The 49ers are 4-0. Similarly, Warner Bros. “Suicide Squad” made $746.8 million. You see where I’m going? Sometimes positive numbers don’t always mean what you’re watching is good.
Now, lets figure out if this 49ers team is good or just false advertisement manufactured by a favorable schedule and bad quarterback play.
The Case That They’re Bad
Well let’s get the obvious one out of the way: Their opponents combined record is 5-15.
Let’s look at these opponents.
Bucs: This is probably the best team the 49ers have played and Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston definitely didn’t settle into new head coach Bruce Arians offense yet.
It was also Jimmy Garoppolo’s first full game back and the niners powered through.
Bengals: They have a depleted offensive line, their best playmaker has been out since the preseason , and Joe Mixon can’t get his season going. Believe it or not this offense is actually the positive part of this team’s season.
The 49ers went out and dominated them to the tune of a 41-17 score. They didn’t play them close like the much praised Seahawks did. They did as much as you could ask.
Steelers: This is the game that makes me think the 49ers are fools gold (couldn’t help myself.) They had five turnovers against a team starting their backup quarterback for the first time in his career.
Credit the defense for only allowing 24 points. It’s really the only game I have a real problem with.
Browns: The Browns are a sloppy team who have a lot to fix. The niners knew every weakness to attack, credit Kyle Shanahan for that.
I have nothing but praise for what they did to the Browns.
Let’s assess the next argument: Their opponents average quarterback ranking is 47.8. Here’s the numbers according to pro football reference:
Jameis Winston: QBR: vs 49ers 45.4 Season QBR: 97.2
Andy Dalton QBR: vs 49ers 97.2 Season QBR: 86.9
Mason Rudolph QBR: vs 49ers 81.4 Season QBR: 102.5
Baker Mayfield QBR: vs 49ers 13.4 Season QBR: 68.5
I learned a few things from this, one of them being that QBR is a ridiculous stat. Mason Rudolph’s is 102.5? Andy Dalton had a 97.2 QBR in a game where he only had 17 points?
Seems ridiculous to me.
Now the more important takeaway.
Why are we criticizing a team for the opposing QB having a bad QBR? Conventional wisdom would say that’s a great defense. So instead, I’m going to credit the defense for making things tough on them.
Would you look at that, I turned the case that they’re bad into reasons they’re good.
Since I did that let’s get to some quick stats that makes the case they’re a good team:
They’re second in points in the league averaging 31.8.
They’re fourth in yards with 427.2 yards per game.
They’re first in rushing yards with 200 per game.
They’re defense already has five more interceptions on the season then they did last year.
They’re fifth in the league in sack percentage at 9.15%.
The 49ers are legitimately a good team. Yes, their schedule has been favorable and yes, they have to prove they can beat the good teams, but they don’t decide who they play and they’ve done exactly what they’re supposed to do: win games.