have the ability to deal with it right after the game and then get back to the things we have in front of us."
What's in front of them now is a Sunday night match with the Eagles, a team that's hungry to move past a disappointing loss of their own. And while the head coach won't strap on any pads, or break any tackles, Andy Reid is 15-6 against the NFC West and 5-2 against San Francisco. His results speak for themselves.
As for Singletary, his message is simple.
"I want our guys to stay loose," he said. "The most important thing is that we stay together, we continue to work hard, we continue to focus on the fundamentals, and the wins will come."
-- Posted by Josh Goldman, 4:30 p.m., October 6