Discussion

Panic time in San Francisco?

Breaking down Niners' early struggles and the road ahead

Updated: September 26, 2013, 10:13 PM ET
By Mike Sando and Matt Williamson |
ESPN Insider

The San Francisco 49ers never had a losing record under coach Jim Harbaugh until now, and they head to St. Louis in Week 4 with some serious issues:

• Their young quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is coming off a two-game stretch with zero touchdowns, four interceptions, six sacks and a 47.3 percent completion rate.
• The Seahawks are already two games up in the NFC West.

The 49ers now face a Rams team that beat them once last season and tied them in their other meeting.

We asked Insider's Mike Sando and Matt Williamson to assess the root causes of the 49ers' early struggles and where they're heading in 2013.

Sando: In looking at the early problems in San Francisco, what stands out to me isn't the players on the field, but those who have been or will be missing. The 49ers are without Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham and Aldon Smith. We don't know whether Patrick Willis or Vernon Davis will play and be effective Thursday night given their injuries. Role players such as LaMichael James (injured) and Delanie Walker (left in free agency) aren't around, either. The 49ers have lost by a 56-10 margin over the past two weeks. Matt, let's cut right to it. Is this a crisis situation for the 49ers?


To get the Insider perspective on why the Niners are failing to meet expectations, sign up for Insider today.

MORE NFL HEADLINES