49ers position grades, analysis from sloppy Week 7 loss vs. Colts
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers had to fend off the weather and themselves in Week 7, which turned into a question-raising loss in ugly fashion to the visiting Colts.
Week 7 wasn’t a playoff backbreaker for the San Francisco 49ers. But it sure felt like it.
Now losers of four consecutive games after falling 30-18 against the visiting Indianapolis Colts on Sunday Night Football, head coach Kyle Shanahan sure has a lot of explaining to do.
And plenty of problems to figure out. Especially considering the Niners had a full two weeks to prepare for this game having come off their Week 6 bye. Yes, the wet and stormy conditions at Levi’s Stadium Sunday night made it difficult for everyone involved. But quarterback Carson Wentz and the Colts managed to figure out these problems a lot better than Shanahan and Co.
Needless to say, now at 2-4 and looking at the very real reality of dropping back to last place within the NFC West and seeing whatever playoff hopes existed before the game dissipating, there should be a lot of questions asked of Shanahan.
We can start by breaking down some of the grades for each San Francisco position, both offensively and defensively, as well as looking at the coaching grades, too.
49ers Special Teams: D
Kicker Robbie Gould’s massive contract still looks as bad as ever, especially when fill-in kicker Joey Slye is making the kind of kicks Gould could otherwise make. And missing the ones Gould would likely miss, too, albeit at a much cheaper rate.
Slye missed one extra-point attempt, which might be somewhat excusable because of the weather. But when punter Mitch Wishnowsky’s 65-yard long for a punt is the only highlight from this group, it’s a bad sign.
Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who scantly got involved on offense, botched one punt that was fortunate enough to roll into the end zone for a touchback. Had it been a pure fumble and then recovered for a would-be safety, Aiyuk would have found himself relegated to Shanahan’s doghouse even more than he was entering the game.
Still, that didn’t help. Wet conditions at all.
Special teams didn’t cost the 49ers a win. But they didn’t help matters either.