The 49ers on Sunday night might’ve found a new rock bottom when the fell 30-18 to the Colts at Levi’s Stadium. In fact, their Week 7 defeat that dropped them to 2-4 has a case as the worst loss of the Kyle Shanahan era.
Consider all of the things going their way Sunday night:
– They were coming off their bye week.
– They were at home.
– They were relatively healthy, most notably with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo starting.
– Their defense is coming off a tremendous outing in Arizona where they held the Cardinals to only 17 points.
– The Colts entered the game 2-4.
– The Colts own one of the worst pass defenses in the league.
– Indianapolis also lost starting safety Julian Blackmon to a torn Achilles early in the week.
This game, despite the downpour that lasted throughout all four quarters, was ripe for the 49ers to snap their three-game losing streak. They even jumped out to a 6-0 lead, got a couple takeaways, and led 12-7 at the end of the first quarter.
What followed the first quarter where they scored on all three possessions was another disjointed offensive effort that included three consecutive three-and-outs, a fumble, the end of the first half, another fumble, another punt, a touchdown, then two interceptions before the game mercifully came to an end.
While the 49ers appeared to let the wet weather keep them from taking any shots down the field against a bad Colts pass defense, Indianapolis did the opposite against a shoddy 49ers secondary. Colts quarterback Carson Wentz took six deep shots. Four went for long gains on pass interference flags, another went for a touchdown, and one was broken up.
On the other side the 49ers never got their passing attack going. Garoppolo was mostly conservative save for their one second-half touchdown drive where he threw it three times on play-action passes en route to the end zone.
They no longer look like an offense that’s in a rut. They look like a bad offense. Brandon Aiyuk continues to be a non-factor. Third-round rookie running back Trey Sermon didn’t get on the field again. And now the 49ers are staring at a 2-4 record and four consecutive losses. Their division hopes are gone with the 7-0 Cardinals and 6-1 Rams leading the way, and their playoff chances are dwindling.
This was supposed to be a good team with its sights set on a playoff berth and maybe a Super Bowl run if everything went well. Instead they look like a team that’s struggling to keep it’s head above water in the sea of NFL mediocrity.
This wasn’t the worst loss in the Shanahan-era on the scoreboard. And it wasn’t the worst from an injury standpoint. It was the worst because of what it proved about this team: it just isn’t very good and the head coach doesn’t appear to have a ready-made fix.
There’s no, “wait until they’re healthy” this year. There should be plenty of talent on this team to be better than 2-4 through six games. This team has just dropped four consecutive contests, including a very winnable one Sunday night.
It now becomes extremely difficult to run down San Francisco’s schedule and find wins. It’s ugly now coming out of Week 7, and there doesn’t appear to be an end to the present slide. That’s because this is as low as it can get right now.
Welcome to rock bottom.