The San Francisco 49ers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17, in an ugly win. Sloppy is probably a better word to describe Sunday afternoon, as the teams combined for 19 penalties, and went 1-7 in the red zone. Tim Kawakami of The Athletic believes the 49ers won the game based on pure talent, and how that could lead to a different season.
Kawakami isn’t saying that Kyle Shanahan has it all figured out, due to the number of mental mistakes that happened, but winning these type of games isn’t something that the Niners have made a habit out of over the past few seasons. The most significant difference, to Kawakami, was that the 49ers were the more talented team.
The edge in talent put San Francisco over the top and believes that will be the case again next week on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. Talent doesn’t mean you can roll the ball out on the field and get a victory. Look at what happened during the Titans/Browns game yesterday. The Browns were almost a touchdown favorite, and they were thoroughly outplayed because of costly mistakes—mostly by the quarterback— and penalties. Jimmy Garoppolo had a major mistake, but he also bounced back. That was a good sign.
Another sign that the 49ers may be turning the corner is beating teams they’re supposed to. Tampa Bay was one of them. Cincinnati will be as well. Are they on the road? Yes. That takes us back to talent, which the 49ers finally have enough to overcome mistakes. The question now will be if the Niners can beat these less talented teams consistently.
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