The 49ers fell 28-21 to the Seahawks, which puts them 2-2 on the year and last place in the NFC West a quarter of the way through 2021, prompting some hard-to-swallow lessons.
It’s easy to overreact negatively to losses, especially painful ones within the division to a rival like the Seattle Seahawks, who have seemingly owned the San Francisco 49ers over the past decade outside a handful of memorable moments for the red and gold.
Such was the case in Week 4 when quarterback Russell Wilson and Co. managed to turn on the pressure after a relatively uneventful first half that saw both teams 7-7 after the second quarter.
By the time it was over, Seattle had pulled away the 28-21 victory and all but dominated the second-half action.
One loss isn’t the end of the road, especially so early in the season. But a quarter-of-the-way-through mark is generally pretty telling when it comes to looking at trends. Now at 2-2 on the season, perhaps the Niners’ trend is they’re an OK team, perhaps only slightly above the .500 mark by the time the regular season rolls around.
If so, that’s one tough lesson San Francisco might have to accept after losing Week 4. Here are five others.
No. 5: 49ers aren’t a Super Bowl-caliber team
There’ll be those fans who say otherwise, and it’s always great to appreciate the enthusiasm.
But the cold, hard reality of this 49ers team is they aren’t equipped to make it to the Super Bowl this year, let alone win it. And it’s not even necessary to use the injury bug as an excuse, although that’s key.
In 2019, the Niners had both the talent and momentum to overcome multiple mistakes in certain phases of the game. Case in point, when kickoff returner Trent Cannon muffed his return, then lost the loose-ball fumble to Seattle, Wilson was able to punch the ball into the end zone for the Seahawks’ second touchdown within a four-play period.
San Francisco couldn’t overcome that. Nor could it overcome the fact kicker Robbie Gould missed the game with a groin injury, leading to punter and fill-in kicker Mitch Wishnowsky missing both a field goal and extra-point attempt.
Super Bowl-caliber teams need to be able to overcome those kinds of setbacks. The 49ers can’t right now.
The talent and relatively easy remaining schedule, outside the NFC West, mean the Niners will still compete for a playoff berth and likely get there.
Just don’t expect a game in February.