49ers Just Suffered a Massive Blow to Their Defense
The San Francisco 49ers entered the 2020 season with high hopes of returning to the Super Bowl. However, their campaign began on a disappointing note after falling at home in Week 1 to the Arizona Cardinals. It was a contest that also saw them experience some injury woes on both sides of the ball. It’s highlighted by losing a significant piece to the puzzle defensively.
49ers fall in Week 1 to the Cardinals
The 49ers began their quest to return to the Super Bowl with a tough loss to the Cardinals.
It was a tight contest throughout that saw Arizona go blow for blow with the defending NFC champions. What proved to be the difference was second-year quarterback Kyler Murray’s play. He hurt the 49ers defense with his arm and legs piling up 230 passing yards and a touchdown along with 91 rushing yards and a touchdown.
San Francisco struggled to keep him contained while All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins had his way with 14 catches for 151 receiving yards. Arizona stamped their win with their defense holding firm to end the game by forcing a turnover on downs.
The 49ers are heading into Week 2 action with some more problems after losing one of their defensive stars for at least the next few weeks.
Richard Sherman placed on IR
The 49ers are coming off a disappointing season-opening loss to the Cardinals and have more to worry about concerning their roster.
San Francisco didn’t come out of the contest unscathed as they experienced injuries on both sides of the ball. It included star cornerback Richard Sherman suffering a calf strain that will land him on the injured reserve, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
Sherman will likely only be sidelined for the next couple of weeks, but it’s a significant blow to their defense as he’s a cornerstone piece to their secondary. He has played a massive part in helping them become one of the best units in the league. Sherman’s earliest return to the fold could come in Week 5 against the Miami Dolphins on Oct. 11.
The 49ers defense is already without veteran cornerback Jason Verrett, who is dealing with a nagging hamstring injury. Sherman’s absence will put more pressure on their defensive line to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks. It may be a short-term issue, but it certainly doesn’t help their start to the season.
49ers hoping to bounce back in Week 2
It’s far too early to have any substantial concerns about the 49ers, but there is room for improvement heading into Week 2.
San Francisco remains one of the favorites to win the NFC due to their talent on both sides of the ball. Their defense is among the best units in the league while they possess a strong running game. Jimmy Garoppolo’s play will continue to draw scrutiny, but it’s an opportunity to push forward.
The 49ers have a favorable matchup in Week 2 against the New York Jets, who have shown that they still need much growth. San Francisco can quickly get back on the saddle in a significant way with a strong performance. The team is also dealing with star tight end George Kittle working around a knee sprain, which is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Nonetheless, the 49ers can quickly bounce back after a tough season-opening loss to showcase that they are still the team to beat in the NFC.