Top 5 takeaways from 49ers' Week 3 loss to Cardinals
Ugly, ugly, ugly
Jim Tomsula’s tenure as 49ers head coach could not have gotten off to much of a better start. But since the 49ers’ opening-week victory over Minnesota, his team has been thoroughly outclassed in losses to Pittsburgh and Arizona. The 49ers were overmatched in every imaginable way in their 47-7 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. “We’ve got to play better defense. We’ve got to play better offense, play better special teams – play better everything,” Tomsula said...
5) This is bad
Anyone who looked at the 49ers’ schedule would have figured the 49ers, at best, would have a 1-2 record after three games. Sure enough, the 49ers are 1-2. But their losses have been far worse than anyone could have expected. The 49ers want to run the ball, but when defenses stack against the run, they don’t have any other answers. The defense needs to get pressure on the quarterback. But when that does not happen, the pass coverage has no chance. Ownership, management, the coaching staff and the players share the blame for the combined 90-25 margin of defeat of the past two weeks.
4) Bowman’s frustration
He was a three-time first-team All-Pro player at the time of his horrific knee injury in January 2014. Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman showed his frustrations on Sunday during and after the 40-point loss. Bowman admitted he does not feel as if he is back from the injury, which wiped out his entire 2014 season. Despite leading the 49ers with nine tackles, Bowman seems a step slow. He fully realized long ago it would not be easy to return to All-Pro form, but it’s clear Bowman is not where he wants to be in the process.
3) Personnel problems
For nearly all of the 49ers’ offseason losses, the organization had somebody they felt was ready to step in. General manager Trent Baalke’s roster consists of 24 first- and second-year players. For the second week in a row, the 49ers have ventured onto the road and got absolutely destroyed. On Sunday, everybody failed – veteran players and young, inexperienced players. The 49ers believe they have been an organization that has good depth across the board, but the results the past two weeks paint a completely different picture. It’s difficult to come up with one area in which the 49ers are doing things the right way.
2) Kaepernick takes blame
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick stood up and took the blame. The 49ers found themselves down 14-0 after the offense had held the ball for just three minutes. That’s how long it took for Kaepernick to throw two interceptions on nearly identical pass plays that resulted in touchdown returns.“Colin is our quarterback,” Tomsula said. He said it would’ve been worse to replace Kaepernick with Blaine Gabbert. He wanted to Kaepernick to remain in the game to work through his issues. He finished completing 9 of 19 passes for 67 yards with a career-worst four interceptions and no touchdowns. The 49ers are not looking to move on from Kaepernick, but with more performances like that, the organization will have no choice.
1) Delivering a plan
This is where things must change. Players expect their coaches to put them in positions to succeed. In that area, the coaching staff has failed miserably in the past two games. This is where things can get tricky. If offensive coordinator Geep Chryst and defensive coordinator Eric Mangini do not make changes to turn the tide, the 49ers coaching staff will lose the locker room. It’s a critical time for Tomsula’s staff, especially in light of comments from Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu that the 49ers’ passing game has been simplified so much that it’s easy to anticipate where the ball is going.