San Francisco 49ers: Is This 1-2 Start Worse Than Last Year’s?


The San Francisco 49ers have gotten off to a disappointing and somewhat alarming start to the 2014 NFL season. They currently have a 1-2 record, which is tied for last in the NFC West.

Last season, the 49ers also got off to a 1-2 start. It’s still very early in the season and this might be hard to judge at this point, but which 1-2 start is worse: 2013 or 2014?

Let’s start this discussion with a little background information.

This season, the 49ers won the first game of their season against the Dallas Cowboys. They won 28-17, but they led 28-3 at halftime and failed to score in the second half. Colin Kaepernick threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, Frank Gore ran for 66 yards, and Anquan Boldin had eight catches for 99 yards.

Sep 21, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach

Jim Harbaugh

(L) yells at NFL field judge Bob Waggoner (25) during the second half against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers let their second game of the season slip away, as they lost to the Chicago Bears 28-20. The Niners led 17-7 at halftime, and they only scored three points in the second half, while giving up 21 points to the Bears in just the fourth quarter.

The 49ers suffered a similar collapse in their week three matchup with the Arizona Cardinals. The 49ers led 14-6 at halftime, and the 49ers, yet again, failed to score in the second half. They allowed the Cardinals to score 17 points in the second half.

Like this season, the 49ers won their first game of the season in 2013. They beat the Green Bay Packers 34-28, and they received  a fantastic performance from Kaepernick, who finished with 412 yards and three touchdowns. Boldin also caught 13 passes for 208 yards and a touchdown, and Vernon Davis caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

The 49ers then lost their next two games of the 2013 season, also similar to this season. The Niners lost their week two matchup to the Seattle Seahawks in Seattle 29-3. Kaepernick threw three interceptions in that game, as the Seahawks’ defense flustered him.

The Niners lost their third game to the Indianapolis Colts 27-7. This was the game where Jim Harbaugh made the controversial decision to play Aldon Smith, just two days after being arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. The 49ers looked awful in this game, and this was the first time the 49ers had lost at home with Kaepernick starting.

So which one was worse? Was the start to the 2013 season worse than this year’s start?

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The starts are similar in many ways, but the 1-2 start to the 2014 season is worse than 1-2 start to the 2013 season. Why? There are a couple reasons.

Last year, the 49ers faced a much easier schedule. They faced five non-playoff teams in the next five weeks after their 1-2 start. Then, after their bye week through the end of their season, they faced five non-playoff teams out of the eight teams they played. After a rough start to the season last year, the 49ers could at least rely on the fact that their schedule wasn’t too difficult for the rest of the year.

This year, the 49ers face a much tougher schedule. Three out of the four teams they face before their bye week were playoff teams last year. Then after the bye, they have to travel to the Superdome to play the New Orleans Saints, they have to play the Seahawks twice (once in Seattle), they have to play the tough San Diego Chargers, and they have to play the Cardinals again, who just beat them, all in the span of nine games.

It’ll be tougher for the 49ers to bounce back this year with this tougher schedule.

In addition to the more difficult schedule, the 49ers will have an even tougher time trying to bounce back from this 1-2 start with NaVorro Bowman and Smith missing significant time.

The 49ers are facing some adversity to start the 2014 season. They’ve overcome adversity before, but will this year’s 1-2 start be harder to overcome than last year’s?

Answer our poll below and leave a comment in the section below to let us know what you think!