Around the NFC West: Reading Harbaugh


Jim Harbaugh's day-after game news conference Monday left plenty of room for interpretation.

The San Francisco 49ers' coach, responding to questions about his makeup, at one point used the phrase "moody and complicated" to describe himself. Pretty funny.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News draws on years of covering Harbaugh, first at Stanford and now with the 49ers, in getting a read on the coach: "Everything he does -- and many times it’s all instinctive -- is to put himself and his team in the best position to beat the other guys, by as much as possible, as often as possible. Then he wants to repeat it to infinity, then go for two after he gets to infinity. Then get a raise for doing all of that. It’s not always nice. It doesn’t make him popular. It can make him look arrogant, and be arrogant. It gets bumpy along the way. But I respect the clarity of purpose, the singular cunning, and the disdain for pretty-ing up the process for public consumption."

Victor Contreras of the Sacramento Bee runs through memorable 49ers comebacks, including a 1989 Joe Montana classic against the Eagles: "With Philadelphia ahead 21-10 to start the fourth quarter, Montana bounced back from eight sacks and numerous knockdowns to throw for four touchdowns -- three in the final six minutes -- to give the 49ers a 38-28 victory."

Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle says former Seahawks coach Jim Mora criticized Harbaugh's decision-making late in the first half against Philadelphia.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee runs through five key plays from the 49ers' victory over the Eagles.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' struggles have produced lower TV ratings. Caesar: "The Nielsen Co. reports that 18.9 percent of homes in the St. Louis market tuned in to KTVI (Channel 2) Sunday for the Rams’ 17-10 loss to Washington, marking the second week in a row their game rated lower than any of their contests last season. The week before, the rating was 18.0 for a blowout loss to Baltimore, in which they trailed 27-0 at halftime. The worst rating in 2010 was 19.8, for a 38-point loss at Detroit. Through four games, the Rams are being seen in an average of 20.8 percent of area homes, down 17 percent from the 25.1 rating at the same point last season." Noted: St. Louis is a baseball town first and the Rams are doing their part to make sure it stays that way.

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com wants to see more public fire from Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic reviews the sacks Kevin Kolb took against the New York Giants and offers some conclusions. Somers: "Levi Brown gave up a sack to one of the game's best defensive ends. That's going to happen. Brandon Keith gives up a sack because he crumpled to the ground. He left the game after that and Jeremy Bridges played the rest of the way. Keith is wearing a brace on his right knee, but wasn't on the injury report last week. Bridges appeared to hold up well the rest of the game. The other two sacks are on Kolb, and he would admit that. He needs to do a better job of moving around in the pocket, no question. He has mobility, but learning how to use it is a skill he hasn't mastered. To be fair, there were other plays on Sunday in which his mobility saved the Cardinals. He moved around, rolled out of the pocket and threw the ball away."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times offers thoughts on what he learned about the Seahawks during their 30-28 defeat to the Atlanta Falcons. O'Neil: "While Seattle didn't complete its comeback from a 20-point deficit, the fact the Seahawks came as close as they did counts as progress. Over the previous two seasons, Seattle faced 14 halftime deficits of 10 or more points. The Seahawks lost 13 of those games by double digits. In the previous two seasons, Seattle won just once after trailing by double digits at halftime, and that was last year's comeback against Carolina. The Panthers led 14-3 at halftime, but Seattle came back and won 31-14."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team will miss linebacker Matt McCoy, who suffered a knee sprain that will sideline him indefinitely. Coach Pete Carroll: "Matt has carved out a really nice role here. He’s jumped into the nickel group … so that, in addition to all the special teams work that he’s done, was really helping us because it was allowing other guys to rest and share the special teams duty." Noted: The agent for former Rams linebacker David Vobora tweeted that the Seahawks plan to re-sign Vobora, who was with Seattle briefly earlier in the season.