Things aren’t so rosy for the San Francisco 49ers right now.
After many proclaimed them Super Bowl contenders or even favorites prior to the start of this season, they sit at a dismal 1-2 after an abysmal offensive performance in their 11-10 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
The injuries are piling up for the 49ers.
All-Pro offensive lineman Trent Williams has a high ankle sprain and is expected to miss at least a month.
After starting off solidly, veteran quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked poor in the second half versus Denver.
After some second-guessed the team’s decision to start Trey Lance over him, many have been reminded once again that, while Garoppolo is a very good signal-caller, he has some very real flaws and limitations.
Things aren’t exactly getting easier for San Francisco, as it will host the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in Week 4.
One would think the Rams shouldn’t have much trouble defeating a limping Niners squad.
But in fact, the Niners are currently the favorites to win by 1.5 points.
That spread has decreased by a full point a couple of days ago, but it is still surprising to see.
— Grand Slam Picks (@GSMLBPicks) September 28, 2022
Do the 49ers actually deserve to be favored over Matthew Stafford and crew?
The Niners Have Some Real Problems
But the team overall has been very weak offensively.
The injuries to Mitchell and Davis-Price have hurt, but the team’s rushing offense actually ranks sixth in yards and seventh in touchdowns through three games.
It’s the 49ers’ passing offense that has been puny so far.
They rank 27th in passing touchdowns and 29th in passing yards, which has resulted in them ranking 24th in total yards and 28th in points scored.
Although they looked solid against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 and put up 27 points, they scored just 10 points apiece in their other two contests.
The problem isn’t just Garoppolo looking underwhelming at times.
San Francisco lacks a single receiver who is averaging at least 50 yards a game.
After a sensational 2021 campaign, All-Pro Deebo Samuel has just 131 receiving yards, 111 rushing yards, and one touchdown in three games.
Could This Be Why The 49ers Are Favored?
Although they lost the NFC Championship Game to L.A. last winter, the Niners have actually been successful against the Rams during the regular season recently.
They’ve won each of their last five contests versus the Rams, a streak that goes back to 2019 when they reached the Super Bowl.
"The @49ers gave the Rams a bloody lip on Monday night. They ran the ball down their throats for sixty minutes. 44 carries in a game? In 2021? This was a statement. Shanahan has now won five straight over McVay." — @PSchrags pic.twitter.com/lTl74BGzXA
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) November 16, 2021
In Week 18 of 2021, with its playoff hopes coming down to the wire and its offensive line banged up, San Francisco overcame a 17-0 deficit to defeat Los Angeles at SoFi Stadium.
Perhaps the oddsmakers feel the Niners simply have the Rams’ number during regular season play.
But in all likelihood, this could be a defensive struggle, and such a game would favor the 49ers, who seem as capable as any NFL team of winning when they score less than 20 points.
After all, they do rank third in points allowed, second in total yards allowed, and first in passing yards and touchdowns allowed.