3 silver linings from 49ers' kerfuffle of a loss to Browns in Week 6

There were plenty of clouds over the 49ers' loss to the Browns, but there has to be some silver linings there somewhere, right?
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy (13) / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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49ers Browns final. 17. 42. Final. 19. 53

The 49ers blew plenty of chances to beat the Browns in Week 6, but the 19-17 defeat isn't all bad news.

There were plenty of what-if moments stemming from the San Francisco 49ers' 19-17 Week 6 road defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

What if quarterback Brock Purdy doesn't overthrow running back Christian McCaffrey on that first-half choice route? McCaffrey would have had not one but two touchdowns on the day.

What if the officials hadn't wrongly flagged Tashaun Gipson for unnecessary roughness when Cleveland was facing 3rd-and-long late in the fourth quarter?

What if kicker Jake Moody makes not only that last-second potential go-ahead field goal that would have put the game at 20-19 with mere seconds to spare, but what if he also made his other miss? All other things being equal, San Francisco wouldn't be talking about its first loss of the season.

Alas, though, that's the situation for Purdy, McCaffrey, Gipson, Moody and Co. They're 5-1 now but could have won if only one of a large number of gaffes went the other way.

Is it worth being positive?

Of course it is. Let's find those positives stemming from an otherwise frustrating 49ers loss.

Silver lining No. 1: 49ers nearly won despite offense playing horribly vs. a top-ranked Browns defense

For those thinking the Niners defense is good, Cleveland's is no joke either. Entering Week 6, it actually ranked No. 1 in fewest yards allowed, and it was also third best in points against, too, meaning San Francisco was going to have a tough go at it regardless of the context.

Purdy, who completed less than 50 percent of his passes and had just 125 yards through the air, made plenty of mistakes, too, in his first-ever regular-season loss. McCaffrey was largely stymied after the 49ers' touchdown-scoring opening possession, and tight end George Kittle was limited to just one catch for a single yard.

The Niners went 3-of-12 on third downs and averaged a mere 3.9 yards per play. That's bad. So are 12 penalties for 105 yards.

And yet San Francisco nearly won.

"We had a rough start of the offense," left tackle Trent Williams said after the game. "But when we needed the plays, we made them down at the end during the [final] two-minute drive, and we just came up a little bit short."

The 49ers can play that horribly on the road amid poor weather and still come mere inches away from winning a game in those circumstances.