49ers overreactions: Was Nick Bosa's contract extension a mistake? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Through five games, it looked as if this was going to be a boring season for 49ers Overreactions.
The 49ers were rolling, and their dominant performance against the Dallas Cowboys put the rest of the NFL on notice.
Now, with two losses that went down to the closing seconds, the 49ers’ fan base is understandably restless and full of opinions about what is wrong and what must be done to fix the problems.
If the 49ers loss to the Cleveland Browns looked like a fluke, their game Monday night against the Minnesota Vikings was alarming in the way they were outplayed.
Not only did the 49ers fail to fix the issues that developed in Cleveland, many new areas of concern were on full display for the entire NFL world to witness.
So what’s up with this team?
We enlist our friends on Facebook to share their opinions. Per usual, some are overreactions . . . and some, most certainly, are not.
Wilks is not the right fit for this defense. (Brad M.)
Overreaction? Right now . . . no.
Steve Wilks, who has been coaching for nearly 30 years, replaces first-time coordinator DeMeco Ryans who replaced first-time coordinator Robert Saleh.
Of course, Saleh and Ryans parlayed their success with the 49ers’ defense into head-coaching opportunities.
Saleh and Ryans brought a youthful enthusiasm to their positions. They stood on the sideline with their players, and they showed tons of emotion. The team’s defenses over those seasons seemed to feed off that energy.
It seems that everything about Wilks’ approach is different. He sits in the booth during games and he shows little emotion as he methodically makes his defensive calls.
Moreover, he came to the 49ers and, instead of bringing his system, he had to learn how they’ve done it in the past. He battles the temptation to do things as he’s done them at his previous stops.
This is not to say that it can’t work or won’t work. But it’s different. And it simply has not worked up to this point.
When Wilks was hired, he spoke in the offseason about being more aggressive and taking this defense to even-greater heights.
Instead, the 49ers’ defense is nowhere near as good as it has been in recent seasons.
Wilks picked an odd time to dial up a rare end-of-half, all-out blitz on Monday night. He opted to send everyone just before the end of the half, when the 49ers could ill-afford to give up a big play.
It was easy to get the sense coach Kyle Shanahan was not too fond of Wilks’ decision.
"That's stuff we'll discuss throughout this week," Shanahan said after the game. "Obviously, I did not like the result."
Purdy is playing like the last pick in the draft. Moment may be too big for him. (Phil H.)
Quarterback Brock Purdy has played his two worst statistical games back-to-back since he became the 49ers’ starter 11 months ago.
Regardless of how you slice it, Purdy is still having a very good season. He is completing 67.9 percent of his pass attempts, averaging 8.6 yards per attempt, while throwing 11 touchdowns and three interceptions.
Purdy ranks second in the NFL in passer rating at 107.2.
So if he’s playing like the last pick in the draft, there must be 30 starting quarterbacks who entered the NFL as undrafted players.
The facts are that Purdy was playing very well Monday night. He made some tremendous throws and he was having one of his best games.
But there is also no denying his worst throw came at the most inopportune time. He missed Jauan Jennings on a deep throw and Vikings defensive back Camryn Bynum made the interception with 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
One week earlier, Purdy made the plays necessary to lead the 49ers down the field for the win against the Browns. A missed field goal changed the discussion point of that game.
He did not get it done in crunch time Monday night against Minnesota, but it does not wipe out all the positives that have come with him at quarterback.
Giving Bosa that huge contract was a mistake. (Adeel C.)
Nick Bosa, who turned 26 years old on Monday, was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year last season.
He earned the honor with 18.5 sacks.
The 49ers had no other choice but to reward him with a contract that made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in the league. That’s just how it works.
Through seven games, Bosa has just 2.5 sacks. His slow start was predictable after he missed all of training camp in a contract holdout.
For what it’s worth, PFF still has Bosa rated as the No. 2 edge rusher in the league behind Cleveland’s Myles Garrett.
The biggest issue with Bosa is that he does not have much help along the 49ers’ defensive line. No player in the NFL faces as many double teams as Bosa.
Of the many things to criticize with the 49ers’ defense, Bosa is far, far down that list.
No pass rush; DB’s getting exposed (Brian B.)
Bosa and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave are the only two legitimate pass-rush threats the 49ers put on the field.
Arik Armstead is a solid all-around player. Every team would want Armstead. But aside from 2019, when he had 10 sacks, he has not accumulated significant sack numbers.
The 49ers acquired Randy Gregory to bring some juice as a pass-rusher. His best seasons were 2018 and 2021, when he registered six sacks in each of those seasons.
It should be no surprise the 49ers do not bring much heat in getting after quarterbacks because they do not have players with histories of getting after the quarterback.
Because Wilks finds it necessary to bring more than four pass-rushers more than the 49ers have done in the past, that weakens the team’s ability to cover.
It does not seem to matter whether they 49ers are playing zone or man coverage on the back end, either. They have a difficult time defending teams that have efficient quarterback play — even with receivers who are not necessarily world-beaters.
As loaded as the 49ers are, they’re more of a house of cards. One player goes down and they’re not the same team! (Chris N.)
Just as they were not the same team for the fourth quarter of their loss against the Browns when Christian McCaffrey sat out the fourth quarter.
The 49ers were clicking on offense when they were full strength through most of the first five games of the season.
And the same goes on defense. They looked different when linebacker Dre Greenlaw was out against Cleveland.
All that said, there is still enough talent on this team to win without some of their key pieces. No team remains healthy all the way through a season, so every team will be weakened at some point.
The 49ers still had enough good players to beat Cleveland and Minnesota. But without some key players, their margins for error were reduced.
They might not have been at full strength, but they should have gotten the job done with their other top players picking up the slack.