There are plenty of overreactions after a 49ers victory. Those overreactions reach an extreme level when the team loses. The takes range from benching, you know who, to calling for the head of DeMeco Ryans. There’s never any in-between.
With that in mind, let’s discuss the overreactions after the Niners’ loss to the Packers.
Where’s the running game
This isn’t an overreaction, as the 49ers running game has been brutal to start the season, and that continued Sunday night. San Francisco ran for 67 yards on 21 carries. Trey Sermon had ten carries for 31 yards, and 16 of those came on one carry. There weren’t any other carries that went for double-digits.
The 49ers used their first three picks to enhance their offense, specifically, their running game, and they’ve gotten next to nothing out of those players — albeit for different reasons.
You have to give credit to the Packers, though. They used their edge rushers in Wide-9 techniques — sometimes head-up against the Niners receivers when they were in condensed splits — and dared the offense to run the ball inside. So what was the play on Sermon’s longest carry? You guessed it, an inside run.
Those plays were few and far between, and the 49ers didn’t have enough answers for what the Packers threw at them.
The more I watch the running game, the more it’s evident that Raheem Mostert isn’t a replaceable running back. During the past two weeks, some plays went for minimal gains that Mostert would turn into explosive plays. So there’s a Mostert problem on offense, and Shanahan has to figure the running game out.
Bench Jimmy Garoppolo!
You’re not a “hater” if you want better play from a $25 million quarterback. But, unfortunately, he’s making the same mistakes, missing throws, making incorrect reads, and turning the ball over. Missed throws and wrong reads aren’t an issue, but the first and the last points can’t happen.
After re-watching the game, Garoppolo didn’t play as poorly as you’d think. But, to me, Kyle Shanahan was out-coached, and the receivers did a woeful job of creating consistent separation.
Jimmy G was standing in the pocket and holding the ball because nobody was getting open down the field. Switching quarterbacks isn’t going to change that, assuming the play-calling doesn’t change.
While the 49ers’ offense has been efficient, it’s a 12-round boxing match to gain ten yards and reach midfield. If we get to a point where Trey Lance plays, it’s because Kyle Shanahan believes Lance will open up the offense.
Until then, everyone must improve, including the quarterback, but placing all of the blame on Garoppolo for Sunday’s loss isn’t fair nor accurate.
Get rid of Ryans!
Through three weeks, the 49ers defense is ranked 19th in EPA per play, 22nd in success rate, 19th in DVOA, all while giving up the fifth-most explosive running plays in the league.
Against Aaron Rodgers, the 49ers had a rookie fifth-round cornerback and Dontae Johnson on the field. That’s not a coaching problem. Rodgers did a great job of getting the ball out of his hands quickly, and you saw his accuracy on a handful of throws that make your jaw drop.
On the final drive, Fred Warner is a centimeter away from tipping that deep crossing route. Earlier in the game, there was no coverage for the completion down to the middle of the field on Warner. He was in a perfect position.
Good offense beats good defense, and the Packers made more plays while the 49ers pass-rush was ineffective thanks to Rodgers getting rid of the ball on average in 2.38 seconds.
The process feels right, so I’m not going to get down on the 49ers’ defense. The way the Packers were going to win was with Rodgers going “god mode.” That happened. It’s Week 3. It’s not the end of the world.