Observations from 49ers abysmal loss to Colts

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The 49ers fell to the Colts at home 30-18 in a wet and nasty game Sunday night at Levi’s Stadium.

If anyone cares to relive that — here are our observations throughout whatever that was:

First quarter

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

– Play-action throw to Deebo Samuel on the first play. Expecting plenty of easy play-action throws like that one with the Colts selling out to stop the run.

– Another easy play-action throw. This one to Trent Sherfield. Garoppolo floated it a little bit, but it got to Sherfield in time for a first-down pickup.

– A designed play for Brandon Aiyuk on an end-around. That’s something they’ve needed to do to get Aiyuk more involved. It just can’t be the last time.

– Back-to-back big gains for Elijah Mitchell. He went for 20 yards and then 14 yards. This is as good as their run game has looked in a long time. Mitchell just brings an entirely different element.

– And a touchdown for Mitchell who plowed in from 14 yards. He went for five carries, 57 yards and a touchdown on that series. The 49ers offense needed that drive in the worst way. 78 yards and a touchdown on eight plays, but Joey Slye missed the extra point. Now the offense needs to continue churning out series like that.

– A takeaway! Colts running back Jonathan Taylor coughed up his first carry of the game on Indy’s first snap and Fred Warner scooped it up at the bottom of the pile. The 49ers defense needed that. They had only two takeaways leading into Sunday night.

– A 12-yard run from Mitchell opened the drive after the fumble, but then a quick throw to Samuel went nowhere and brought up a second-and-long. Two throws by Garoppolo fell incomplete after that and San Francisco settled for a field goal and a 9-0 lead. The 49ers need to make sure they’re getting yards on first down in this weather.

– Nick Bosa is flying off the edge against LT Eric Fisher. The Colts are going to need to throw more at him or he might put up a couple big plays.

– Woof. Josh Norman got beat for 57 yards AND got flagged for pass interference. Not great from the veteran CB. That won’t be the last time the Colts try him.

– What a fake by Carson Wentz. He hit tight end Mo Alie-Cox on an incredible play-action look that badly fooled Norman.

– Samuel again. This time for 28 yards on a throw over the middle. He’s up to 37 yards on three catches. He’s finding that little space behind linebackers on play action.

– Impressive from Joey Slye, who missed the extra point earlier. This time he drills a 56-yard field goal right down the middle to make it 12-7, 49ers. A Garoppolo throw to JaMycal Hasty on third-and-5 fell incomplete because Hasty lost his footing. That’s the first time the wet field outwardly impacted San Francisco’s offense.

– Two near interceptions in a row. One from Norman who had tight coverage on Zach Pascal. Then Samson Ebukam sniffed out a screen and had a throw zoom just past him. The 49ers are doing a nice job reading screens.

– Another third-down pass interference penalty. This time it’s K’Waun Williams who had tight coverage on an underthrown deep shot and got whistled for it. That set the Colts up at the 49ers’ 35.

End of first quarter: 49ers 12, Colts 7

Second quarter

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

– Another takeaway for the 49ers’ defense! Wentz got pressured by Bosa and tried to shovel one ahead and threw it right to Azeez Al-Shaair. That’s the kind of play Wentz is susceptible to make when he’s under fire. Two matches the defense’s entire takeaway total through five games.

– The 49ers punt again when Garoppolo throws an incomplete pass on first down. Getting into second-and-long isn’t conducive to good offensive output.

– Two throws Emmanuel Moseley’s way both bounced off the cornerback’s hands. Wentz has now thrown three balls right to 49ers DBs but none have been picked off. Dee Ford had heavy pressure that time.

– A third-and-2 handoff to Hasty gets stuffed because Ross Dwelley had nothing on the block. Yikes.

– The Colts had a touchdown and running back Nyheim Hines dropped it. The 49ers got extremely lucky, and now the Colts will punt. Rookie safety Talanoa Hufanga was in man coverage and got caught up on a pick play that let Hines get open.

– Samuel dropped a tunnel screen and then the ball slipped all over the place in the scramble to pick it up. It was a forward pass though so no fumble.

