No. 1: How to Fix the 49ers’ Special Teams?
During many of the down years, the 49ers’ special teams unit typically was one of the more reliable of its kind over any given stretch of any season.
San Francisco 49ers
Not so in 2019.
This was made apparent against Cleveland, when always-reliable veteran kicker Robbie Gould uncharacteristically missed three of his four field-goal tries. Granted, one was blocked. But the other two misses, combined with two earlier ones, means Gould is now converting at a 58.3-percent rate on the season — fourth worst among qualifiers.
Kyle Shanahan told reporters following Monday’s game the long-snapping efforts were botched on one snap, so look for that to be potentially addressed ahead of Week 6. Perhaps the Niners call back Colin Holba, who was let go earlier this season, to hold the line until the still-suspended Kyle Nelson returns.
Either way, the misses are concerning.
Especially considering the 49ers will be on the road for this contest, and one could easily figure the Rams won’t be trailing by three or more scores heading into the fourth quarter.
Sunday’s game could be decided by a last-second field goal easily, meaning Gould and San Francisco’s special teams need to be on point.
The 49ers and Rams kick off on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 4:05 p.m. ET from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.