SANTA CLARA — Losing to the Browns would hurt.
Sure, losing wouldn’t crush the 49ers. They still would be 3-1, which is an excellent start to the season.
But, losing at home on national television to the 2-2 Browns, who haven’t had a winning season since 2007, could damage the 49ers psychologically. The 49ers haven’t been good for a while, either. Maybe they’re not so hot if they can’t beat Cleveland. Doubt could creep into their minds.
The 49ers need to win this game. And they absolutely should win it.