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Golden Nuggets: Did the 49ers dig themselves a hole they can’t climb out of?

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Tuesday, October 6, 2020

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NFL: OCT 04 Eagles at 49ers Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers are off today, and Kyle Shanahan didn’t make it sound like they’d be working out any edge rushers with Ezekiel Ansah going on the injured reserve.

Injured 49ers May Have Dug a Hole They Can’t Climb out Of

Once Shanahan’s squad gets past the Miami Dolphins next week, which is no gimme depending on which version of Brian Flores’ team shows up to play, San Francisco must face the Los Angeles Rams, New England Patriots, Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints before a Week 11 bye. By then, the season could be over because those opponents currently feature a combined 14-4 record.

The 49ers will find out quickly how good they really are during that five-game stretch.

Based on what everyone has seen through the first quarter of play and the number of injuries San Francisco continues to deal with, the odds are far more likely the team will have a losing record going into the final leg of the 2020 campaign. By then, it’ll be far too late, especially with the Rams and Buffalo Bills lurking on the other side of the bye.

At full strength, San Francisco had what it took to try defending its NFC crown. Right now, the 49ers are nothing but a hollow representation of last season’s powerhouse.

What’s Wrong With the 49ers?

The 49ers looked like a team that was lost, a stark comparison to the juggernaut that just reeled off two wins in a row while outscoring its opponents 66-22 in that span, all while missing several key starters on both sides of the ball. Now the 49ers find themselves in last place in the NFC West, and we are left to wonder, where did it go wrong?

Compounding the issues was the play of the offensive line, which was absolutely horrendous in the run game and when it was tasked with pass protecting. The holes for the running game were few and far between, consequently stalling the 49ers’ rushing attack, particularly on early downs. The inability to rush for positive gains on first down repeatedly put the 49ers in 3rd-and-longs, where quarterback Nick Mullens was abused all night.

Eagles vs. 49ers: 8 thoughts from Philadelphia’s win

6 - Jim Schwartz: Kyle Shanahan’s kryptonite?

Schwartz’s defense has now been on the winning side of six out of his seven meeting against Shanny’s offense. Schwartz’s units have only allowed an average of 16.1 points per game. That’s pretty good stuff against a guy that’s revered as a top offensive play-caller/schemer in the NFL.

There’s no question Schwartz can be frustrating. It was concerning to see C.J. Beathard come in off the bench and immediately have success against Philly’s defense late in the game.

But you have to give Schwartz credit for how the defense has rebounded since a bad showing in Week 2. He very much remains a good defensive coordinator.

49ers’ Levi’s Stadium to go completely cashless when fans return

Levi’s Stadium will be cashless, only allowing card or mobile payments at concession stands, merchandise kiosks and anywhere else the fan will need to make a monetary transaction. Fans are currently barred from entering the stadium, but when they do return things will definitely be different.

“While the move to fully cashless transactions in venue has advanced more quickly due to the ongoing health emergency, this is a direction we have been heading for several years and we know it’s one that will further improve the fan experience at Levi’s Stadium,” 49ers president Al Guido said in a statement.

“Six years of operational data here at Levi’s Stadium tells us that mobile payments are increasing while cash transactions decrease annually. And through our friends at Visa, we know contactless payments reduce transaction times, concessions lines, and some costs.”

49ers need Jimmy G back, rust-free as schedule gauntlet nears

No, they don’t need Garoppolo to beat the Dolphins and head coach Kyle Shanahan has said he isn’t sure yet if Garoppolo will be ready to return in Week 5. But the 49ers would undoubtedly prefer to use the game against the Dolphins to get Garoppolo’s feet wet so that his return doesn’t come at the start of their gauntlet.

If Garoppolo misses Week 5, it will have been a month since he took a snap in an NFL game. Given the rust he showed during the 49ers’ Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers would like some of the misses that are bound to come as he settles back in to come against a bad Dolphins team and not a division rival who is looking to reassert its dominance atop the division.

When the schedule came out, it looked like the 49ers would at worst be 4-1 heading into their season-defining stretch. Injuries have complicated the matter, and a horrific loss to the Eagles has put the 49ers behind the Eightball early.

The 49ers have issues at a number of places. There are issues on the offensive line. Trent Williams had his first bad game Sunday night and Mike McGlinchey has been exposed. The defense still has some playmakers, but the loss of Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas has put more pressure on the linebackers and a banged-up secondary.

49ers Minutia Minute: Wideouts underutilized; a strong game for Jason Verrett

Verrett had another strong game, albeit against another banged-up receiving corps. The Eagles completed one of their two passes toward Verrett and the cornerback was picked by another Eagles receiver on the play. He’s allowed 9 receiving yards in two straight games. Verrett missed one snap with a hand injury while Johnson missed three with an unknown ailment. That accounts for Webster’s four snaps.