3 takeaways from the 49ers Week 9 loss | Launderer report


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    Tony Avelar / Associated press

    The San Francisco 49ers will have been delighted to be back at Levi’s Stadium this season after the coronavirus pandemic saw them play home games in Arizona in late 2020. However, they haven’t performed very well since their return. in the Bay Area in 2021.

    The 49ers remain winless at home after losing 31-17 to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, falling to 3-5 this season in the process.

    The Cardinals were quick to gain control as they had a 14-0 lead after the first quarter and scored the first 17 points of the day. The 49ers were down by 10 at halftime and never came close in the second half, so they have fallen to 0-3 in games against rivals NFC West this season.

    Here are three takeaways from the Week 9 loss of San Francisco.

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    Jed Jacobsohn / Associated press

    Arizona came into play on Sunday with two of its best offensive players sidelined by injury (quarterback Kyler Murray and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins), and wide receiver AJ Green was also out after being placed on reserve / COVID-19 list. Then the Cardinals lost running back Chase Edmonds, who injured his ankle in their first offensive game and never returned.

    It looks like it must have led to at least one strong performance for the 49ers defense. However, this was far from the case. The unit gave up 437 yards overall, and the Cardinals made no turnovers and relied on the stellar performances of backup caller Colt McCoy (249 yards and one touchdown) and running back James Conner ( 173 total yards and three touchdowns).

    McCoy didn’t throw a lot of passes into the field. Instead, the majority of Arizona’s big plays happened on runs and short passes that turned into substantial wins.

    “It was extremely disappointing,” San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan said, via Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “I don’t think we attacked very well. I didn’t think we had 11 guys rushing enough for the ball. I think we made it easier for these guys.”

    After kicking on their first down, the Cardinals scored points on six of their next seven possessions, the only exception being when time ran out in the first half. The 49ers need to do a better job of securing saves, especially early in games against offenses that shouldn’t be as successful against them.

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    Tony Avelar / Associated press

    San Francisco received a big offensive boost on Sunday, as George Kittle recovered from the calf injury that had caused him to miss the previous three games. And the star tight end’s opening game had both ups and downs.

    On Kittle’s second catch (an 18-yard reception early in the first quarter), he missed the ball, which was picked up by the Cardinals. This immediately led to a nine-game touchdown.

    However, Kittle also had some impressive plays. He finished with six catches for a top 101 yards and one touchdown, which came on a 6-yard reception with 16 seconds left before halftime. It was a generally solid comeback which was overshadowed by the outcome.

    “Playing football is fun. Losing is not fun. But it was good,” Kittle said of his first comeback, by Michael Nowels and Cam Inman of The news of Mercury.

    San Francisco’s offense is always better when Kittle is on the pitch, and he’ll likely show other big numbers in stride.

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    Tony Avelar / Associated press

    San Francisco may only be 3-5, but it’s on its way out of the NFC West race. The Cardinals (8-1) and Los Angeles Rams (7-2) have significant advantages over the Seattle 49ers and Seahawks, who are also 3-5. After losing five of its last six games, San Francisco is moving in the wrong direction.

    Maybe it’s time for the 49ers to give some young players more time on the pitch. Not only will this help them prepare for the future, but it could also give them the boost they need to stay alive in the NFC wildcard race.

    The most notable youngster who has no playing time is quarterback Trey Lance, who has returned to a replacement role now that Jimmy Garoppolo is in good health. While Garoppolo didn’t play badly, he had 326 yards, two touchdowns and one interception on Sunday.—Lance is the upcoming QB franchise that showed its potential during its rookie campaign.

    Shanahan isn’t considering a shift change after Sunday’s game, saying he “certainly isn’t thinking about these things right now” (h / t Charean williams of ProFootballTalk). But it might not be the right move, especially given the recent San Francisco results.

    If the 49ers’ struggles continue, it will be interesting to see if Shanahan changes his mind and when Lance gets another chance.

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