The San Francisco 49ers managed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 in Week 3, but this was an ugly game by the Niners. Here’s a few players who need to improve for the next game.
As cornerback Richard Sherman said “we didn’t play perfect today, but our record is perfect” (h/t Washington Post). The San Francisco 49ers played one of the sloppiest games possible for a team, especially on offense, but managed to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 to improve to 3-0 on the young season.
This is a game where the box score might be useless in explaining what happened. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions, yet as our Jeremy Wolfhart pointed out, these throws weren’t completely on him. Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster might have 87 yards and a touchdown, but he was bottled up except for one big play. Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon had no pass defenses, but that was because Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph completely avoided him.
Yet, the box score does show one glaring problem: five turnovers. Two interceptions, three fumbles and a whole lot of dismay. The 49ers were discombobulated from the get-go, forcing the defense to step it up while the offense got it together, particularly in the first half.
Whenever an opposing offense scores on two long touchdowns and your offense has five turnovers, someone had to struggle. And what may be the greatest sign for this 49ers team, they have a lot of ways to improve.
With that in mind, there were three players in particular who have a ways to go to improve for next time.