As the sun sets on the brief Jimmy Garoppolo era and we begin the Trey Lance regime, I’ve decided to throw in the towel on my weekly commentary and just enjoy the games without needing to do a write-up afterward.
As most of you have probably noticed over the past few years, I just don’t have much enthusiasm for blogging any more. Maybe it’s because I turned 75 this past year or maybe it’s just eleven years of football yapping has run its course.
Whatever, I’m done. I will continue to post the score each week, without commentary, until the end of the season. So you guys can continue to comment on the team should you want to.
Nice try, but no ceegar.
Before the season started, the secondary was clearly viewed as the weak link on the team. It was hoped that the front seven would be overpowering enough to cover up for this deficiency. And that was with Jason Verrett nailing down one side of the field. Now, the 49ers have no CBs who are anything but backups or marginal talents.
Against most of the NFL QBs and WRs, this will still probably be okay. But Sunday showed it won’t work against elite QBs and WRs. There are three in the NFC West, which does not bode well for our boys.
The front seven also appears to have been greatly overrated. In three games so far this season, the 49ers have had the lead in the fourth quarter, and all three times the defense has gagged it away. The first two times, the gagging didn’t result in defeat, but Sunday it did.
In seven seasons, Jimmie Ward has two interceptions. TWO! One in 2015 and one in 2016. That’s five years without an INT! Not even a tipped pass or overthrown ball. Nada. Zip. ZERO. Jaquiski Tartt, OTOH, has FOUR INTs during this time. Not exactly overwhelming, but at least not a complete embarrassment.
Sometime, some year, the Niners are going to have to quit trying to get by on the cheap with their DBs.
Jimmy Garoppolo seemed to be under pressure most of the game and very few completions were to wide open WRs. Partially from having no RBs available for the game, or at least none that were credible. Not so for Aaron Rodgers. He didn’t even require enough time to be pressured since his WRs were wide open from the moment Rodgers finished his drop back.
Actually, it’s probably amazing the team was in the position to win the game at all.
Sunday’s game was as ugly as a Mike Singletary game plan.
In fact, that’s exactly what it was. Kudos to Kyle Shanahan for eschewing his ego and going with the smash-mouth approach. The 49ers had a superior team and let the full game prove it. Turnovers were all that could cause them to lose and they did not make any.
The first half looked a little dicey for this approach, but in retrospect, perhaps it was more of a rope-a-dope effort, absorbing all the Eagles had and turning them away with a mere three points at the half, thanks to a blocked field goal and a four down stuff on first and goal from the one. The second half was all Niners, grinding their way to a 17-3 lead late in the fourth quarter and completely shutting down the Eagles.
The team may finally have found a way to convert those pesky third-and-one situations that have been an ongoing embarrassment. Three times Sunday, Jimmy Garoppolo ran a QB sneak to convert two critical third and short plays as well as punching in the second TD. Not sure if this is a hidden Garoppolo skillset, or something center Alex Mack brought with him from Atlanta.
Shanahan’s small, quick, plug-and-play RBs usually makes for a devastating running attack, but these tiny guys sure are injury prone. We’ve already lost Raheem Mostert for the year and his backup Jeff Wilson has another four games before he can come off the PUP list. Sunday, Elijah Mitchell lasted until mid-way through the fourth quarter before exiting with a shoulder injury. JaMycal Hasty replaced him, but sprained his ankle after a few efforts and then he was replaced by Trey Sermon who lasted one play and left with a concussion. That left NO RBs available, so back in came Mitchell for one more play before the game mercifully ended with a Garoppolo sneak for the clinching first down.
Maybe we need like at least ONE big back sort of fella to always be there. Just a thought.