Just a few months ago the Niners looked like the second or third best team in the NFL. Things have gone very wrong since then. The team is 1-2. Injuries and suspensions have hurt the team, as well as a significant lack of discipline. Could Sunday be a must-win game for SF? Greg Bedard of MMQB.com thinks so.
Talking about “must-win” games before the halfway point in the season is often silly. Teams can get things turned around in a number of ways, and often do. But when it comes to the 49ers and their current predicament (1-2, having been outscored 38-3 in blowing halftime leads the past two weeks against the Bears and Cardinals), Sunday’s showdown with the Eagles sure feels like a must-win for San Francisco. This team needs to start to feel good about itself in a hurry, or the season could slip away.
That’s the feeling I got watching the 49ers’ 23-14 meltdown in the desert against the Cardinals. There were the three personal foul penalties against San Francisco in a little more than five minutes of game action. There were the three carries for 49ers running backs (one for Frank Gore) in the second half despite San Francisco’s 14-6 halftime lead.
There was the lack of pressure against Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (zero sacks, two hits, five hurries according to ProFootballFocus.com), which meant he could conduct business from the pocket like he was sitting in a La-Z-Boy. That further exposed a secondary that has been torched the past two weeks. You could understand it against the Bears, with Jay Cutler and his weapons, but Drew Stanton and rookie receiver John Brown?
And, finally, there was Colin Kaepernick, who continues to look like a franchise quarterback in the first three quarters of the game but just another guy when pressure mounts and he can’t use his feet.
This will be a huge game for the Niners. While they may be down, you hate to play a desperate team. And they will be desperate to avoid falling to 1-3.