5 stats reveal why 49ers are 3-5 halfway through 2021

Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Jordan Phillips #97 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers is sacked by Jordan Phillips #97 of the Arizona Cardinals (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Colt McCoy, Nick Bosa, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Colt McCoy (12) runs in front of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports /

In a year where many thought they’d contend for a playoff berth, the 49ers are looking more like a bottom-ranked team. These stats reveal why.

A 3-5 record at the halfway point of the 2021 season is not exactly what San Francisco 49ers fans had envisioned this year.

While the thought of a Super Bowl berth might have been a little out of reach, the Niners were surely going to be in the mix for a playoff spot even if the rough-and-tough NFC West was going to prove more than challenging. After all, considering San Francisco was well within the running at this point last year despite a swarm of injuries, a relatively healthy 2021 squad would be much better, right?

Well, not so much.

Having lost four of their last five games at the halfway point of the year, the 49ers can look at a lot of different things for the blame. Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s decision-making has been questionable, certain players are underachieving and injuries have again taken their toll.

But football is a statistics-based sport, and these five shocking stats reveal key reasons why the Niners are looking more like a bottom-dweller than a playoff contender.

No. 5: 49ers have awfully low sack totals, pressure rate

San Francisco’s defensive line was pegged to be the strength once more in 2021, especially in light of EDGEs Nick Bosa and Dee Ford coming back from serious injuries suffered a year ago. On top of that, second-year defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw was anticipating a massive leap from his rookie season.

Kinlaw is out for the year with a knee injury after being in and out of the lineup anyway, and Ford has underwhelmed since starting off hot, reverting back to injured reserve in Week 9 with the same back injury that plagued him a year ago.

Bosa, with his team-high seven sacks, has been the lone statistical standout.

Through nine weeks, the 49ers have mustered just 18 sacks, tied for 18th in the league, and have a pressure rate of only 23.3 percent, 21st. While Bosa has been effective, he hasn’t been receiving the support necessary to help out elsewhere.

Ford’s three sacks are next on the list, and no one else has more than two sacks.

As a result, opponents aren’t having to worry about complementary pass-rushing threats outside of Bosa, leading to increased opportunities to pick apart an already-suspect Niners secondary.