SANTA CLARA — Midway through the 49ers’ crucial, gritty, hard-fought road victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kyle Shanahan berated Jimmy Garoppolo on the sideline.
Shanahan’s face was tomato red. Garoppolo shook his head apparently to indicate he thought he did nothing wrong. Shanahan raised his eyebrows in disagreement and read Garoppolo the riot act.
Garoppolo had just forced an incomplete pass to a covered wide receiver on third-and-12 from the Bucs’ 18-yard line when George Kittle was wide open for a touchdown in the middle of the field. Garoppolo didn’t see him. Earlier in the game, Garoppolo telegraphed a throw to the sideline, a throw which Bucs cornerback Vernon Hargreaves intercepted and returned for a touchdown.
Garoppolo ultimately played well enough to beat the Bucs. But his mistakes revealed Shanahan’s frustration about the 49ers’ sloppy performance, and the challenges they will face if they don’t clean up their act.
Here are the five biggest challenges the 49ers must address before Sunday’s game in Cincinnati: