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Is San Francisco Down and Out for the Count?

Everyone involved with the NFL from fans to coaches and management is asking the same question. What is wrong with San Francisco?

The 49ers were defeated by the Indianapolis Colts handily on Sunday and gave head coach Jim Harbaugh his first two game losing streak since becoming a professional coach.

What makes this two-game streak even more worrisome if you are a 49ers fan, player, coach or owner is how badly they are getting beat.

The 49ers were taken apart by the Seattle Seahawks 29-3 and then Indianapolis embarrassed San Francisco 27-7. San Francisco has been outscored by a combined 46 points over the past two games that against a team that once had the toughest defense in football.

One of the biggest reasons the 49ers are 1-2 is the availability of players. San Francisco has had to play without its top receiver Michael Crabtree, who could miss the whole season. In Sunday’s game, Vernon Davis the starting tight end did not play.

On defense, their top linebacker Patrick Willis injured his groin on Sunday and did not return and it looks as though he will miss out against the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.

Usually San Francisco only uses 12 players on defense per game, so if you lose a player like Ian Williams, the nose tackle, it makes for a big problem to fill.

Add to that the off the field problems Aldon Smith the pass rushing linebacker has had that has caused him to be placed on the non-football injury list and you can see why things are not right down by the Bay. Sources say Smith entered rehab and will be out an undetermined amount of time.

The depth of the roster at this point is getting a real test as they 49ers have had great talent the past couple of years, but even the best teams cannot withstand losing two, three or even four of their most talented players.

The 49ers now sit at No. 30 in scoring, with much of the blame on a lack of a viable running game. Frank Gore had very few yards in games 1 and 2, and in game 3, he did not even see the ball after halftime.

Opposing defenses have learned how to contain quarterback Colin Kaepernick and his running game has not been what it was in the second half of last season.

Anquan Boldin was a great acquisition for the 49ers at wide receiver but without Crabtree, the 49ers have just Boldin as a sure handed receiver.

The defense is not what it used to be either. San Francisco has allowed more rushing yards over two straight games than any other 49ers team since 2004, when the team finished 2-14.

Williams at nose guard is a key to this as he is nearly impossible to replace. The defense has allowed opponents 14 trips to the red zone and given up 10 touchdowns, that is unheard of since Harbaugh arrived.

Thursday will be a big test for the 49ers to see if they rebound or continue their freefall.

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