There is no doubt that the San Francisco 49ers laid an egg in their season-opening 24-20 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The defense couldn’t contain Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins, while the offense looked out-of-sync with missed throws and squandered opportunities.
The Niners were sloppy for most of the second half, and legendary 49er Jerry Rice didn’t hold back in his assessment. The GOAT joined 95.7 The Game to discuss the loss and ripped San Francisco’s performance (h/t NBC Bay Area):
“For some reason, I don’t know what that is; it’s gonna be up to the Niners to find out why didn’t we show up [Sunday]. Yeah, I understand, no preseason games. Now all of the sudden, you’re playing a regular-season game. The game goes to a who different level. I just feel like the Niners, they should have been ready to go ... a home game against a rival ... It was an important game. I was really disappointed in the execution of the Niners, and I just felt like they weren’t where they needed to be.”
There was no atmosphere at Levi’s Stadium without the fans, which may have contributed to the lack of energy we saw from the players, especially down the stretch. But, the best Niner of all time doesn’t care about that:
“You know what guys, we gotta stop using that as an excuse. We are paid professionals. This is what we do for our livelihood. Yes, we miss the fans. We would love for the fans to be in the stands ... But if you cannot get up for a game against an opponent in your stadium, I got a problem with that.”
Tell us how you really feel, Jerry.
We are all frustrated with how the team performed against Arizona, but let’s keep things in context. San Francisco was missing its top two receivers and struggled with injuries during the offseason. You never want to give up a game — especially to a division rival — but the Niners still had a chance to win the game, despite playing as poorly as they did.
I expect head coach Kyle Shanahan to focus on correcting the team’s mistakes from the opener, so they’re ready to dominate an inferior opponent in the New York Jetson Sunday.
If they don’t, Rice will have every reason to be as pissed off as he is now.