– Indy is lining up DeForest Buckner on Daniel Brunskill’s side.

– Samuel fumbles fighting for a first down on a third-and-12. The wet ball is really becoming a problem. Both quarterbacks have dropped snaps.

– Marcell Harris missed a tackle in the backfield on a big run by Colts RB Jonathan Taylor. Missed tackles are a huge problem for San Francisco so far.

– Another pass interference on a second-and-12 throw into the end zone. This one on Moseley. Blatant PI.

– The Colts lead on a zone read run by Wentz. Moseley bit hard on the fake and it gave Wentz enough room to get to the goal line. A two-point conversion try is batted away by Norman. It’s 13-12, Colts, but the 49ers’ offense has done nothing since their first two series. Six points off one turnover for Indy. Just three for the 49ers off two. takeaways.

– Shanahan had zero interest in trying to get points after getting the ball back with a minute left and three timeouts. That’s … rough.

End of second quarter: Colts 13, 49ers 12

Third quarter

Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

– Kyle Shanahan just challenged a play with zero chance of winning. Which is a weird thing. Not sure what he was doing but they burned a timeout.

– Nice third-down stop by Al-Shaair to bring up a fourth-and-4 and a Colts punt on their first series of the second half.

– Third-and-10, the 49ers get their first third-down conversion on a 16-yard throw to Mohamed Sanu. That’s a nice play from Garoppolo and a nice catch in the wet weather by Sanu.

– Garoppolo is sacked and he fumbles. Colts recover. Disastrous for the 49ers. Their offense may not get past midfield again.

– Another pass interference. Rinse, repeat. The 49ers DBs have nothing for these Colts receivers.

– Walk-in touchdown for Taylor could put this one away. The Colts are up 20-12. All three touchdowns have been aided by pass interference.

– Another tunnel screen dropped. This time it’s Jauan Jennings. The 49ers are in a first-and-25 because of penalties on consecutive plays.

– Third-and-19 swing pass to Hasty goes nowhere. The 49ers net minus-9 yards on the drive. Boo birds are out in Santa Clara.

– Nice play by Arden Key to sniff out a stretch run on a first-and-20. He’s been playing some defensive tackle.

End of third quarter: Colts 20, 49ers 12

Fourth quarter

Robert Scheer/IndyStar / USA TODAY NETWORK

– Hey a shot play! Garoppolo finds Samuel for 29 yards on a throw back across the field. Good play action bootleg. Then they go play-action boot and Garoppolo hits TE Charlie Woerner.

– Another play action throw on the next play goes to Samuel for 14 yards. Pass protection was great and Garoppolo showed good patience to let his receiver get open. The two-point try got batted down at the line. It’s 20-18, Colts.

– Wentz’s deep throw falls incomplete with no flags! A first for the 49ers defense. Moseley nearly had a pick — his third chance of the night.

– Second-and-15 and Wentz runs for 16 yards. Brutal breakdown by a defense that’s mostly been good so far.

– Nice job by the 49ers defense to get a stop on third-and-12 following a Colts holding penalty on a third-and-2 play. They did get a field goal to make it 23-18. Clock management for the offense is going to be huge down the stretch.

– Samuel returned the kickoff after the field goal. That’s an interesting wrinkle.

– Garoppolo throws an interception when he tried to drill one into traffic to Samuel. Colts CB Xavier Rhodes tipped the pass up and hauled it down. The QB stared down Samuel on a third-and-short and might’ve helped Indy put this one on ice.

– Ouch. That kind of game for the 49ers. Moseley had Michael Pittman Jr. stopped short on a third-and-4, but Al-Shaair whacked Pittman to push him past the first-down marker AND Moseley got hurt.

– Goodnight. Wentz tosses one up for Pittman on a third-and-10. Dre Kirkpatrick in the game for Moseley did … nothing? Unsure what he was trying to do and it cost the 49ers the game. 30-18, Colts

– Perfect ending. Garoppolo sails one into quadruple coverage. Interception. Game over.

End of fourth quarter: Colts 30, 49ers 18

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