What's wrong with our team in the first half, particularly the defense? Towards the end of the season, especially after the New England game, our team for some reason could not play soundly in the first half. Take for example:
Week 16 @ Seattle: 28-6 at the half, Seattle winning.
Week 17 vs. Arizona: 7-6 at the half, 49ers winning against a horrible Cardinals team.
Week 19 vs. Green Bay: 24-21 at the half, 49ers winning (we actually played "decently" here)
Week 20 @ Atlanta: 24-14 at the half, Atlanta winning. We were down 17-0 at one point, and when we were coming back, we allowed the Falcons to get a late TD.
Super Bowl vs. Baltimore: 21-6 at the half, 28-6 after opening kick off return. Could've been 31-6 if not for a fake field goal.
The difference between the first half and the second half are two different teams. In the first half, we were outscored 100 to 57 in these games. In 3 of the 5 games, we only had 7 points or less to end the first half. Now, in the second half? We outscored our opponents 87 to 44. Much, much better. The defense came to play. Not to mention, some of those points were garbage time points, particularly that heave and pray TD pass by the Cardinals on 4th and long, and the TD by Rodgers with 50ish seconds left in the game. So, that's only 30 meaningful points in the second half our team allowed, take away 7 for the kickoff return TD by Baltimore and it's only 23 meaningful points in the second half our defense allowed.. That's outstanding, less than 5 points for the second half allowed by our defense.
But what's different in the first half? If we could play a solid two halves EVEN every other game, this team would be down right dominate. I expect a let down here and there, but a bad half every game? I think this has to be on the coaches more than anyone.
Another interesting tidbit, Jim Harbaugh's first 31 games (including playoffs), we only allowed more than 30 points once (against the Saints in that explosive 4th quarter playoff game). Only ONCE in THIRTY-ONE games. That is damn outstanding. But in the last 6 games (including playoffs)? Four times. FOUR times. What the bloody hell happened to this team at the end of the season?
This s**t better be addressed in the offseason. That and Goodell needs to fix this reffing issue. This year has been one of the worst years for officiating that I've seen in a long, long time.