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Three Takeaways From Week Seven

The San Francisco 49ers were obliterated by the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. The contest’s final score was 44-23 as the Niners’ offense couldn’t keep up with the Chiefs. Here are three takeaways from the blowout loss.

Christian McCaffrey Might Have To Carry This Offense

The 49ers have won games this year heavily due to top-tier production on defense, which also didn’t show up on Sunday afternoon. But the main issue with this team all season long has been the offense struggling to put up points. The same was true against the Chiefs who have one of the worst defenses against the pass. While the Niners scored 23 points, it felt like they struggled nearly the entire way to get those points.

Christian McCaffrey had limited usage since he only joined the team a few days ago, but he showed flashes of what he can do to open up this offense once he is more involved. The idea of trading for him was that he no longer needed to carry an offense as he did in Carolina. It was thought that he could now just play a part, but that may not be the case.

It’s one thing to struggle for the first few weeks of the season because sometimes it’s just a matter of working out the kinks to start the season. The difference here is the 49ers are near the halfway point of the season and the offense, especially in the second half of games, is atrocious. Points feel rare to come by in the second half of games which is a recipe for disaster. San Francisco’s offense can’t keep putting the defense in situations where they need to be close to perfect. McCaffrey may be their only hope to change that at this point since teams have seemed to neutralize Deebo Samuel, for the most part, this year.

Interior Defensive Line Is A Big Problem Without Arik Armstead

The 49ers didn’t just struggle on the offensive end of the ball on Sunday. The defense which has been elite all season seemed to have no answer either. It is important to mention that the 49ers faced one of the best quarterbacks and offenses they will ever see this season, and sometimes when you face players like Patrick Mahomes, they are going to get points regardless of how good your defense is. That’s simply what great players do. However, the interior defensive line has looked problematic the last couple of weeks.

Too many times the Chiefs were able to win on first down by running the ball up the middle. There seems to be no push on that front unless it’s coming from the edge. The 49ers’ interior defensive line without Armstead looks like a liability. They don’t necessarily need to be monsters in pass-rushing situations, but they need to at least contain the running game to help the Niners win in the trenches. By allowing easy five-plus yard gains on first down runs up the middle opposing offenses get to avoid having to face many third and long scenarios that the defense can win.

Winning the early downs and making their presence felt in the middle is something they will need moving forward. Hopefully, Armstead can return as soon as possible, but until then this is going to be a problem. Luckily, their next opponent, the Rams, do not have a good offensive line or running game that can allow them to bounce back from this blowout loss.

The 49ers Will Never Win A Shootout

It’s very simple, the 49ers lack a quarterback who can go toe-to-toe with the other great offenses in the league. Jimmy Garoppolo is what he is, and he will never be able to elevate himself or the team to anything more. He is not that kind of quarterback. It is also important to remember that the 49ers are playing this season with their backup QB. So if the 49ers want to have any success in a playoff push assuming they make it, the defense may have to hold opposing offenses to 20 points or less every single game.

If the 49ers were to face a team like the Bills, we’d likely see the same result as Week Seven against the Chiefs. It just isn’t in the DNA of this offense to light up the scoreboard for 30 points or more. When it does happen, it feels like a rarity. And due to this, it is heavily unlikely that this team will win a Super Bowl this year because the AFC has the majority of talent, especially at the quarterback position, which can overcome an elite defense.

However, the 49ers may be able to get away with winning the NFC because the teams that do have elite QBs in the NFC are just not good right now.



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