Few predicted the SF 49ers would start the first quarter of the 2020 season with a 2-2 record, but that’s the reality and a surprise early this season.
Perhaps the SF 49ers are little more than a .500 team this season.
It’s quite a shock, especially after head coach Kyle Shanahan’s aspirations for 2020 are nothing short of getting back to the Super Bowl and winning it this time. And for many pundits, before Week 1 began, that was the expectation level.
A quarter of the way through the regular season, the Niners find themselves 2-2 amid what many consider to be the easiest portion of their schedule. Losses to the Arizona Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles in Weeks 1 and 4, respectively, point out two key elements about the realities Shanahan and Co. are staring at right now.
For starters, San Francisco’s depth has been called upon a lot this season, thanks to the team-shredding injuries it has endured all year long. And while some backups and reserves have risen to the occasion, it’s pretty clear the SF 49ers can’t hope to compete for a postseason berth while wholly shorthanded.
The other element, one which is far more troubling, is the Niners are no longer beating teams they should otherwise beat. The Cardinals, despite being upstarts, are a .500 team at the quarter mark of 2020, too, and a disjointed Week 4 effort from San Francisco resulted in the Eagles getting their first win of the season despite one of the league’s worst offenses.
Both of those are pretty big surprises at this point in the season.
There are more, however, and they’re not all pretty. While some positive surprises have shown up the first four weeks, it’s the negative surprises fans should be worried about.
Here are the five biggest so far.