When the NFL released its schedule in May, this was the 49ers’ three-game sequence that jumped off the page.
At Seattle. At Philadelphia. Versus Seattle at Levi’s Stadium.
Three crucial games in three weeks that will go a long way toward determining the NFC West and, potentially, seedings atop the conference.
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The 49ers enter this stretch of the regular season with a 7-3 record and one game ahead of the Seahawks in the division standings.
Everything we will learn about the 49ers this season has yet to be written, and there could be more twists and turns ahead.
The 49ers had three losses sandwiched between winning streaks of five and two games. Coach Kyle Shanahan actually fielded questions two weeks ago in which it was suggested to him that quarterback Brock Purdy should be benched. Overreactions have been coming from all angles.
So, now, let’s take the temperature of the fan base after the 49ers’ Week 11 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
San Francisco 49ers
We went to Threads for this installment of 49ers overreactions, and this is what we found:
The San Francisco Forty Niners have the best quarterback in the league! (@blinghelmetsbywally)
Based on performance and statistics, who has played better than Brock Purdy this season?
Just a quick note: The NFL passer rating system is based on completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns per attempt and interceptions per attempt. Those are all meaningful statistics that accurately and objectively rate the production of quarterbacks.
Purdy achieved the highest attainable rating in the 49ers’ 27-14 victory over the Buccaneers on Sunday. And he already was leading the NFL in that statistic entering the Week 11 slate of games.
His current 115.1 mark would place him in the top 10 on the all-time NFL single-season list, and it would rank as a 49ers record.
While we recognize Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes is a great player and has two Super Bowl rings in his safety deposit box, it is not a stretch to make the statement that — right now — Purdy is playing the best football of any quarterback in the NFL.
The only knock anyone ever has made on Purdy since he’s been in the NFL is that he does not have the strongest arm. And while that is true — there are other quarterbacks in the league who can throw it faster and farther — no other quarterback in the league has been as successful as Purdy this season on deep passes.
The 49ers front 4 is so good, we can survive Hufanga’s injury (@vincedmonroy)
The 49ers acquired edge rusher Chase Young at the NFL trade deadline for a reason.
And while it was not specifically to help compensate for an injury in the defensive backfield, the idea was that a better pass rush would help the 49ers at every level of their defense.
The loss of safety Talanoa Hufanga to a torn ACL in his right knee is devastating. There’s no way to get around that. But the season moves on.
Fortunately for the team, they chose to address the position with the selection of Ji’Ayir Brown in the draft.
“We know we needed some depth there,” Shanahan said about the decision to select Brown in the third round. “He's been practicing like he knew this moment was coming. He's been locked in.”
49ers secondary will be their Achilles heel and cost them a deep playoff run. (@perrin49)
If the 49ers fall short of their goal of winning the Lombardi Trophy, it might be that they came up against a strong passing attack and could not keep up.
But if that’s the case, the blame will not — or should not — go entirely on the defensive backfield.
Pass rush and coverage go hand-in-hand. If the 49ers’ secondary is getting beaten, that means the team’s pass rush is not getting the job done, either.
There is not a defensive backfield in the NFL that can hold up in coverage for long periods of time if the quarterback is not under pressure.
The fact is that the 49ers’ pass defense has been very good this season, so do not lose sight of that, either.
Remember the components to determine the NFL passer rating (see above)? Opposing quarterbacks have compiled a lowly 70.1 rating against the 49ers with just 6.2 yards per pass attempt with 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions this season.
Trent Williams is our best player. (@controversycow)
We’ll step aside on this one and let Christian McCaffrey take it across the goal line.
“He might be the best player I’ve ever seen,” McCaffrey said recently of Williams.
Yes, that is high praise.
Williams is tied with Aaron Rodgers among active NFL players with 10 Pro Bowl selections. Rodgers will not make the Pro Bowl this season, and Williams will.
Here’s how McCaffrey described Williams: “There’s nothing he can’t do. He plays beyond the X’s and O’s and does things a lot of other people can’t do, and he’s been doing it for a really long time.”
Kyle needs to win a SB. That’s the measuring stick now, anything short is a failure. (@jtf321)
Shanahan is going nowhere. He signed a contract extension that keeps him under wraps to the 49ers through at least the 2026 season.
Shanahan generally is regarded as one of the best coaches in the NFL, and for good reason. He is.
But in order for him to be considered truly outstanding, yes, the 49ers must win a Super Bowl under his direction.
If the 49ers do not win this season, the organization will be disappointed. But he should have more opportunities in the coming years, too.