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Golden Nuggets: A Heart-Breaking Loss

A daily compilation of 49ers news from around the net. Monday, September 10th, 2018 edition.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, I’m not going to sugar-coat it. This loss was embarrassing. Sure, a loss to a likely contender was to be expected - but tonight’s performance was just promising enough to be heart-breaking. An unexpectedly solid defensive performance combined with an occasionally prolific offensive performance, marred by mistake after mistake, can only leave us with an unfulfilling, half-baked sense of what to expect.

The offense was able to move the ball, seemingly, at will at times. They seemed capable of sustaining long, impressive drives. They seemed capable of achieving the occasional big play to keep defenses honest. The running game, while generally unimpressive, seemed to work extremely well in short bursts. The passing game, while also generally unimpressive, seemed to be dependable in even shorter bursts.

What went wrong? A young and inexperienced offense was exposed by a top-flight defense. Jimmy Garoppolo showed flashes of brilliance, which were, like clockwork, followed by boneheaded mistakes which gave the game to the opposition. Alfred Morris, despite a handful of extremely impressive gains, now faces the uphill battle of convincing the peanut gallery that he’s more than a pair of fumbles at the goal line.

This loss was to be expected. However, the reality of this outcome doesn’t necessarily match the broad-stroke expectation. The underdog 49ers had a very real chance to win this game. Things clicked, albeit inconsistently, enough to allow hope to rear it’s ugly head over and over. This team had multiple opportunities to put themselves in a position to pull a major upset - but the theme of the night was an inexperienced team shooting themselves in the foot, over, and over, and over, and over.

Is Jimmy Garoppolo a bad quarterback because he threw 3 interceptions against what might be the best defense in the league? No. Is Solomon Thomas a bust because he jumped offside? Again, no. Is Ahkello Witherspoon a bum for getting beaten on a perfect ball to a top wide receiver? No dude, step back from the ledge. There’s a ton of promise on this squad - but, at this point, it’s clear that things haven’t come together as we’ve all hoped.

Game 1 analysis | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area | Almquist, KNBR | Biderman, Sac Bee | Madson, KNBR | Madson (2), KNBR

Garoppolo, offense struggled in Week 1 | Ochoa, 4th & 9 | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area | Almquist, KNBR | Biderman, Sac Bee | Wagoner, ESPN

49ers loss was to be expected | Ratto, NBC Sports Bay Area

49ers defense comes out strong to begin 2018 | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area | Biderman, Sac Bee

Brock Coyle suffered a concussion | Madson, Ninerswire

Mike McGlinchey’s snaps at RG were first ever | Madson, Ninerswire