4 critical items learned from 49ers Week 14 overtime win vs. Bengals

Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Ja'Marr Chase, Ambry Thomas, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers
Ja’Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals beats Ambry Thomas #20 of the San Francisco 49ers for a touchdown (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

No. 2: 49ers still have a major cornerback problem

All too often, the outcome of events is determined by actions made long, long before the ramifications are known. And for years, San Francisco has largely neglected its cornerbacking needs, leading to players like rookies Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir being thrown into the mix before they’re anywhere close to being ready.

Thomas, who got the start versus the Bengals because of Emmanuel Moseley being out with an ankle injury, and Dontae Johnson being away from the game because of a family member passing, looked like a first-year player in every sense of the term.

Cincy rookie wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase beat Thomas twice badly, one being a near-touchdown only to see the would-be catch ruled incomplete in the end zone, then for real when Chase easily worked behind the cornerback before safety Jimmie Ward could get over:

Perhaps these are the kinds of growing pains Thomas needs to go through, but it wasn’t the only issue.

Veteran corner Josh Norman also was beat on the same drive, too, leading to the above Cincinnati touchdown, and both he and nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams will be free agents in 2022.

The 49ers need Thomas and Lenoir to develop in a hurry, and they probably need to continue making even more investments at this position between now and next season, too.