A Review of the 49ers’ Tumultuous Season so Far

David Phan, Sports Editor

The San Francisco 49ers began their season with two road victories over the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles. Although both games had questionable play from the 49ers all-around, the 49ers were able to secure the wins and take a 2-0 record in the tough NFC West. The injuries throughout the team early on in the season, their upcoming games would test the team’s future.

The 49ers managed to take a 28-27 lead with 37 seconds left against the Green Bay Packers. Forcing Aaron Rodgers to go the field’s length to have a chance for a game-winning field goal with no timeouts. The 49ers’ defense gave two big plays to Davante Adams that resulted in the Packers being on the 35-yard line —setting Mason Crosby to hit a 51-yard game-winner.

Despite Jimmy Garappolo’s two turnovers, the offense clicked as Brandon Aiyuk picked up four receptions (from targets) for 37 yards and a touchdown. Although Kyle Shannahan did a great job calling the game, the defense let up the two big plays late in the game.

A longtime divisional rival, the Seattle Seahawks, had the 49ers firing off on all cylinders. After a miraculous touchdown by Russell Wilson and a touchdown run by Seahawk running back Alex Collins, the 49ers found themselves in a two-touchdown deficit with a rookie quarterback.

Garappolo, the veteran 49er QB, threw another interception early in the first half. Aiyuk only had one reception (from three targets) for 15 yards, and Shannahan elected to go for it on most of the team’s 4th downs.

In week five, the 49ers vs. the red-hot Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers elected to go with rookie QB Trey Lance for his first NFL career start after Garappolo was injured in the previous game. The Cardinals were averaging a whopping 35 points per game. The 49ers’ defense stepped up and held Kyler Murray and Co. to 17 points, their lowest of the season so far. However, like the previous two games, the game had controversial coaching from Shannahan.

For the most part of the contest, Shannahan seemed to mismanage how to utilize Lance properly. He again hardly elected to punt; the game also had another disappearance of Aiyuk, who only resulted in two receptions (from four targets) for 32 yards.

The 49ers played the Cardinals again in a divisional rematch in week nine. The Cardinals started their backup QB Colt McCoy, backup RB James Conner, and third and fourth-string wide receivers.

All signs pointed to the 49ers having a successful game, but they fell short. However, the game did not have some of the usual ingredients that would typically constitute a 49ers loss. Aiyuk played amazing with six receptions (from 8 targets) for 89 yards and a touchdown. Garrappolo played as well of a game as he could, having two touchdowns to one interception, and Shanahan called the game pretty even.

The loss was put on crucial turnovers, which the Cardinals turned into touchdowns, and the defense allowed Conner to amass 173 total yards and three total touchdowns.

The 49ers head back home to face the Indianapolis Colts in a primetime game. Early in the first half, the 49ers looked strong, marching down with ease and scoring a touchdown, and Garappolo had another multiple turnover game. The game also had questionable play-calling, with Shannahan electing to go away from what was working. They also have another disappearance of Aiyuk, who only had one reception for six yards and one carry for three yards.

The squad then traveled to Chicago to face QB Justin Fields and the Chicago Bears. The game was a shootout and proper showcase of the 49ers’ strength when everything is working correctly. The game did not have any of the usual suspects that would typically result in a loss. Garappolo had a 300-yard passing day with two rushing touchdowns and no turnovers, Aiyuk had four receptions (from 7 targets) for 47 yards and a two-point conversion.

In Odell Beckham Jr.‘s first game with the Rams, the 49ers started the game hot and kept the momentum going throughout the game. The 49ers won the game 31-10. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel led the offense with 133 total yards and two touchdowns, and the defense was led by safety Jimmie Ward, who had two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown. The 49ers were dominant on both sides throughout the game, leading them to be 5-0 against the Rams since 2019.

The 49ers are currently 4-5 and are half a game behind a chance at the playoffs. The 49ers have shown they have the ability to contend with the best of them and win. However, they’ll have to get back in the winning column if they want any chance at the Super Bowl.