Super Bowl-Winning Head Coach Still Picks Niners In NFC West

San Francisco 49ers, Sean Payton

Getty Sean Payton shaking hands with Alex Smith of the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers are 1-2. They have the second-best record in the NFC West, the ninth-best record in the NFC as a whole, and are tied with 14 other teams for the 17th-best record in the NFL by in large.

And yet, despite their well-documented issues in Week 3, with the Niners amassing just 65 total offensive yards in the second half, Sean Payton, the Super Bowl-winning former head coach of the New Orleans Saints, still believes that Kyle Shanahan’s club will pull the division out in the end.

Speaking with Colin Cowherd on The Herd, the host and guest chalked the Niners’ loss to the Denver Broncos as nothing more than a team finding its footing with a new quarterback under center. Sure, Jimmy Garoppolo had extensive experience in Shanahan’s scheme, the duo attested, but he’d gone from taking the summer off to playing with the reserves, to one week with the starters before taking the field in the Mile High City. By Payton’s measure, Sam Francisco will have the offense tuned up in no time and could again be playoff bound thanks to the struggles across the rest of the division.

The San Francisco 49ers Drop Five Spots In The Post’s Power Rankings

In Week 3, the 49ers held the 11th spot on the New York Post’s NFL Power Rankings, thanks to an impressive showing against the Seattle Seahawks. They were tied for first place in the division, had their new, old quarterback under center, and looked primed for another big win in Week 3.

Unfortunately, that win didn’t come, and as a result, the Niners dropped five spots on The Post’s rankings, sitting on the right side of .500 at spot 16.

With a game against the reigning Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams scheduled for Week 4’s Monday Night Football, the Niners have a chance to seriously swing their fates in power rankings one way or another depending on the final outcome.

Kyle Shanahan Took Responsibility For His Own Mistakes In Week 3.

Speaking with the media on Monday, Shanahan was asked where he felt he could have improved as a playmaker after rewatching the game film from Week 3, as transcribed by 49ers Webzone.

Anytime a player makes a mistake, you look at it as yourself too. Your position coach, the coordinator, me as the play caller, what we put them through in practice, I thought we made way too many mistakes across the board and that always, to me, starts with coaching.

And it goes to the players, they’re the ones who have to execute it, but we’re the ones prepare them for that. So when you look at each play as a whole and you just go through our whole, mainly our second half, the first series with the fumbled snap, the second series with the safety, the third series on that second-and-10, just had a real bad sack that got us to third-and-18.

On the fourth series, we had that second-and-10 after we had [WR] Ray-Ray [McCloud]’s good punt return and we’re on the 40 and we have a second-and-10 where we throw it to [WR] Jauan [Jennings] down the sideline. Got a real big chance for a big play to get in the red zone and we ended up not coming down clean with it, had a bust on protection, got Jimmy hit way too hard on it.

And on the fifth series, just messing up a little bit in the protection to where we missed Deebo, who’s got [Denver Broncos DB] K’Waun [Williams] beat on that end break and route, which I think Deebo’s going to go to the house on it and we’re just not quite right in our protections and we’re a little off on the throw and that’s what gave them another opportunity for that big drive where they finally got the touchdown.

So you look at it through the whole course of a game where there’s too much stuff going on like that. We have to make sure our guys are more consistent and give better chances in that way. And that always starts with me.

Considering how mental errors have arguably been the 49ers’ biggest issues through the first three weeks of the season, from the team’s expansive collection of penalties in Week 1 to the notorious safety-interception from Week 3, shoring up all aspects of the game’s execution will only pay dividends as the season progresses.

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