“Fred Warner and others said there’s a sense that the 49ers haven’t been themselves since the big win over the Cowboys. Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Cleveland wanted to drag the 49ers down into the “muck” in their meeting last week and did exactly that. The Vikings, obviously, wanted to play a game of keep-away with the 49ers. They were successful, too.”
“However, he had six pressures – the same as Hunter – and for stretches seemed to be the only player putting pressure on Cousins. Bosa, for example, was the only 49er bearing down on Cousins before the long touchdown to Addison despite San Francisco sending seven rushers on the play. He also had five tackles, the most of any of the linemen, including one behind the line of scrimmage.
For the second straight game, newcomer Gregory had more snaps at defensive end than Jackson, who got manhandled by Vikings tight end Josh Oliver and who didn’t register a single statistic – no tackles, no pressures – in the game. Which is to say, it seems the 49ers still have a need at defensive end despite trading for Gregory earlier this month.”
“Warner, just out of the shower and still dressed only in towels, sat at his locker, head in his hand, pouring over the stat sheets and seemingly looking at the evidence of what went wrong.
Purdy, after having just spoken to the media at the podium, walked slowly back into the locker room to grab his suitcase but then paused and beelined to the linebacker’s side. For about 30 seconds, without cameras or media members within earshot, the two spoke.
Purdy started the conversation, with clear disappointment on his face after throwing two interceptions in the team’s loss. Then it was Warner’s turn. The All-Pro linebacker’s voice never grew loud enough to be heard, but Warner turned to face his quarterback and spoke while looking right into his eyes with a message that appeared passionate and meaningful.
“He’s obviously just hard on himself and he’s blaming himself for it,” Warner told NBC Sports Bay Area in regards to the conversation. “I’m letting him know, of course not. It’s not about just him. I have full confidence in Brock and what he brings to this football team.”
“There is far too much talent on this defense to allow a quick passing game, double teams and screens to bludgeon it. But that’s roughly what’s happened the last two weeks.
Steve Wilks will need to go back to the drawing board and figure out what the answer is. More of the five-man front? More twists on the interior, maybe in the vein of how Charles Omenihu and Arden Key were used (and which was used, by my count, once against Minnesota)? More coverage disguises and fake A-gap blitzes?
These are a handful of the methods that proved effective in the past. It is Wilks’ and his staff’s job to find the answers.
This game was a clinic in offensive passing protection and provided tape in how to pick apart the San Francisco defense.
If the defense doesn’t adjust immediately, and show the capacity to change during the game — that part is crucial — this will keep happening.”
“I’ve lost confidence in him because I had a belief in him,” Smith said Tuesday morning on “First Take.” “Twenty touchdowns, just two interceptions in his first 10 regular-season starts. That’s what we were looking at with Brock Purdy. Yeah, you look at the system that [49ers coach] Kyle Shanahan was putting in place, but ultimately you looked at Brock Purdy and you compared him to the other quarterbacks that were there and compared to what they were doing and you were saying, ‘This is the dude, this is the guy and this is the future.’
“I’m not saying that that’s still not the case, but I’m looking at the velocity of some of his throws, his arm strength, etc., and I’m saying he doesn’t have the strongest arm in the world, obviously timing factors into the equation. You’re looking at the chemistry he had with Deebo Samuel and [Brandon] Aiyuk and obviously Christian McCaffrey, George Kittle. But with Deebo Samuel out, not having that reliable component to throw the ball to, it seems to have compromised him to such a degree.”
“I think he should have gotten more [passes thrown his way], to be honest with you,” Baldinger said Tuesday morning on 95.7 The Game, “because the way that they were playing, especially on first downs, especially the way they’re playing the run, I mean, they were basically selling out to play the run, and they did that, and they were good at it.”
“On National Tight Ends Day, Kittle received the 49ers’ top offensive grade after catching five of his seven targets for 78 yards, four of which resulted in first downs. While Kittle’s run blocking grade (75.1) was second only to Jauan Jennings (77.1), the tight end received a 53.2 pass blocking grade after allowing one quarterback hit.”
“The NFL will humble you every step of the way,” defensive end Nick Bosa said. “And getting off to a 5-0 start you kind of get that confidence that we are who we need to be, but the NFL does that. Good players, good schemes and we’re going to face another good team this week, so we’ve got to be ready.”