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49ers-Cardinals recap: Penalties once again control narrative for San Francisco

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Penalties, penalties and more penalties: the 2017-18 San Francisco 49ers.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers have a problem with penalties. That is to say, they have a problem with trying to not commit penalties. It’s been a consistent issue throughout four regular season games and four preseason games, too. Against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday, they committed 13 penalties for a loss of 113 yards.

Kyle Shanahan is a young head coach in charge of a very young roster. I don’t personally think discipline is going to be a long-term issue for a coach like Shanahan, but right now, out of the gate, it’s an issue. The 49ers are making stupid mistakes — very stupid mistakes. They’re not even giving themselves a chance to win at this point.

San Francisco averages 9.8 penalties per game through four weeks. Last year, as an organization even deeper in chaos, the 49ers committed 6.8 penalties per game.

I’ve focused a lot on Shanahan’s youth and the team’s youth, but to me it’s one of the most important factors this season. Shanahan needs to have the respect of his team and he needs to have control of his team. I don’t think this is a sign that he’s lost control, but he has to do better.

And, of course, the team has to do better. They’ve lost three very close games this season, ugly games that should be huge building blocks for the future. They can still be that, but personally, I’m not going to be optimistic about the talented youth on this roster and Shanahan as a long-term head coach until he gets these penalties under control.

Let’s at least be happy that a referee hasn’t had to literally laugh while announcing all the penalties on a single play in a 49ers game ... in the regular season.