In his preparation for calling the upcoming game at Levi’s Stadium, NBC Sports NFL analyst Cris Collinsworth took one look at the 49ers’ Week 5 game and tried to erase it from his memory.
“I watched that game last week, and that was a total waste of time,” Collinsworth said. “They’re never going to play another game over the next five years that looks like that, that they approach like that, or that they have those players playing in those positions.”
The 49ers, coming off a 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins, return to action under the lights of “Sunday Night Football” to face the Los Angeles Rams.
The 49ers enter the week in last place in the NFC West with a 2-3 record. Already with as many losses as all of last year’s regular season, the 49ers face a lot of difficult questions.
Near the top of the list is whether quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is the long-term answer for the organization.
Collinsworth said it might not be fair to have that discussion after Garoppolo so noticeably was limited last week due to a high ankle sprain. Coach Kyle Shanahan pulled Garoppolo after a disastrous first half against the Dolphins that ended with back-to-back interceptions.
“If you’re going to judge him based on that last game, you’d say no,” Collinsworth said of Garoppolo. “I have never seen the ball come out of his hand like that.
"Those two passes before the half, his back foot kicked up off the ground. You could tell that there were certain throws that were just killing him to be able to make.”
Questions are also swirling around the other side of the ball with defensive coordinator Robert Saleh and his unit.
It is difficult to truly evaluate the 49ers’ defense due to injuries to the team’s defensive line and cornerback positions, Collinsworth points out. The 49ers have been unable to generate much of a pass rush without defensive ends Nick Bosa and Dee Ford.
“This team was built around their defensive line,” Collinsworth said. “They have drafted around their defensive line. Their defensive line is no longer there.
“The system is a great system. Defensively, they have a lot of things figured out. But when you don’t have players, I don’t care who your coaches are. I don’t care what the design is, if you don’t have the players, it ain’t working.”