It’s going to be really fun to watch the San Francisco 49ers play football in 2021. With their majority of star players injured, the magic that was the 2019 season is quickly becoming nothing more than a faded memory.
With the 49ers losing their third straight game, perhaps the excitement for next season is starting to brew much earlier than expected. In a 27-13 road loss to the New Orleans Saints, the 49ers played well enough to not get blown out, but not well enough to pose any legitimate threat. San Francisco jumped out to an early 10-0 lead, but then got outscored 27-3 the rest of the way.
The 49ers did themselves no favors, as they turned the ball over four times. Backup quarterback Nick Mullens threw two interceptions and San Francisco muffed two punts that the Saints were able to fall on.
San Francisco’s inability to run the ball was once again on full display. The 49ers didn’t have a run go longer than nine yards and totaled only 49 yards on 25 attempts for an average of 1.96 yards per carry. The 49ers finished the game with more yards in penalties (51) than yards on the ground.
The 49ers got a gift to start the third quarter, as future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees was unable to play and backup Jameis Winston took over. Unfortunately, the 49ers could not force Winston to make any major mistake that could change the outcome of the game.
Defensively, the ’Niners played well. But with the turnover issues, they were often playing with their backs up against their own end zone. Rookie first-round draft pick Javon Kinlaw finally got to a quarterback, as he picked up 1.5 sacks, which were the first of his career. San Francisco did force two turnovers, but only three points came as a result.
Now with each loss, San Francisco’s slot in the 2021 NFL draft gets better and better. If the season were to end right now, the 49ers would have the 13th overall selection. They have been linked to scouting BYU quarterback Zach Wilson. But the need for a center, cornerback and a big receiver also need to be addressed by the 49ers in the draft.
After playing 10 games in a row, San Francisco has finally reached its bye week. The 49ers will return to action on Nov. 29 to take on the Rams in Los Angeles. From there, San Francisco takes on the Bills, Washington, Cowboys, Cardinals and Seahawks. Of those games, the 49ers have a chance to win two of them and maybe sneak in an upset along the way. However, don’t be surprised if the win total of four doesn’t change the rest of the year.