No. 1: 49ers’ Penalties and Turnovers Get Out of Hand
Yes, San Francisco’s offense has turned into something prolific over its first three games of the season. And the defense has shown the ability to be a lock-down unit, too.
There are still some major problems, though.
San Francisco 49ers
Even after having a week off, the Niners have the third most offensive turnovers out of all NFL squads (eight), yet somehow managed to escape a five-turnover debacle against the Steelers in Week 3, pulling off a 24-20 win during the team’s home opener.
That was against a Pittsburgh squad, which only pulled off its first win of the year by beating the Cincinnati Bengals last week on Monday Night Football.
And the Bengals could be competing with the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins for the NFL’s worst this year.
Point being, a multi-turnover game won’t work against a better squad like the Browns, who already have seven defensive takeaways on the year — good for a seventh-place tie, along with the 49ers and New York Jets, surprisingly.
Likewise, the Niners have been penalized 25 times this season, averaging just over eight per game for a net total of 233 yards. On a positive note, Cleveland is being penalized just over 10 times per game, so that could be an advantage working in San Francisco’s favor.
But if the 49ers want to help ensure a victory, being on the right end of the penalty department would be a wise move.
Cleveland and San Francisco kick off on Monday, Oct. 7 at 8:15 p.m. ET from Levi’s Stadium.