Niners Are Losing Turnover Battle, Too

Through four games, San Francisco has given the ball away seven times while its defense has just two takeaways

After four games, the 49ers have some ugly statistics. It starts, of course, with their 1-3 record and the fact they’ve been outscored 110-48.

San Francisco also is giving up 6.2 yards every time the opponent snaps the ball. Plus, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been sacked 14 times.

Also, there is this: After four games the 49ers rank 30th in the NFL in turnover differential, at minus-5. San Francisco’s defense has taken the ball away just twice on a pair of interceptions. The 49ers have given up the ball seven times already, five times on Kaepernick interceptions.

In the third game, a 47-7 loss to the Cardinals in Arizona, the 49ers turned the ball over four times, including two interceptions thrown by Kaepernick early in the game that were returned for touchdowns.

With the 49ers offense struggling – San Francisco’s passing game ranks dead last in the NFL – losing the takeaway-giveaway battle every game is putting the team in a huge hole it just can’t escape.

The 49ers defense looked as if it made strides against the Packers, holding Green Bay to just 17 points after being torched in consecutive weeks by the Steelers and Cardinals. Perhaps defensive coordinator Eric Mangini’s unit has turned the corner, and it will again make some strides this Sunday against the New York Giants (5:30 p.m. kickoff).

But the Niners also need the defense to change the momentum. San Francisco’s defense needs to create some turnovers for some easy scores to take the pressure of Kaepernick and the offense. Perhaps that can be the spark that gets the 49ers going again.

Two takeaways in four games against seven giveaways is a trend that can’t continue. It’s just one more thing the 49ers need to work on. Head coach Jim Tomsula said as much this week.

“You don’t go around these things,” Tomsula said. “You go through them. So lock your jaw and keep going.”

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