49ers vs. Seahawks: 4 stats that say everything about Week 4 loss
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers go 2-14 on third-down conversions
Perhaps it’s a bit of a football cliche, but there’s some truth to the argument that games are won or lost on red-zone appearances and on third downs.
Well, perhaps that’s the case for San Francisco. At least in the third-down department.
If you looked at nothing but the total yardage for both teams — 49ers (457), Seahawks (234) — you’d expect the Niners dominated Week 4. San Francisco had 23 first downs to Seattle’s 14, too, further reinforcing what appears to be a lopsided affair.
Except for the fact the 49ers had a miserable 2-of-14 mark on third-down tries for a lowly 14.3-percent success rate.
Blame what you want, Jimmy Garoppolo’s inability to move the chains aside from his first drive resulting in a touchdown. Perhaps it was head coach Kyle Shanahan’s inconsistent play-calling. Whatever.
But the bottom line is it’s going to be difficult for any team to win when it’s converting third downs less than 20 percent of the time, and Week 4 proved to be a case study in that department.
At the quarter mark of the season, the Niners are converting 37.5 percent of their third-down tries, which is good for 21st in the league.
If you’re wondering why Shanahan’s offense isn’t clicking as well as it could be, this is a big reason why.