The San Francisco 49ers lost in embarrassing fashion to the still-undefeated Los Angeles Rams, committing four turnovers and falling 39-10 in Week 7. Here are the five biggest takeaways.
Right now, the San Francisco 49ers are very good at one thing — turning the ball over on offense and making sure their defense isn’t doing the same thing.
This was especially the case in Week 7, as the now-1-6 Niners welcomed the undefeated Los Angeles Rams to Levi’s Stadium and subsequently turned the ball over four times to L.A., which ultimately led to the Rams’ 39-10 embarrassment of head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad.
The 49ers entered the contest with the NFL’s worst turnover differential through six weeks, minus-11. And after committing those four turnovers without generating a defensive takeaway of their own, that differential now increases to minus-15.
Quarterback C.J. Beathard was ultimately responsible for three of those four turnovers, tossing two interceptions on the game and losing a strip-sack fumble on San Francisco’s opening possession.
Running back Matt Breida was responsible for the 49ers’ fourth turnover — a fumble late in the first quarter.
It’s pretty safe to say turnovers doomed whatever slim chances San Francisco had to pull off an upset over the high-powered Rams. But it’s been an issue for Shanahan and Co. over the past few weeks.
So let’s start off with that in Niner Noise’s five takeaways from this lopsided defeat.
No. 5: Turnovers Are Costing the 49ers Chances at Wins
It’s been a theme for much of 2018. But the Niners are losing games in which they have chances to win.
San Francisco 49ers
Over the past three weeks, including Week 7, turning the ball over has been a prime obstacle keeping San Francisco from winning games. Two weeks ago against the visiting Arizona Cardinals, the Niners committed five turnovers en route to a forgettable 28-18 defeat during a game in which, statistically, the 49ers dominated the Cardinals.
In Week 6 against the Green Bay Packers, Beathard tossed a costly fourth-quarter interception with the game tied at 30 apiece. Instead of merely shooting for the first-down marker, running out the clock and settling for what could have been a game-winning field goal, Beathard gave Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers a chance to drive the field and give Green Bay the win.
Well, Rodgers and the Packers did just that, edging the 49ers 33-30 on a game-winning field goal as time expired. Points off a turnover.
With the four turnovers lost in Week 7, the Niners now have 18 on the year, which will likely put them most in the league (depending on the results from Monday Night Football, of course) after seven weeks.
While it would have been a long shot to see the 49ers upset the Rams, L.A. managed just 331 yards of total offense in the game. It wasn’t as if the Rams were completely dominant here, meaning eliminating those turnovers could have played a big role.
Regardless, the Niners are nowhere close to being good enough to overcome those turnovers. It showed Sunday.