The NFL is not easy, the Chronicle has learned.
Until Sunday morning, the San Francisco 49ers had made it look super easy. They were turning the brutal league into a cakewalk. A laugher. A fun and carefree endeavor.
No more. The NFL is tough. The 49ers were reminded of this very harshly in Cleveland. And maybe that’s a good thing. A little humility never hurts.
The 49ers lost for the first time this season, losing 19-17 to the Browns. They lost when their rookie player missed what would have been the game-winning goal, the first high-pressure kick he had faced.
But, as head coach Kyle Shanahan pointed out, even if Jake Moody takes the kick and the 49ers remain undefeated, there’s still reason to feel bad.
Now, the big “1” in the loss column will attract everyone’s attention.
“This is the first time we’ve been in the locker room after losing in a long time,” Shanahan said.
For the first time since the game against the Kansas City Chiefs nearly a year ago, the loss at Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game was a result predicted at the end of the first half and was neither a football loss nor a loss. a strange match of attrition.
Sunday’s mistakes at the lake in Cleveland marked a humiliating and visceral football defeat caused by a dominant defense and efficient offense. And this mid-season loss is not necessarily a bad thing.
“It was definitely a big learning experience,” quarterback Nick Bosa said. “I don’t think we deserved to win today.”
The 49ers lost because Brock Purdy had by far the worst game of his young career, looking like the below-average player critics claim he is. For once, Purdy couldn’t prove these critics wrong.
“We must look in the mirror and see our flaws; it starts with me,” Purdy said.
They lost because they lost two important weapons due to injuries during the match. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel had to leave the game early with a shoulder injury. Running back Christian McCaffrey is out with an oblique injury. The 49ers never recovered and never seemed to understand that George Kittle, who scored three touchdowns last week, was a guy who didn’t leave the game injured.
The 49ers lost, due in part to some bad calls by a poor officiating team. The team committed a total of 25 penalties for 224 yards. This did not happen by mistake. And the worst decision, from the 49ers’ perspective, was a personal foul on Tashaun Gipson, which kept the Browns’ pass alive, leading to what was ultimately the game-winning field goal.