Reasons why 49ers shouldn’t panic after ugly loss to Chiefs

Deebo Samuel #19 talks to Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Deebo Samuel #19 talks to Christian McCaffrey #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

42. Final. 44. 124. 23

The 49ers’ Week 7 loss to the Chiefs was ugly in every sense of the word, but the Niners shouldn’t admit all is lost despite what happened on Sunday.

There aren’t going to be too many silver linings from the San Francisco 49ers’ 44-23 lopsided loss to the Kansas City Chiefs last Sunday.

Yes, newly acquired running back Christian McCaffrey was exciting to watch and looked explosive on his first few touches. But the Niners didn’t acquire McCaffrey to be the difference-maker on offense.

And by the looks of it, San Francisco needs to figure out who its difference-makers are. On both sides of the ball.

Sure, it’s easy to be “doom and gloom” in the wake of the loss. However, the 49ers could have lost 50-10 or 24-23, and the defeat would have gone down in the loss column all the same.

The Niners have had and are going to have bad games, Week 7 being one of them.

So, to turn things around and make San Francisco’s situation a bit more positive, here’s why the 49ers aren’t anywhere close to panic mode despite being embarrassed by Kansas City on Sunday.

49ers no-panic reason No. 1: Kyle Shanahan’s teams traditionally start slow

OK, so probably the first thing someone thinks about when considering the Niners’ slow starts under head coach Kyle Shanahan is how that 2019 team started off with a red-hot 8-0 record, the final team in the league to remain undefeated that year.

That was the exception, not the rule.

Granted, a lot of Shanahan’s teams have also been bad. But, when looking at how the 2021 squad got off to a concerning 3-5 start, the turnaround ultimately proved good enough to propel San Francisco to within minutes of winning the NFC Championship game last February.

Sure, the 49ers had to catch a few lucky breaks last season. Yet one could argue this year’s squad is better than the one Shanahan had at his disposal in 2021.

And that leads us to our next takeaway.

49ers no-panic reason No. 2: Too much talent to be bad

Perhaps this is equally concerning as it is promising, but the Niners boast an awfully talented roster on both sides of the ball.

How many of San Francisco’s players were in the NFL Top 100 this year? Either way, it’s not hard to count the true blue-chip, impact players such as wide receiver Deebo Samuel, tight end George Kittle, left tackle Trent Williams, EDGE Nick Bosa, fullback Kyle Juszczyk and now McCaffrey.

Even the secondary and tertiary players deserve some respect, such as defensive tackle Arik Armstead or safety Jimmie Ward.

Now, perhaps the 49ers offense is limited because of quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and his abilities or inabilities. That’s up for debate, yet there’s an excellent supporting cast of players around him regardless.

This does cut both ways, though, as one can fairly wonder why all this talent hasn’t helped the Niners get to a better record than 3-4.

However, it’s much better to have that talent than not have it, at least as far as turnarounds are concerned.

49ers no-panic reason No. 3: The NFC stinks, so does the NFC West

There’s a lot of weird football going around these days. And while it’s not just limited to the NFC as a whole, let’s focus there for now.

If San Francisco’s 3-4 record is concerning, chew on this: Both the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the two squads many thought would battle it out for the conference championship, are also 3-4 after seven weeks.

Who would have thought?

OK, so the Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants and especially the Philadelphia Eagles have been pleasant surprises in the NFC this year.

However, looking at the pound-for-pound matchups against those teams, the 49ers would still stand a chance if a playoff bout was on the horizon.

And considering a mere one game separates all four teams within the NFC West, with the Niners trailing the first-place Seattle Seahawks by one game (half of one, technically, because of divisional record), the division itself remains wide open for the taking.

A single loss to the Chiefs, no matter how ugly it was, isn’t going to change that.

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