What 49ers loss vs. Colts says about 2021 playoff picture

A disappointing 49ers performance in Week 7 against Colts has put the season in a precarious situation for Kyle Shanahan and Co.

“Disappointing” doesn’t seem good enough a word that accurately describes the performance of the San Francisco 49ers this week.

More accurately, the word “frustrating” comes to mind with the Niners’ 30-18 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Week 7 on Sunday Night Football.

A fast 9-0 start ended up being a false dawn, and the team was simply not good enough to keep up with a team that’s considered to be above average at best.

To add to the frustration, flag after flag was thrown on San Francisco, as the cornerbacks continue to get pinged for pass interference despite not learning from previous games how happy the refs are to make those calls.

Read More: 49ers position grades, analysis from sloppy Week 7 loss vs. Colts

On the offensive end, the efforts of running back Elijah Mitchell and wide receiver Deebo Samuel weren’t enough to carry the team. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s performance was simply not good enough, and with fans liking what they’ve seen from rookie quarterback Trey Lance, it seems a matter of if, not when the team decides to make a permanent switch.

The Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams are out of reach for the 49ers realistically now, all the team has left is to try to fight for a Wild Card spot.

Not impossible, but not going to happen at this current rate. Injuries are only part of the problem, the game plan isn’t working either.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan is supposed to be a wizard at play-calling, but he can’t seem to find the magic. Defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans has struggled to replace his predecessor, Robert Saleh, although how much is on him and how much is on the secondary situation is another matter.

There are no two ways about it. The state of the playoff picture is clear: San Francisco will not be playing postseason football without major shifts on offense and defense.

I’m not some football genius and I don’t expect people to take my word as gospel, but step one in my view is to take the plunge. Lance must now take the mantle and make it his team. His floor may be lower at this stage, but he can break through the ceiling, too.

Defensively, it’s more difficult, as you can’t make the cornerback situation healthier by wishing it after all, but tweaks to the scheme must be made to adjust and at least give the offense a chance.

The Niners are not out of the playoff picture yet, but they’re like a boxer in a title fight who’s well behind on points. The game plan isn’t working, and they need to start swinging for the fences to have a shot.

Swing away, 49ers, and take the chance. It’s better to miss the playoffs trying something different than to miss the playoffs with the same frustrating play that’s been plaguing the season so far.