Richard Sherman gives about as honest a take as anyone out there, and he ultimately felt the 49ers' loss to the Browns in Week 6 was a good thing.
The San Francisco 49ers can pick and choose one of a number of different things from their 19-17 Week 6 road loss at the hands of the Cleveland Browns and admit, had something gone the other way, they might be 6-0 instead of 5-1.
That said, no other team in the NFL has a better record right now, and the Niners didn't exactly lose significant ground anywhere in either the NFC West or the conference as a whole.
Were they exposed, though? Is San Francisco fraudulent?
Those will be talking points for much of the week. But, for many of those who've played the game, the biggest takeaway is that the 49ers are getting a much-needed lesson.
Leave it to one of their former star cornerbacks, Richard Sherman, to provide the explanation.
Richard Sherman points out how 'wake-up call' vs. Browns will ultimately help 49ers
Sherman was with the Niners when they started off the 2019 season 8-0, the last undefeated team in the league.
San Francisco did suffer some tough losses that season, including a rain-soaked defeat on the road against a stout Baltimore Ravens team, then a home trap game against a struggling Atlanta Falcons squad.
Still, Sherman felt the 49ers needed that reality check in Cleveland. Speaking on his own podcast, transcribed by Angelina Martin of NBC Sports Bay Area, Sherman said:
"Sometimes, you need a wake-up call. You don't want to go undefeated and get the wake-up call in the playoffs, because it's over. This team is going to learn from this."
Sherman's words aren't unlike what linebacker Fred Warner said after the game, noting how he felt the Niners "needed this game" so they could be "battle-tested" regardless of the outcome.
In that sense, San Francisco got what it needed: a hard-fought bout on the road in the rain against a top-ranked Browns defense.
The fact the 49ers didn't win and made plenty of mistakes along the way, including missed field goals, provided that wake-up call of which Sherman spoke.
"Brock Purdy played a very tough game, and when the team needed it down the stretch, he completed passes, he got the ball down the field and they missed the kick. If [Jake Moody] continues to perform like this, they will call somebody else up that is more reliable and that can get the job done."