2017 49ers' Tough First Four Games

(originally written by D-Rock 10/7/17)

I wanted to take a "broad strokes" approach to the 49ers this season and talk about them at a more macro level.  I think a good way to do this is to split the season into four quarters and kinda chronicle their journey through those four milestones.  Who am I kidding?  I'm just doing it this way because I'm too busy and too lazy to write about them after every single game.  In any case, let's take a look at the 49ers in Quarter 1...

 

The 49ers haven't been fun to watch for the past three years, and this year looks to be more of the same.  But there is a distinct twinkle to this year's squad that the recent iterations didn't seem to have.  So what gives this squad that twinkle?  A synergetic HC-GM tandem that brings a new philosophy and a refreshed outlook is the driving force behind it.  New-ness abounds....it's like the twinkle off of that new bicycle that you laid eyes on that one Christmas morning.

 

With more than 60% of the current roster consisting of new faces, in addition to the revamped coaching staff, it very much IS like a new gift.  When you hop on your brand new bike for the first time, the seat's a little stiff and the brakes are a bit too responsive.  It takes a while for that bike to be broken in.  And so too does a new NFL team.  49ers fans will have to be patient as their team trudges through the season.  At least the team is giving us hope.  Although they are sporting a record of 0-4, the 49ers have been able to put up a good fight in all of their games (and I just jinxed them, didn't I?).  Let's recap these games:

 

Carolina @ SF

 

The 49ers defense overall put in a good effort.  The 20-point differential was largely due to a very poor tackle by Jaquiski Tartt on a deep pass play, along with a back-breaking interception thrown by Hoyer deep in 49ers territory.  The defense was able to keep Greg Olsen quiet and didn't let Scam run all over the place.  The 49ers offense was non-existent.  There were a number of boneheaded penalties by the offense that killed any kind of rhythm that the team was trying to build.  The offensive line couldn't hold up against Carolina's tough D-line.  It was pretty clear at the end that the 49ers are far from the well-oiled-machine that Pittsburgh and New England fans are accustomed to seeing.  Let's hope that the 49ers don't take too long to work out those kinks.

 

SF @ Seattle

 

I can't stand to see Russell Wilson win games.  Is it just me or does Russell Wilson have a very punchable face?  The 49ers conducted themselves pretty well in Century Link overall which was a pleasant surprise.  The 49ers offense consisted of just Carlos Hyde by himself, pretty much.  Besides that, the offense couldn't get anything really going.  With the Seattle offensive line being touted as bare-bones or sub-par, I was wiping slobber from my lips in anticipation of Wilson's murder by the hands of Deforest Buckner or Arik Armstead (did I mention my hatred of this guy yet?)  I was extremely disappointed in the 49ers inability to get constant penetration from their defensive lineman, and it has continued to be a concern of mine.  Seattle eked out a win with a score of 12-9.

 

LAR @ SF

 

This game was a blur to me.  I'm having trouble remembering how this game played out.  It could be due to the fact that I was seething afterwards because of the incompetent officials and their constant ruining of games.  Having said that, this proved to be a barn-burner of a game.  
<sarcastic mode engaged>The 49ers offense was able to actually get in the end zone!<sarcastic mode disengaged>  This game showed a little bit of what the 49ers offense can become.  It's almost funny that, with the offense coming on, the defense decided to lay an egg.  There was really bad tackling by the 49ers defense in this game.  Poor tackling is THE thing I hate to see the most (when it is done by my team, of course).  And while the 49ers offense this night allowed us to see their potential, the 49ers defense showed us the potentially bad play that they can have if they continue to make mistakes. I don't want to get into a whole diatribe here but I just want to quickly note that the poor officiating and the Thursday Night Game (which force teams to play a game on short rest) are two major factors that will lead to the demise of the NFL if they don't wake the f*&$ up and fix it. 

 

SF @ Arizona

 

The 49ers were back to their offensive woes in this game.  Both teams combined for 27 points from field goals.  I guess you can say this was a barn-burner as well....  This game was very similar to the Seattle game.  Arizona's offensive line was patchwork due to the injuries of starters Mike Iupati and Alex Boone (why do those names sound familiar?), yet the 49ers defensive line wasn't as dominant as one would expect.  This game also showed the weakness in the 49ers cornerbacks, who were often seen 8 yards away at point of reception.  Both Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson showed poor technique...almost as if they've discovered what a "cornerback" is just a few weeks ago.  I don't know if it was Arizona QB Carson Palmer's wiles (heh), or if it was coach Bruce Arians' scheme/design, or if Robinson and Johnson are just that poor, but it was disconcerting to see that kind of play take place.  Have they been exposed as frauds?  Because other teams are going to see that on film and may try to have their way with them like Palmer and Arians did.

 

 

At this point, as a fan of the team, you shouldn't concern yourself with wins and losses.  The important thing is to keep in mind the big picture.  The 49ers will not be going to the Super Bowl this year (unless Shannalynch want to take a class field trip to Minnesota).  Although a win can do wonders for morale, (and I think they will be able to get some wins this season) the important thing is to continue to compete and stay in games.  As long as the team continues to grow and learn from their mistakes, they will turn out to be a formidable force in the near future.  Let's see if they can keep this up.