Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports


17 quick, aggravating observations from the 49ers loss in Denver

Marc Adams
Sep 26, 2022 at 8:16 AM--


Well, that was about as aggravating as a loss can get. The San Francisco 49ers defense was dominant. The offense was offensive. Disgusting. Predictable. I could go on, but I'm guessing you already have a plethora of words to describe last night's offensive performance for yourself. So I won't add any more.

At halftime, this game seemed strikingly familiar. Dominating a team on the road, but barely having any points to show for it. And just like that stormy game in Chicago, the 49ers sank in the second half, giving up the lead, and then failing to take the lead back.

One difference was the quarterback. This one was more aggravating because you expect Trey Lance to struggle. We all knew he'd have some bad moments. But Jimmy Garoppolo should be better by now. And yes, I realize he had no offseason, no training camp, and no preseason. But he's been in this system for five years. He looked very rusty and more inaccurate than normal. That's to be expected, considering he's only recently started practicing and playing. But that doesn't excuse the safety—and pick six that didn't count—on the same play.

Here are my 17 observations from the 49ers' loss in Denver. That's seven more observations than points scored by Kyle Shanahan's offense, by the way.

  • The 49ers still have problems with pass rushers in the middle of the offensive line. There is still too much pressure up the gut, and too many batted balls at the line of scrimmage.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo gets rid of the ball so quickly. Great start for the 49ers. I loved the call on Brandon Aiyuk's touchdown catch. (This was one of the few offensive highlights)
  • The defense got off to a hot start, with three straight 3-and-outs.
  • Drake Jackson got his first NFL sack. He looks like he may become a regular at sacking QBs.




  • The right side of the offensive line, Spencer Burford and Mike McGlinchey, were terrible in the first half. They weren't much better in the second half.
  • Jake Brendel has botched a snap every single game so far. Burford and Aaron Banks haven't been much worse than who they're replacing so far, but Brendel has been.
  • Kevin Givens is very underrated.


  • I no longer have any confidence in Kyle Shanahan's offense. They can't pass. They can't run. It's stunning that the weakest part of the 49ers, during his tenure, has been his offense.
  • The 49ers' defense is the best in the NFL. They forced eight 3-and-outs against the Broncos. If only the offense could help them out.
  • Charvarius Ward was such a great addition.
  • Kyle Juszczyk looked like a Hall of Fame wide receiver on the sideline catch.


  • If this game had been at Levi's, we might be hearing, "We want Brock" chants.
  • Garoppolo and the 49ers' offensive line were terrible in this game, and they were worse when Trent Williams went down. George Kittle was never a factor. Penalties and turnovers were a problem.
  • Losing the turnover battle 3-0 almost always means losing the game. Add in the safety, and it's essentially a four-turnover game.
  • Jeff Wilson, Jr. had 6.3 yards per carry. Jordan Mason gained seven yards on his one carry. But the 49ers still threw the ball 10 more times than they ran it. The run game wasn't overly effective, but they may have given up on it too soon. They ran the ball only once in the 4th quarter, compared to 12 passes. The final two drives were with little time remaining, so they had to pass. But that still left one run—compared to five passes—before losing the lead.
  • The 49ers still can't beat Russell Wilson.

Next up: the Rams. That should be fun.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.



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