NFL season

Kyle Shanahan’s Challenge: Reigniting the San Francisco 49ers

Last Updated: 30 October 2023By Tags: ,

The NFL season has taken an interesting turn, with the San Francisco 49ers facing a familiar crossroads. Around this time last year, the team was grappling with adversity after a humbling loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, leaving them at 3-4 for the season. But as history has shown, the solution to their problems was right within their reach.

In a bold move last year, the 49ers acquired Christian McCaffrey, a star running back, in a blockbuster trade. The idea was simple – McCaffrey’s arrival would provide the spark needed for a remarkable second-half surge. And that’s precisely what happened. The 49ers went on a stunning 10-game winning streak, propelling them to the NFC Championship Game.

Fast forward to the present, and the 49ers are once again heading into a crucial bye week, but this time with a better record. However, their recent struggles, including a disheartening 31-17 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals, have raised concerns. The team’s once-promising 5-0 start has been marred by three consecutive losses, pushing them out of first place in the NFC West.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan is unwavering in his belief that the team has the answers it needs within its own ranks. “I believe we have good players. I believe we have good coaches. It’s up to me to get them to do better,” he stated. The team’s recent setbacks are a stark contrast to their early-season dominance. They were able to mask their mistakes during their strong start but have been unable to do so in their recent losses.

The numbers tell a story of their recent struggles. The 49ers have been outscored by an average of 7 points per game, outgained by an average of 62 yards per game, and have given up 15 plays of 20-plus yards over the past three weeks. Their once-stellar turnover margin has also suffered, with seven turnovers in this period.

NFL season

Quarterback Brock Purdy, who had managed to avoid interceptions during the first five weeks, has thrown five in the last three games, affecting the team’s ability to run the ball effectively. These issues are compounded by an unexpected dip in the defense’s performance.

The 49ers, known for their robust defense in recent years, have shown a decline in recent weeks. Despite the change in defensive coordinator, the unit has struggled to contain opponents, allowing nearly 70 more passing yards per game.

The upcoming bye week provides an opportunity to heal injuries, allowing key players like Trent Williams and Deebo Samuel to recuperate. However, it will take more than that to get the team back on track. With matchups against Jacksonville, Tampa Bay, Seattle, Philadelphia, and another game against Seattle looming, the 49ers need to regroup and refocus.

Kyle Shanahan sums up the situation perfectly, “I think our guys need to be fired up a little bit. I think we need to come back with a little better focus because it hasn’t been enough, and we haven’t been getting it done.”

In essence, the 49ers’ journey to rediscover their winning ways is an internal quest for improvement, guided by the belief that the answers lie within their own ranks.