Maiocco Overreactions

49ers overreactions: Is team on track for Super Bowl appearance?

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The only thing more consistent than the 49ers through the first five games of the season are the weekly overreactions.

The 49ers improved to 5-0 on the season with a 42-10 demolition of the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday night at Levi’s Stadium.

The biggest drawback to how things have gone for the 49ers thus far is, well, how much longer the season stretches until the postseason even begins.

The playoffs still are three months away, and a lot can happen between now and then.

The 49ers have 12 more regular-season games, and we have so many more installments of overreactions to go, beginning right now:

If we keep playing the way we are and we stay healthy, we are winning the Super Bowl. We have shown that we are a step up above everybody. (FB: Tee Mikey P.)

Overreaction? No, but ...

Those are two big “ifs.”

It is such a long season, and it seems rarely teams are able to run the table and show they are the best in the league from Week 1 all the way through to the Super Bowl.

This team has just about everything required of an eventual champion. But there are a few other teams -- namely, Philadelphia, Kansas City, Miami and Buffalo -- that feel the same way.

What has separated the 49ers through five games is they have been so consistent, and they have not faced a full-game challenge from any of their opponents this season.

Combine all the star power on both sides of the ball and chemistry with top-flight coaching, and it is easy to see why the 49ers are unbeaten and the consensus No. 1 team in (meaningless) power rankings across the internet.

Brock is the best QB in the league (Threads: @spoilertalerts)

Overreaction? Yes.

And, please, don’t read that in any way as an insult to Brock Purdy.

We can say that he had the best five games to open the season of any quarterback in the NFL, and that his play has inserted himself in the preliminary discussion for league MVP.

But when ranking the best quarterbacks in the league, that's rarefied air that belongs to Kansas City’s two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

We all know Purdy was the final overall pick of the 2022 NFL Draft because his size and arm strength did not measure up during the NFL Scouting Combine meat market.

However, it is really difficult to say anyone in the league is playing the position better than him at this point. His spatial awareness, timing, anticipation and accuracy are next-level impressive.

He leads the NFL with a passer rating of 123.1 to go along with nine touchdown passes, no interceptions and a 9.3-yard average per pass attempt that ranks behind only Tua Tagovailoa’s 9.7 average.

Since Purdy’s last interception, including the postseason, he is 162 of 235 for 2,179 yards with 15 touchdowns.

The only negative thing to say about Purdy is he does everything so well that he makes it look far easier than it should be for any NFL quarterback, especially one who has yet to see a full season’s worth of playing time.

He might not be the best in the league right now, but he seems to be steadily moving toward the top part of that list.

The 49ers don’t have a starting caliber NCB on their active roster. (FB: Geoff C.)

Overreaction? Yes.

First off, I’ll fully admit that I’d be hard-pressed to name more than a couple players who line up at nickel back around the league. And if you can come up with a dozen current nickels, you’re a better person than me.

Based on the play of Isaiah Oliver and Deommodore Lenoir as they shared nickel back duties in the first five games, you might be on more solid ground to surmise the 49ers have two starting nickel backs.

Of NFL players who have played at least 100 snaps in coverage at nickel back this season, Oliver ranks sixth in the NFL with an 88.3 passer-rating against, per PFF.

Lenoir has played 38 snaps of coverage at nickel back, and his passer rating against is 77.8.

Nickel back is one of the most difficult positions to play on defense because those lining up against the slot receiver do not have the sideline for help in coverage. Also, tackling is a huge component of that job. Oliver has missed three tackles. Lenoir has not missed any.

Now, I don’t believe nickel back would be considered a strength of the team, but it’s not proving to be a weakness, either.

The 49ers’ defense is third-best in the league through five games, allowing just 4.7 yards per pass attempt. They’ve allowed five touchdown passes while intercepting eight passes.

The 49ers’ pass defense -- and, yes, including their nickel backs -- have been a reason for that success.

Fred Warner just had his prerequisite “signature game” for a DPOY campaign. (FB: Angelo M. III)

Overreaction? No.

Prime time, check. High-profile opponent, check. Career game, check.

Two-time All-Pro linebacker Fred Warner did it all in the 49ers’ decisive victory over the Cowboys on Sunday night. He had a sack, interception, forced fumble, big hits and was sticky in coverage against wide receivers.

There’s still a long way to go for Warner to be considered on the national level among Micah Parsons, T.J. Watt, Aaron Donald, Myles Garrett and, even, Nick Bosa.

But the game Monday night was a tremendous jumping-off point to kick that discussion into high gear.

The Niners will have a let down next week in Cleveland! (FB: Jose M.)

Overreaction? We shall see.

It’s got to happen at some point, right?


Maybe not.

The most-impressive part of the 49ers’ 5-0 start has been the consistently high level at which the 49ers have performed with decisive victories with 30 points or more scored against Pittsburgh, the Los Angeles Rams, New York Giants, Arizona and, now, Dallas.

And the 49ers have fashioned a business-like approach, often focusing on areas in which they feel as if improvements and adjustments can and should be made.

Every game brings about its own set of challenges. The Browns are 2-2, and they’re coming off a bye. They have a strong defense and could present some problems for the 49ers on their home field.

The NFL is often labeled as a week-to-week league. Up to this point, the 49ers have avoided the ups and downs that have seemed to plague just about every other team.

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