Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

15 soggy observations from the 49ers’ loss in Chicago

Marc Adams
Sep 12, 2022 at 8:16 AM--

Stop me if you've heard this before.

The San Francisco 49ers gave up a 10-point, 2nd-half lead to a team they were dominating most of the game. The effective running game disappeared. The creative playcalling dried up. The defense, which had been playing very well, made a couple of big mistakes and was unable to carry an inept offense any longer. And the lead went away.

After giving up the lead, the team's QB threw a backbreaking interception. Sound familiar? It sounds all too familiar, and it's frustrating. And when you lose to a team you should have beaten convincingly, it's even more frustrating.

In this loss, there is plenty of blame to go around. From the coaches to the players. Not the fans. The fans did their part. When the 49ers were playing well, the 49ers fans were loud. They deserve a lot of credit for traveling so well, making noise, and enduring the rain better than their team did.

Here's what jumped out to me during this pitiful loss:

  • Talanoa Hufanga is going to make a lot of plays in this defense. He was everywhere! He finished with 11 tackles—two of them for loss. I'm not sure if he was part of the two broken coverages that allowed the Bears back in the game or not, but if he was, that needs to be corrected. I had some fans telling me that the linebackers blew the coverage the first time. But I don't know why linebackers would be covering a wide receiver.
  • Speaking of this defense, they're going to sack a lot of quarterbacks this season. Unfortunately, they didn't get any in the second half. And they seem to have a lot of trouble with mobile quarterbacks.
  • Kyle Shanahan ran Deebo Samuel more than I thought he would. That says a lot about his lack of confidence in the running backs behind Elijah Mitchell.
  • Turnovers inside the red zone—ugh! Back-breakers.
  • It was interesting that Jordan Mason was active for the game and Ty Davis-Price wasn't. After the game, Shanahan said it was a special teams decision.
  • Trey Lance looks better throwing the ball downfield than he does throwing the shorter, Jimmy Garoppolo-type throws. I hope he gets better at those. It's a huge part of the 49ers' offense.
  • Mitchell looked good before going out with a knee injury. The 49ers need him to be healthy this season because the run game was terrible after he left the game. Jeff Wilson, Jr. did not look good. I would have preferred to have seen Mason. The 49ers have a problem here. If Mitchell misses significant time, that's going to put a bigger load on Samuel. Shanahan doesn't seem to trust the other running backs. One of them has to step up if given the opportunity.
  • Dre Greenlaw and Azeez Al-Shire made too many mistakes in this game. Those penalties kept the Bears' offense on the field.
  • Two broken coverages in the second half allowed the Bears to get on the board and eventually take the lead. The first one completely changed the game. Anyone who says momentum is not a real thing in sports needs only to watch Sunday's game.
  • Whenever Justin Fields was being chased out of the pocket, he looked faster than everyone. Lance did not. Is Lance a legit mobile quarterback? I'm not sure yet. He doesn't look any faster than the defensive players out there. He's not near as fast as Colin Kaepernick. I can't see him running as effectively as Steve Young did. I'm not sure he's even as mobile as Jeff Garcia was. I know Lance rushed for 54 yards in this game, but it just seemed like he didn't look as fast as Fields did. And Lance was playing against a slower defense.
  • That said, you can see Lance's ability for sure. He had some great throws on Sunday. But he needs to get rid of the ball more quickly. I'm sure that will come in time.
  • The offensive pass interference call on Brandon Aiyuk was horrible. Even the guys calling the game said as much. And the personal foul called on Greenlaw, when Fields was sliding out of bounds, was worse. Greenlaw didn't even touch him. But I'm sure there were bad calls that went both ways. I'm not one to blame the officials, but those two calls jumped out to me as atrocious. The one on Aiyuk erased a big gain when the 49ers needed to score.
  • The San Francisco offense was bad the entire game, especially once Mitchell went out. A young QB needs a running game, and Lance didn't have one. The first drive was good, but it ended in a turnover inside the red zone. After that, they were mostly bad.
  • The 49ers committed 12 penalties for 99 yards. It's hard to win when you do that and lose the turnover battle. Especially when the penalties come at the worst times.

  • Finally, any team that allows Dante Pettis to score deserves to lose.

All we can do at this point is complain about this one today and then move on tomorrow. Hopefully, the 49ers were embarrassed enough to come out angry against the Seahawks next week. Then again, they haven't exactly had much luck against Seattle over the last decade. Lose this next one, and the rumblings you hear now will become deafening.
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