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Three takeaways from 49ers loss at Arizona

49ers still winless after OT loss in the desert

John Dickinson
October 01, 2017 - 5:47 pm

The 49ers remain competitive

For three straight games the 49ers have been in the game and had a chance to win it at the end. Sunday’s game in Arizona looked like a carbon copy of the game the 49ers played in Seattle two weeks ago. A sloppy defensive minded slugfest where the 49ers allowed the only touchdown of the game on their final defensive series when a stop would have equaled a win. The 49ers were a made extra point or a two-point conversion away from rallying from two touchdowns down in the final nine minutes against what appears to be a significantly improved Rams team.

Outcome aside, the 49ers continue to show an overall improvement in competitiveness and preparedness compared to the Jim Tomsula or Chip Kelly era. The overall talent isn’t there just yet but you can see the culture and the spirit difference each week.

With the 49ers in full rebuild mode, these outcomes are almost perfect for fans dreaming of a top draft pick and a franchise quarterback. Stay in the game, have the chance to win, but ultimately take a loss that may positively impact the future.

Brian Hoyer has to play better or it might be getting closer to him not playing at all.

At times when Brian Hoyer had protection Sunday, he was able to move the football down the field and set the 49ers up for points. His limitations also prevented them from scoring a touchdown for the third time in four games.

Hoyer finished 24-for-49 for 234 yards with 0 TD and 1 INT and a 54.3 passer rating. His skittishness in the pocket and overall inconsistent accuracy helped prevent the 49ers from earning their first win of the Kyle Shanahan era as the Cardinals bottled up the run and decided they were going to make Hoyer beat them with his arm.

We’re still probably 2-4 weeks away from seeing Kyle Shanahan make a move to rookie QB C.J. Beathard but there’s no doubt Hoyer has to play better or the whispers of a change will grow into screams by the game.

Pass rush improved.

The 49ers took advantage of the Cardinals patchwork offensive line to the tune of six sacks including season firsts for DeForest Buckner, Solomon Thomas and Elvis Dumervil. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said leading into he Arizona game that the 49ers were close to racking up sacks in bunches. Sunday was a good start but much like the 49ers offense. The big boys up front need to play well and have an impact in more than just one out of every four games.

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