Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
An ugly night of football. There’s no rose-tinted lens with which to approach the 49ers’ performance on Sunday. After an opening loss to the Arizona Cardinals who have since sputtered and two batterings of maybe the two worst teams in the NFL, both from New Jersey, San Francisco wasted every chance to beat the previously hapless Philadelphia Eagles, who, at 0-2-1, and with the worst turnover differential in the league (8-to-1 entering Sunday), were all but asking to be beaten.
Instead, San Francisco, specifically Nick Mullens, turned the ball over three times and the team stands at 2-2 with a loss to a division opponent.
Sufficed to say, there is not a positive vibe in the locker room, according to George Kittle, who ran rampant on Sunday with 15 receptions for 183 yards and a touchdown.
“The mood in the locker room, it sucks,” Kittle said. “I said week one, losing sucks. It does. Especially when we have high goals and we want to get back to the Super Bowl and you go out and you play like that, there’s not really any chance. So we have to look ourselves in the mirror. We have to say, ‘Hey, why are we not running the ball well? What are our issues?’ We have to fix them.
And thankfully we get another shot next Sunday so we can try to go 1-0 on that week. And that’s all we’re gonna be focusing on. We’re going to come back. We’ve been practicing really well and we’re going to try to continue to get better, get used to each other because it is a new season with new players. We’re just going to try to do everything we can to get better on Wednesday.”
Kittle pointed to missing some “big plays.”
Some obvious misses, at least the most obvious one, was the first drive of the game, when a wide open Kyle Juszczyk, who was poised to secure and 88-yard receiving touchdown with Kittle as a blocker, was overthrown by Mullens.
There were myriad other opportunities wasted, and the 49ers continued to have either penalties, negative rushes or sacks, stuffing themselves further and further behind the line of scrimmage.
“We definitely had the opportunity to make some big plays,” Kittle said. “We missed out on those. And so, when you’re not hitting those big explosive plays and you’re putting yourself in 2nd and 10, 3rd and 10, 2nd and long, it’s just hard to get a rhythm going because now you’re trying to get that ground back. So instead of just you know moving ball with consistency like we usually do, we were playing from behind the behind the chains almost every single drive and the drives that we went down to score, like opening up the second half, that was a great drive on the offense, but we have to do that consistently. We just didn’t get it done tonight.”