49ers overreactions: Are Super Bowl hopes now in trouble? originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
Things actually could be worse for the 49ers.
But, hey, the 49ers did win the game.
They cruised to a 31-13 victory over the outclassed Jets to keep pace with all the other teams in the NFC West. Arizona, the Los Angeles Rams and Seattle are tied atop the division standings with 2-0 records.
The 49ers need to clean up against their out-of-division opponents, including this week against the New York Giants because the competition is going to be intense in the fives games they have remaining against their NFC West rivals.
But the future does not look as bright as it did for the 49ers when the season started. The current health of the team is a concern, and fans of the 49ers have reasons to express more than a little pessimism:
The season is over before October. No way do they come close to winning the division. They've gone from contenders to a fringe playoff team at best all in the span of two weeks.— KA49ers (@karedwings) September 21, 2020
While I agree with the label of the 49ers being a “fringe playoff team,” that is certainly no reason to write off the season after two games.
After all, if a team remains in the playoff hunt through November and into December, the season remains very much alive.
You never know what’s going to happen around the NFC West and around the NFL, as a whole.
As 49ers fans are well aware, how a team looks when the season begins is often quite different than its appearance later in the year.
With the possibility that home-field advantage will not be as important as previous years, any team that gets into the playoff field will have a chance to make a deep run.
The secondary is fixing to be exposed for the lack of speed and quickness. The best player in the secondary is K'Waun Williams and it isn't even close.— Rob (@vigdal80) September 21, 2020
K’Waun Williams, the team’s nickel back, is very, very good at his job.
There is reason to have faith in cornerback Emmanuel Moseley because he's tough and has a good approach to the game. He is young and continues to improve. I can envision him being a starter in the NFL for a long time.
Richard Sherman is out for at least two more games with a calf injury. I think he has enough veteran savvy to step back into the lineup and take care of business.
Free safety Jimmie Ward needs to be better. He must get his hands on the football and generate some takeaways.
There will be more pressure on defensive backfield than a year ago because the pass rush is not nearly as good with DeForest Buckner in Indianapolis, Bosa out for the season and Dee Ford’s status up in the air with a troubling neck/back issue.
The 49 ers should NOT play George Kittle this Sunday against the Giants.— Paul Rodarte (@RobairValentino) September 22, 2020
The 49ers expressed serious concern about the stickiness of the FieldTurf Classic HD surface at MetLife Stadium after six players sustained leg injuries on Sunday against the Jets.
Tight end George Kittle, who could return to action after missing a game with an MCL sprain, is the 49ers’ most-valuable asset. If coach Kyle Shanahan, the medical staff and club officials think the playing surfaces poses a danger, there is no way they should clear Kittle for this game if he is anything shy of 100 percent.
D Line is obliterated, Jimmy has zero weapons other than Kittle— Soul Rebel (@UofUtes21) September 21, 2020
The defensive line is in bad shape, but there is still some talent there. The unit is still good enough to win a lot of games, though defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will have to pull more strings to manufacture a consistent pass rush.
And while the defense has taken a hit, the strength of the team now shifts to the offensive side.
Kittle is the team’s top talent, but he is far from the only option on offense. The 49ers are set up well to move the ball and score a lot of points –- even with injuries to a handful of their key skill players.
Running back Jerick McKinnon is a big-play presence and a runner and receiver. Tight end Jordan Reed is a tough matchup for any defense. Brandon Aiyuk is going to get better and better, and Kendrick Bourne and Trent Taylor are solid third-down targets.
Running back Raheem Mostert is a breakaway threat any time he touches the ball. He should be back soon. And the 49ers hope Deebo Samuel, their No. 1 wide receiver, will be back for Week 4.
Garoppolo’s injury does not appear as serious as the 49ers originally feared. When Garoppolo is healthy and back in the starting lineup, the offense will be in far-better shape than it was at any point last season during their run to the Super Bowl.