It's been a rough season for the 49ers. The "Revenge Tour" was derailed early by injuries and subpar play and now they find themselves heading into their bye week at 4-6.
While it's easy to pin poor play on the fact that many of their best players aren't suiting up, there are no excuses in the NFL. On Sunday, the 49ers took an early 10-0 lead on the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedez-Benz Superdome but were unable to maintain their early momentum as sloppy play and turnovers doomed them in a 27-10 win.
49ers legend Jerry Rice understands what the 2020 Niners are up against, but he still was frustrated by their play in New Orleans.
"Yesterday, they really had a chance of winning that football game," Rice told 95.7 The Game's "The Morning Roast." "But you know with all the injuries -- and you don't just want to blame it on that. Yes, we know the team is decimated with injuries and all that. But you still have to be able to fight through that. Anytime you step on the football field, you feel like you have a legitimate chance of winning, but you can't just kick yourself in your own foot. I feel like the Niners had a chance to really do something special yesterday, and it's all about finishing. That's the most important thing. You've got to be able to finish. Once you start something, now you've got to say to yourself that you know this team has the firepower to come back. You've got to keep going for the throat. And that's what I didn't see yesterday. Once you get up, you have to focus more on detail, keep putting points on the board and you got to stay aggressive. The Niners have to learn to do that.
"It's frustrating for me as a guy who really worked hard during the week on the football field. If I had three catches for 60 yards or more like that, I was really pissed off because I felt like I could do more on the football field. I don't know why this is happening with the Niners right now that a lot of guys aren't putting up the numbers they should put up. It has to do with the preparation and the attention to detail."
While the 49ers got good games from rookies Brandon Aiyuk and Javon Kinlaw, the overall performance still left a lot to be desired.
The 49ers now will look to regroup during their bye week, knowing they likely will have to run the table to have a shot at returning to the playoffs.
There still is a lot of healthy talent on the 49ers, but missing Nick Bosa, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo and Richard Sherman has put them behind the eightball. They can't afford sloppy play or mental lapses, especially against a team like the Saints.
The 49ers will have to exit their bye with a renewed focus on the little things in order to make a late-season run.