Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Sherman concerned about 49ers as his former squad faces must-win game

Sep 28, 2022 at 10:09 AM--

Richard Sherman has been high on his former squad, the San Francisco 49ers. Earlier this month, he predicted a Super Bowl win for Kyle Shanahan's team. Then, two weeks later, after an 0-1 start, Sherman doubled down on that prediction.

Is his faith in the 49ers' chances this season starting to waver?

San Francisco is now 1-2 after an 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. They say defense win championships, and the 49ers have one of the best in the league right now. While that unit looks to be in mid-season form, the offense has struggled. Now, they must push forward with Jimmy Garoppolo, who sometimes appeared lost in Denver, and without their best offensive lineman. Trent Williams suffered a high-ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least a month.

How concerned is Sherman about the Niners without Williams to anchor the offensive line?

"Yeah, I'm really concerned," Sherman said this week on his podcast. "I'm really concerned now, offensively. I'm not concerned defensively. They're on a historic track. But offensively, I'm very concerned. If you can't protect the quarterback, you're in a world of trouble. And the NFC West is not as tough as it's always been, but the Rams are still tough. They'll see them this week."

The 49ers can't afford to drop to 1-3 if they hope to keep pace with the Rams in the NFC West. Shanahan has had great success against the division rivals, winning six straight before last season's loss in the NFC Championship Game.

The defending Super Bowl champion Rams are looking to prove doubters wrong, knowing they still have the talent to compete.

"And so, [the 49ers will] have to win this game against a tough Rams team," Sherman continued. "They're leading the division. So in order to get back in it, you have to win this game, and the Rams are still a tough out. They're having their own offensive line problems, but defensive line, they've still got it. Leonard Floyd. They've still got that man, 99, Aaron Donald, three-time Defensive Player of the Year, working on his fourth. You don't want to be the reason he gets his fourth."

What did Sherman think about Garoppolo's gaffe on Sunday night, stepping out of the back of the end zone for the safety? He said Garoppolo deserves much of the blame for the outcome. However, the quarterback isn't the only one accountable for that specific play. Sherman didn't particularly like the play call.

"It was a screen," Sherman said. "It appeared to be a screen. I could be wrong. It could have just been a freakin' jailbreak from the offensive line, and everyone got beat. But the way Kyle Juszczyk turned around and the way the offensive line got out, it was a screen. And to run a screen, you need room for the quarterback to retreat. Otherwise, you're letting D-linemen run free toward a quarterback who can't move and who can't back up, who's going to get hit in the face."

Sherman repeats that Garoppolo deserves much of the blame for his lack of awareness. However, he feels the quarterback also lacked options on the play, the way it was designed. So does Shanahan deserve some of the blame for the costly mistake?

"Sometimes you just overthink it," Sherman said. "He's been coaching for a long time. If it works, it's a 99-yard touchdown, everybody's like, 'Man, that's why he's one of the best genius play-callers.' When it doesn't work, then everybody's on you every day."


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