49ers fall victim to trap game, lose sloppy road bout vs. Browns

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy / Jason Miller/GettyImages

17. 42. Final. 19. 53. 49ers Browns final

Things pretty much went south for the 49ers after their first possession on the road against the Browns.

The first two minutes and 44 seconds of the Week 6 game between the San Francisco 49ers and hometown Cleveland Browns was awesome, at least from the Niners' perspective.

After that, though, the bulk of the contest in Cleveland was drudgery for head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co. until the final minute or so.

All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey continued his touchdown-scoring streak by capitalizing on some Browns penalties on San Francisco's opening possession. But, for the most part, Cleveland bottled up the league MVP candidate from that point onward.

And that's probably a big reason why the 49ers and their much-vaunted offense nevertheless went stagnant until the final remnants of the fourth quarter, which resulted in a field-goal miss by rookie kicker Jake Moody that landed the Niners a 19-17 first loss of the year, one in which the officials seemed to hinder both sides from the first quarter to the end.

Although a brutally bad call on safety Tashaun Gipson just before the two-minute warning was awful and was also called out as so by the Fox broadcasting team.

There was another first, too, with quarterback Brock Purdy tossing his first interception of the season amid his first-ever regular-season loss, which led to three Browns points. Looking at Purdy's line of 12-of-27 for 125 yards, a touchdown, a interceptions and a 55.3 passer rating, it's hard to pinpoint if he and San Francsico were suffering from a trap game after demolishing the Dallas Cowboys last week, or if both weather and injuries played a bigger role.

Perhaps all of those factors.

49ers finally bit by injury bug as Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel and Christian McCaffrey suffer setbacks

One could argue the 49ers lost momentum when wide receiver Deebo Samuel exited the game with a shoulder injury and didn't return.

Only moments before, left tackle Trent Williams suffered an ankle injury but was able to return. However, he and the rest of the Niners offensive line struggled in both run blocking and pass protection against a vaunted Cleveland defensive front.

Related story: Trent Williams, Deebo Samuel both suffer injuries in Week 6 vs. Browns

McCaffrey, too, exited the game with an oblique injury. Considering how much Shanahan uses the All-Pro, that's potentially a major concern.

At least backup running back Jordan Mason helped pick up the slack with a late touchdown that gave San Francisco the lead again.

Still, the postgame injury reports on Sunday and Monday will be potentially nail-biting.

Brock Purdy, 49ers offense impacted by foul weather or trap game?

Purdy easily had his worst game of the season. Amid the injuries and rainy weather, was the second-year quarterback merely falling victim to his circumstances? He did have one ball slip fully out of his hand, and plenty of passes were well off the mark.

Or is Purdy coming back to earth, proverbially, after such a hot start to the season?

That'll likely be a debate point all week, but it's also a simple explanation that both Purdy and the 49ers offense suffered from a trap-game syndrome during a road game in the Eastern Time Zone.

Oh, and Cleveland's defense is still legit. That counts, too.

Nevertheless, the 5-1 Niners will want to regroup in advance of their second game of a two-game road trip, Week 7 on Monday Night Football against the Minnesota Vikings.

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