Its all in the eye of the beholder and can be interpreted in different ways. But, If you go back to last season's Rams game debacle and how Singletary's bouncing back in fourth of QB's was handled, which led to his firing with 1 game left, sparked a change.
As a fan I can see that this meant enough with the Bull s**t . I remember the NFL and fans talking so much s**t about Singletary's firing with 1 game left, but that right there was a statement saying I'm done with the bull s**t and I need to start looking for a Head coach right now, not next week or the week after , but right muthaf**king now.
To me, that's what changed the atmosphere and If I were a player on the team, I would've taken that move with a sense that something good was gonna happen.
Whether or not the 49ers make it to round 2 of the Playoffs or get to the Divisional round or get a bye doesn't matter. What matters is that SF is relevant again. And each game, Opponents will dread going into a game with this team.