Editor’s note: Stewart Mathurin and Stefan Krueger both contributed to this article.

Final Score: 27-29 L

The San Francisco 49ers suffered another heartbreaking defeat on the road at the hands of the Los Angeles Chargers. The final score line 29-27, reflects the physical battle this game turned out to be. It was a back and forth that saw four lead changes and both teams going up and down the field on offense. However, the 49ers once again lost the turnover battle and were unable to overcome own mistakes and take advantage of the Chargers field goal and two extra point misses. Many old habits of this team still linger, which is extremely frustrating and demoralizing for us fans to watch every gameday.

Offense:

The 49ers offense showed signs of life early in this game with CJ Beathard connecting with Kendrick Bourne for a touchdown dare I say in the redzone.

There would also be a huge play to what seems to be the 49ers go-to weapon on offense, George Kittle. An 82-yard strike during which the former-Iowa Hawkeye shows of his wheels.

As always, it wasn’t all good though, Beathard, who completed 23/37 passes, was intercepted twice. The young passer showed toughness all game, scrambling to pick up positive yardage on numerous occasions. He got hit repeatedly, passes going off receivers hands and losing his left tackle, Joe Staley, to a knee injury — which is hopefully not season-ending. There were a number of injuries (stop me if you’ve heard this before) to key players for the 49ers, aforementioned Joe Staley, Weston Richburg, Dante Pettis and Mike McGlinchey all having to miss snaps for various reasons. This is a troubling theme for a young 49ers team that is barely holding on after key cogs Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon were lost for the season. Kyle Shanahan can take heart knowing that CJ Beathard is a serviceable option for this team moving forward and the season isn’t completely lost yet.

Defense:

If you were like me going into this season, you were very optimistic about the 49ers young defense. Talented at every level with players on the verge of superstardom. So far this hasn’t materialized, there continues to be far too many missed tackles from the defense — a stat which they already lead the National Football league in before week 4’s kickoff. Today’s performance only helps them cement first place in an unwanted category. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh indicated that they work continuously on tackling, but there hasn’t been improvement so far and this is extremely worrisome. Missed assignments being blown in the secondary are fatal in the NFL. Some of the young defenders made some plays today though, the Niners shot out the gate with a brilliant pick-6 of Philip Rivers from recently promoted defensive back Antone Exum.

Fred Warner led the team in tackles, although he gave up a touchdown to Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, he played a solid game otherwise. Reuben Foster made some impressive stops early on whilst he gets his feet under him after missing the first two game due to a suspension. Their penalty numbers have dropped, which is a positive development. Today, the 49ers only had four penalties for 29 yards. Overall, it’s another soul-crushing defeat which drops the 49ers to 1-3 on the season with players banged up and a bye-week nowhere in sight.

Go Niners!