49ers' loss to Dolphins filled with wrong kind of history


The 49ers were all kinds of bad in Sunday's 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium.

It would be futile to list every way in which the 49ers were below par against the Dolphins, so allow me to scratch the surface.

For one, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was benched after a half, and you can make the case it was the worst start of his 49ers career.

For another, you can make the case it was the 49ers' worst offensive performance under coach Kyle Shanahan period.

Let's say neither of those drive home that the 49ers were especially bad on Sunday. What if I told you that their 43 points against were tied for the third-most in four seasons under Shanahan, and they failed to score at least 20 points in a regular-season game for the first time since Week 13 last year?

Not doing it for you? Fine, this is where I'll note that the 49ers haven't allowed this many points in a home loss since the first decade of the 21st century.

It can't possibly get any worse than that, right? Dear reader, it can.

It's worth noting that "home-field advantage" doesn't exist for the 49ers this season, as fans aren't allowed at Levi's Stadium due to safety restrictions in California in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. It's also worth noting that the 49ers didn't make the playoffs in any of the seasons they started 0-3 at home.

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This blog isn't close to exhaustive, but you get the picture nonetheless. The 49ers had an awful Sunday, no matter how you slice it. Bad news doesn't end there, however, as none of the 49ers' next six opponents currently have a record worse than 2-2. Plus, only 16.1 percent of the NFL teams in the last century to start 2-3 made the playoffs, according to Pro Football Reference. That's compared to 40.7 percent teams that started 3-2.

On a day filled with ignominious milestones for the 49ers, that might be the worst one of all. The 49ers, at least based on precedent, really couldn't afford to be as poor as they were Sunday. 

They'll have nowhere to go but up in Week 6 against the Los Angeles Rams. It's hard to imagine things getting much worse.