While the SF 49ers’ Week 1 loss to the Cardinals was ugly in many ways, there were some positive takeaways to make fans feel better.
OK, so it’s mostly bad. But there are some positive takeaways. And they extend beyond the proverbial “football is back” statements we’ve been hearing and saying for the past week-plus now.
From the defensive vantage point, many of the mistakes are fundamental errors. Poor tackling, as the Niners were charged with eight misses here, is a technique issue and will be addressed at length between now and the team’s Week 2 road contest against the New York Jets. A communication gaffe occurred, setting up Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins for a massive 33-yard reception against blown coverage, leading to an Arizona touchdown the next play.
Again, expect that to be cleaned up quickly, too.
San Francisco will also get some key contributors back from injuries in the near future as well. Head coach Kyle Shanahan missed rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) in Week 1, and fill-in starting center Ben Garland (ankle) will hopefully be back in time, potentially alleviating some of the concerns Shanahan has along his offensive line.
As such, one of those silver linings is the Niners’ Week 1 loss isn’t wholly to blame on a completely lackluster roster devoid of talent. And the pedigree both Shanahan and defensive coordinator Robert Saleh displayed last year simply didn’t go away over the course of a single offseason.
Yet there are some more detailed positives to take away from the loss, too, and those might help alleviate the pain SF 49ers fans are feeling in the wake of an otherwise ugly Week 1.
Let’s focus on those instead.