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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

12 observations from the 49ers ugly loss in Atlanta

Marc Adams
Oct 17, 2022 at 8:56 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers threw the ball 47 times on Sunday. They ran the ball only 16 times. Do I need to tell you the outcome?

In case you haven't heard, the 49ers lost to the Atlanta Falcons 28-14 in an ugly game that highlighted the Falcons' strengths and exposed the 49ers' weaknesses.

Of course, the 49ers were missing several starters, and lost a few more, in Atlanta. But that's not much of an excuse. Every team deals with injuries, and the Falcons had their fair share. It was a poorly played game all the way around. Here's what jumped out to me:

  • Injuries to the 49ers' defense finally caught up to them, as the defense surrendered two first-half touchdowns, for the first time this season.

  • Jeff Wilson, Jr. puts the ball on the ground too often. This time, his fumble was returned for a touchdown. He barely touched the ball after that fumble. Coincidence?
  • I'm still not sure how Samuel Womack went from being a starter to being behind Dontae Johnson. But with the injuries to Ward and Moseley, Womack may need to step up.
  • Ray-Ray McCloud is a weapon when he's not fumbling—or dropping passes.
  • The NFL's top run defense couldn't stop the run on Sunday. They surrendered 168 yards on the ground to the Falcons' offense.
  • Meanwhile, the 49ers' offense only managed 50 yards on the ground. On an even more depressing note, former San Francisco running back JaMycal Hasty had a touchdown run of 61 yards on Sunday. You read that correctly: the guy who couldn't make the team had a touchdown run that was more than Kyle Shanahan's run-oriented squad could muster. They also failed to score in the second half against a bad Falcons defense.

  • The 49ers pass catchers dropped some huge downfield passes. It's rare that Jimmy Garoppolo throws down the field. And when he does, he's usually inaccurate. On Sunday, he looked good throwing downfield. The receivers just didn't do their job. On that note, why is Charlie Woerner a target in the passing game? The 49ers need another pass-catching tight end.
  • If this is the defense the 49ers field in the next game, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs may score 80. There is a good chance that Bosa will be back. And Ward is talking like he'll be good to go against his former team. We'll see if his groin injury agrees.
  • Brandon Aiyuk had a very good game. He was the only offensive player who did though. Aiyuk had 8 catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Jake Brendel was terrible in this game. He committed multiple penalties that killed drives and erased some big plays. In addition to finding another pass-catching tight end next offseason, the 49ers need to find a new center.
  • What a pitiful performance from Shanahan, Garoppolo and the 49ers' offense on their second-to-last drive. They took their time and wasted too much of the clock. It's like they thought it was only the 3rd quarter. On that drive, the 49ers marched 80 yards in 16 plays. That's normally a great thing. The problem was that it took 8:08 off the clock when they were down two touchdowns and only 10:30 remaining in the game when they took over at their own one-yard line.

Normally these eastern time zone trips when the 49ers stay on the east coast go well. They started off strong by dominating Carolina, but they didn't finish off the second team as they should have. That being said, if they can somehow upset the Chiefs, they'll be back on track.
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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