Almost one month ago to the day, the Denver Broncos struck a trade with the San Francisco 49ers, sending all-time free agent bust Randy Gregory to the Bay in exchange for NFL Draft compensation. Immediately after the trade, Gregory got onto the field for the 49ers and made an impact. Broncos fans were rolling their eyes as Gregory got a sack in his first game as a member of the 49ers, and not only that, but Gregory added three QB hits as well.
After that trade and his subsequent individual performance in the game, Denver Broncos fans were left thinking great, Randy Gregory is going to go to San Francisco and actually start making an impact as a pass rusher. Why couldn't he do that in Denver?
As much as we're rooting for Gregory's individual success, it's hard to ignore the slide the 49ers have gone on since making the trade with Denver. Of course, it would be foolish to blame the trade directly for this, but the 49ers are 0-3 since Randy Gregory was added to their roster.
Not only that, but the 49ers have averaged 1.7 sacks per game over their last three games, which is tied for the 6th-worst mark in the NFL.
Did the Randy Gregory trade curse the San Francisco 49ers?
Nah...Okay, but seriously, did it?
The 49ers obviously wanted a jolt for their pass rush, so they got Randy Gregory from the Broncos for fairly cheap, with the Broncos footing the majority of the bill for Gregory's remaining salary. After that first game Gregory played for San Francisco against Cleveland, it looked like he was about to change the complexion of their defense, but that hasn't been the case. The 49ers gave up 19 points in a loss to the Browns, 22 points in a loss to the Vikings, and 31 points in their most recent loss to the Bengals.
They've got the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road after a Week 9 bye as well...
What's even more interesting? The 49ers struck a trade with the Washington Commanders to acquire Chase Young, so Randy Gregory's time coming off the edge figures to be limited now anyway, if the 49ers even activate him at all after the Chase Young deal.
Athough it would be foolish to blame the 49ers' struggles as a team lately on the Randy Gregory trade, it's at least interesting that they are 0-3 since the deal, they have gotten much worse in sacks per game, and heading into their bye week they gave up 20-plus points in consecutive games for the first time all year, including giving up 30 points for the first time all season against Cincinnati.
Oh yeah, the 49ers' defense has also given up over 400 yards in back-to-back games for the first time this season...
Meanwhile in Denver since the Randy Gregory trade...
The Broncos' defense has turned things around substantially. They gave up a season-low 24 points to the Jets defensively immediately after trading Gregory (with the Jets adding another 7 points on a fumble recovered for a touchdown) and have given up less than 20 points in the three consecutive games that followed, including just 28 points combined to the Kansas City Chiefs over two games.
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Included in there are some of the team's best all-around pass rush performances of the year.
Funny how that works, isn't it?