The San Francisco 49ers are only three games into the regular season and more than likely done for the year. After an ugly start against the flying high Chiefs, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo orchestrated a late second half comeback. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late. The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the 49ers 38 to 27. To make matters worse, Garoppolo, after running down the sideline late in the game tweaked his knee awkwardly in what appears to be an ACL tear, finishing his season.
So what now?
CJ Beathard takes the reigns at quarterback, but barring a late unforeseen coming out party, and/or high profile signing we’ve already witnessed CJ’s greatest hits. For 49ers fans this is a brutal kick to the family jewels. The offenses’ insufficiencies are very well documented… A porous o-line in transition, a bad case of the dropsies, mental errors, and penalties killing drives. We all saw it coming, that said, the defense has been worse.
Before the game in Arrowhead Sunday, Defensive Coordinator Robert Sala talked to the media about bringing a different look that Patrick Mahomes had never seen before. Sadly, Mahomes saw the same sorry defense that 49ers fans have been seeing since the preseason. Mahomes had all day to throw and carved up Salas’ defense, taking advantage of wide open receivers and poor tackling. Garoppolo got into a rhythm in the second half and made a late push, but it simply wasn’t enough. When he tried to force it Garoppolo got hurt and ended his season.
My first thought after the game was that somebody had to get fired for this, because somebody has to pay. Not only do you lose a game, but your franchise quarterback for the season, and it’s only week three. There’s plenty of blame to go around and for the remainder of the season fans and media alike will speculate the fate of coaches and executives while designating blame… If only Garoppolo had the time in the pocket and the receivers to get open… If only the defense had a premier pass rusher that could have slowed Mohomes down. If only Jimmy G didn’t get hurt.
Can they fix this?
Like I mentioned before, Beathard is pretty well known but he has shown some flashes. Perhaps in his second year he can take the next step and be the quarterback Shanahan envisioned when he drafted him. Even so, the offensive line isn’t going to get better all of a sudden and the depth in talent probably won’t change much either.
Beathard having a NickFoles type Cinderella story is possible, but not very probable. More than likely 49ers fans are in for a long and lonely season. The silver lining in all this might be picking early in the 2019 draft. Then they can finally find that missing piece, whether it be a premier pass rusher, shutdown corner or a red zone threat receiver. In the meantime there’s still 13 games left to change our minds.