"Once we fix the turnovers, then we have a chance to start playing football", he said afterward.
The 49ers on Sunday provided a stark answer - and more than validated the league's decision to yank them from prime time - with another tiresome, mistake-filled performance in which they looked like one of the NFL's bottom-dwellers.
At the beginning of the season, the Week 7 matchup between the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers looked like it was going to be one of the best of the week. Those giveaways resulted in an early 10-0 hole from which the 49ers could not recover. Rams win 40-23, with Jared Goff throwing for 288 yards and three touchdowns, along with a 104-yard, one touchdown day for Gurley.
Donald's play was the story of the game for the Rams.
Just how ugly would it get? "We're doing nothing but hurting ourselves and I feel like we're the reason why we're losing these games, so the sooner we get that corrected, I feel like we'll be in a lot better direction".
Goff will be without top target Cooper Kupp (knee) on Sunday. And they've turned it over just six times, tied for 3rd-fewest. That lack of production has come despite a consistent emphasis from coordinator Robert Saleh in practice.
The 49ers had a season-low 228 yards of offense and averaged a miserable 3.9 yards per play. The NFL's leading rusher has amassed 623 rushing yards and a league-high nine rushing touchdowns through six games. Injuries and other issues aside, the Niners' whopping minus-15 turnover margin through the first seven weeks is the single biggest issue the team just can't seem to overcome. San Francisco has three takeaways in six games. In the ensuing 14 quarters, that number is minus-14. Beathard is responsible for seven of those turnovers, and his late-game interception against the Packers ultimately cost the 49ers a game that they should have won.
The Niners are negative-54 in point differential off turnovers this season, worst in the league by 19 points.
Week 7 presents a huge challenge for San Francisco, similar to what Kansas City was in Week 3. Beathard has averaged close to 300 passing yards and two touchdowns per game since taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, while Matt Breida is averaging an NFL-best 6.8 yards per carry in Jerick McKinnon's stead.
"It's tough", Beathard said.
"It's not just C.J., it's everyone", Shanahan said.