49ers skid continues as Brock Purdy and Co. fail miserably vs. Bengals

Two streaks continued in Week 8... Christian McCaffrey scoring touchdowns, and the 49ers losing games.

One of those streaks has been fun to watch. The other? Not so much.

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) tackles San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson (55) tackles San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

31. 56. Final. 17. 42. Bengals-49ers final

The 49ers still can't figure out how to get out of their funk, as both the offense and defense stank it up at home against the Bengals in Week 8.

A bye week couldn't come soon enough for the free-falling San Francisco 49ers, now losers of three straight games in the wake of a recent 31-17 defeat at the hands of the visiting Cincinnati Bengals in Week 8.

Coordinator Steve Wilks' defense bent over far too easily in the game, particularly early on. And head coach Kyle Shanahan's offense, albeit one without All-Pros in Deebo Samuel (shoulder) and Trent Williams (ankle), continued a streak of failing to hit 20 points in a game.

What's wrong?

It could be an inconsistent defense, yes. It could also be opposing teams taking away Shanahan's best weapon, the running game.

And it also could be quarterback Brock Purdy tossing interceptions at a suddenly alarming rate.

Whatever the case, it's bad.

It'll be a massive question for Shanahan and Co. during their Week 9 bye. Now 5-3, the Niners can't afford to continue their skid for much longer amid what's turning into a provocative NFC playoff race.

And, as difficult as it might be, San Francisco lost Week 8 for the following reasons.

Reason No. 1: Brock Purdy is now an interception-prone machine

Purdy tossed two devastating fourth-quarter interceptions in the Week 7 loss against the Minnesota Vikings last Monday.

Then, on two consecutive passes in the second half against Cincy, Purdy did so again. One was in the red zone, taking away what could have been a game-tying scoring attempt. And then again after the 49ers defense stiffened up for a stand that induced a punt:

Cincinnati then scored a crucial third touchdown on the play immediately thereafter.

Purdy went 20-of-29 for 296 yards, a touchdown against two picks, all for a passer rating of 84.8.

More crucially, he's thrown five interceptions in three games. That's not good.

Reason No. 2: 49ers took too long to overcome Bengals' 5-man front

Teams started to operate with five defensive linemen against the Niners during their three-game skid, which helped negate the prowess of All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.

McCaffrey managed to find the end zone for a 17th consecutive game, which tied an NFL record, yet he still managed just 54 yards rushing and a touchdown. For much of the game, though, Purdy's scrambling was actually outpacing the rushing attempts of the All-Pro running back.

Shanahan started to call more play action in the third quarter, which worked well enough until Purdy started throwing his interceptions.

But failing to get the ground game going earlier took away so much from what Shanahan and the offense needed to do sooner.

Reason No. 3: 49ers defense too permeable, too early

Burrow and a dangerous Bengals offense played poorly early in the year. But after their own bye week, the Bengals are still plenty dangerous and laden with playmakers.

That said, the Niners still boast one of the most talented defensive rosters in football. But that side of the ball hasn't played up to its standard as of late, including the first two stands versus Cincy in Week 8, which resulted in touchdowns.

Cincinnati getting out to over 227 first-half yards and a quick 14-7 lead helped set the tone.

Especially with San Francisco missing tackles and would-be sack opportunities.

Over their five-game win streak to begin the season, those are sacks and tackles the 49ers wouldn't miss.

But they are missing them. And they're losing, too.

Hopefully, a bye week gives Shanahan and his team the much-needed break to regroup, figure out what's wrong and how to properly respond.

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