The 18-week NFL season is grueling. Bye weeks are a welcomed sight for coaches and players alike. Adjustments happen, and players rest to work back from injuries. This is especially true for the 49ers, who will return significant impact players. Optimism surrounds the team with Christian McCaffrey’s addition, the remaining schedule, and the roster returning to near-full health.
What about Kyle Shanahan’s history coming out of bye weeks? Let’s look back at each game out of the bye with proper context:
2017 - Loss to the Seattle Seahawks, 24-13
2017 was a complete rebuild for Shanahan. The starting offensive lineup consisted of CJ Beathard, Louis Murphy, Brandon Fusco, and Garrett Celek. This game will be remembered for the final play. Jimmy Garoppolo connected with Murphy for a touchdown that kicked off the Garoppolo era in Santa Clara. The 49ers would win five straight games to close out 2017.
2018 - Loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-9
Losing Garoppolo in Week 2 to an ACL injury ended any hope for the 49ers in 2018. Nick Mullens had some big moments during his first extended action in the NFL. This game was not one of them. Matt Breida was a bright spot rushing for over 100 yards, but turnovers combined with a stalling offense led to another loss. Going 1 for 8 on third-downs didn’t help either.
2019 - Win over the Cleveland Browns, 31-3
Forever known as the Nick Bosa revenge game on Baker Mayfield. The 49ers eviscerated the Browns on MNF. The game started with a long Matt Breida touchdown and Cleveland never recovered. Totaling 446 yards and backed by the stout 49ers defense, it was the 49ers who made a statement on national TV. Four turnovers turned the over-hyped Browns team into a forgotten group.
2020 - Win over the Los Angeles Rams, 23-20
Stop me if you’ve heard this before. The 49ers sustained a bunch of injuries to impact players. Garoppolo was out with a high ankle sprain. Nick Bosa lost his year to MetLife Stadium’s artificial turf. Kittle missed this contest.
In the end, the 49ers would lean on Deebo Samuel (11 receptions, 133 yards) and a Javon Kinlaw pick-six to beat the Rams in SoFi. The 49ers’ defense got back Richard Sherman as the defense caused four turnovers.
2021 - Loss to the Indianapolis Colts, 30-18
The torrential downpour throughout this contest was far from ideal. Sloppy conditions and play from the 49ers would ultimately doom them on Sunday Night Football. Mistakes on defense ranged from communication errors to pass interference penalties that accounted for much of the Colts’ offense.
Trent Williams and Kittle both missed this contest. The offense converted 1 of 11 third-down attempts. The 49ers would go on to right the ship, only losing three more games following this loss. Falling to 2-4 on the season was troubling, but the 49ers climbed back into the playoff race that resulted in a trip to the NFC championship game.
Shanahan will have a chance to improve his record out of the bye against the Chargers. Things are looking up for this team. Will he notch his third win after the bye?