There is always hope at the beginning of the football season and I vaguely remember what it felt like. The San Francisco 49ers had a new coach that had to be an improvement over their embattled leader of 2015 and there were new draft picks that had heaps of potential. Now, 13 weeks into the season, the 49ers are 1-11 and it’s impossible to blame one particular reason.
What started out as a non issue has turned into a pretty big issue. The 49ers have had more penalties than their opponents in six of their last seven matchups. Not just a little more either, significantly more. They are currently 9th in most penalties with an average of 6.4 per game. They are 7th in opponent penalty first downs with an average of 2.2 per game.
At one point in the season the 49ers went on a streak of allowing 100 yard rushers per game, but then they kept the Cardinals and the Dolphins each under 100 total yards rushing. The Dolphins Jay Ajayi was held to 45 yards from scrimmage and the Cardinals David Johnson was held to 55 yards by the 49ers run defense in the team’s second meeting.
At times the 49ers have been able to move the ball effectively on offense and then in Chicago they couldn’t even muster 20 yards on the ground in the entire second half.
If it was consistently one problem hampering the team, they could work on alleviating the issue. Unfortunately, it’s been something different every week. Even the players seem baffled as to why they don’t see any success on the field and how it seems to be a new issue every week.
No. You don’t ever see anything like this coming when you can’t move the ball in the passing game. We did a good job in the first couple quarters running the ball and then we got stagnant. Frustrating game all around.
You have to play for pride, man. You got to play in the NFL. You got to play for pride. Play for your job. This is a situation that none of us want to be in. If you have pride in what you do, that’s going to carry you through the last four games.
I don't know. We just hit that wall again. I don’t know what it is but, you know, we couldn’t keep playing the way we were. It really is hard to put into words but we were actually pretty good on penalties early in the year, it was just turnovers and not executing but the last couple game we’ve had penalties that really hurt us and that’s the hidden yardage in the game. You know, we can’t hurt ourselves especially in conditions like this.
The 49ers head into their match up on Sunday against a team that ESPN analyst and former front office member Louis Riddick called “professional indifference.” If the Jets have more issues than the 49ers, the team from the Bay Area might just have a chance.