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Three takeaways from 49ers loss to Rams

San Francisco drops to 0-3 with 41-39 loss at Levi's Stadium

John Dickinson
September 22, 2017 - 5:03 am
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Hoyer bounces back

It was the worst possible start for 49ers QB Brian Hoyer. He chased two bad games to open the season with an interception ran back to the San Francisco 3-yard line on the first play of the game. Boos rang down from the few fans that had made it into Levi’s Stadium in time for the 5:26 PM kickoff.

Hoyer bounced back by keeping the 49ers in a game they trailed for 59 minutes and 48 seconds. He scored the first touchdown of the season for San Francisco on a 9-yard run to cap a 14-play, 81 yard drive to tie the game immediately after his mistake had put them behind.

Hoyer showed parts of his game that 49ers fans had been convinced he didn’t have in his arsenal completing passes of 59, 40 and 34 yards while slinging the ball all over the field in a desperate attempt to match a Rams offense having its way wit the 49ers D.

Entertaining is an improvement

If you have to be bad, it’s always better to be bad and fun to watch as opposed to bad and boring. The 49ers are not a good football team. 6-10 would have been and extreme improvement over last years 2-14 and the 5-11 record of 2015. The 49ers almost certainly won’t get to six wins, needing to go 6-7 in the final 13 to accomplish such a feat.

The good news is they haven’t been boring either. They’d shown flashes of dominant defense throughout the first two games of the season and against the Rams they finally showed how Kyle Shanahan’s offense looks when things are clicking. More importantly his offense showed how good it might look in the future with better and more consistent playmakers especially at the skill positions.

Even the 49ers special teams unit brought something to the table against Los Angels by recovering a muffed punt and executing an onside kick to get the ball back with a chance to win the game in the final two minutes.

Consistently inconsistent

One trait I believe all bad teams possess is what I like to call the ability to be just good enough to lose. The 49ers showed off this “skill” losing two games in five days by a combined five points. The 49ers lost each game in completely opposite fashion. This is what bad teams do. They score 39 points on the night they give up 41 just as they can only muster 9 points when they hold a team to 12. It comes with the territory.

Mistakes at the worst possible times also come with the territory. Like opening the game with an interception returned to the 3-yard line. Like failing to score touchdowns in the red zone by committing costly penalties to stall drives. Like committing equally costly penalties on defense to keep opponents drives going.

The 49ers will have to trust that the occasional mind numbing mistakes and sloppiness will be mitigated in the future simply by the addition of better talent.  Until that happens expect more of the same flashes of brilliance intertwined with streaks of ineptitude.

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