49ers 33, Patriots 6

49ers 2, Gauntlet 0.

Wins are always enjoyable, but demolishing the Patriots in their own park is about as sweet as it gets. This was a thorough butt-kicker special, from beginning to end.

Can’t say I saw this one coming. The defense was dominant, the offense unstoppable. And the Patriots played about as bad as you’ll ever see them play. As bad as the Niners played when the Dolphins walloped them a few weeks back.

Brandon Aiyuk picked up 115 yards receiving and Jeff Wilson ran for 112 yards. TOP was a lopsided 38 minutes for the Niners and 21 for the Patriots. Total yardage, 467 to 241.

But it wouldn’t be life to hand out a perfect day. And sure enough, late in the game, Wilson picked up a high ankle sprain on his third TD run of the day, while Deebo Samuel went out with some sort of hamstring issue. That will leave the Niners short-handed next week when they travel to Seattle. Not good.

JaMycal Hasty should fill in nicely for Wilson next week – assuming he can get through a whole game without getting injured, too. But not having Samuel will definitely hurt.

At least the defense got through the game without any injuries, unless somebody tripped getting on the plane home and broke an ankle. CB Jason Verrett has really solidified that unit this year. And why not, in a season with injuries occurring at an astronomical rate, it should be a guy who’s been injured his whole career who should step in, stay healthy, and play lights out. Knock on wood.

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49ers 24, Rams 16

The grave diggers had to holster their shovels Sunday night in Santa Clara, as the 49ers limped out of the morgue to live another week.

Looking a lot like last year’s team, the defense shut down the high powered Rams offense, while the Niner offense clicked along smoothly and efficiently to build a 15 point lead with only four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Then, after a Rams score narrowed the lead to 8 points with two minutes to go, Deebo Samuel bulled his way to a first down which allowed them to run out the clock.

Amazing how different a team can look when it has TWO healthy CBs and a healthy QB. And the defense accomplished its job without registering a single sack or putting much pressure on Rams QB Jared Goff the entire game.

They even played the entire second half without super RB Raheem Mostert, but practice squad call up JaMychal Hasty filled in nicely, looking a little bit like a mini-Mostert in the process.

George Kittle led all receivers with seven receptions for 109 yards. The biggest catch was the fourth and two dart from Garoppolo that Kittle took 44 yards to the house and gave the Niners a 21-6 halftime lead. They only added three more points in the second half, which was disappointing, but it was enough.

It’s difficult to believe, in this injury-riddled season, but the guy who’s turned the secondary around is none other than terminally fragile CB Jason Verrett. He’s actually played three straight games without breaking anything or limping off the field. And he’s played lights out football during that time, including yesterday’s end zone interception of Goff which put a dagger in the Rams come back efforts.

Special kudos to our much maligned O-line. They did not give up a sack and RG Daniel Brunskill pretty much neutralized Aaron Donald – no small feat.

Next up on the seven game gauntlet against elite teams is the Patriots in Foxborough. A win there would keep hopes for the 2020 season in the realm of distant possibilities. And it would give the Patriots a 2-4 record, which would be a joy all by itself.

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Dolphins 43, 49ers 17

So, about next year …

The only thing that could save this year is if COVID went crazy and they had to scrap the season.

The Niners got trashed so bad it looked like the 2016 team out there on Sunday. That was also the year the Panthers went from 15-1 and an SB loss to out of the playoffs and a 6-10 season. The  Niners appear to be following that model this year, too.

When Nick Bosa went down in the second game of the year, it was obvious the offense would have to score a lot of points this year. That hasn’t happened. On paper, the offense was back to full strength Sunday, with all its WRs and RBs and TEs finally back on the field, along with QB Jimmy Garoppolo. They produced the worst game of the season, and for Garoppolo, the worst game of his career.

The best part of the game was the Twitter remarks of retired Niner Joe Staley:

  • “Damn”
  • “What the hell is this??!”
  • “Time for an epic comeback!!!”
  • “Nevermind”

Speaking of Staley, his replacement, the much ballyhooed super LT Trent Williams, has been stinking up the joint the past few games. He’s had plenty of company from his other four O-line mates, who have been stinking it up, too – just without the “ballyhoo” part. No, they’re only four guys who aren’t very good.

Where the team goes from here is anybody’s guess. Into the shitter full blast, probably, with the next seven opponents all likely to stuff our boys but good.  It would be nice if at least they stopped looking like a disorganized mess.

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Eagles 25, 49ers 20

The 49ers lost to  the Eagles 25-20 Sunday night, but a more accurate portrayal of the score would be 49ers 20, Eagles 8, Nick Mullens -17.

And just like that, the bandwagons of the 49ers and of Mullens emptied out into the long cruel night of great expectations gone awry. Mullens fell all the way down to third string inactive on game day, losing any chance of another team signing him to be their starter this coming offseason. And the Niners fell two games behind the Seahawks, and dead last in the division.

The Niners enter the tough part of the schedule next week and the season is definitely on the brink. They need Jimmy Garoppolo to return pronto, but they also need to stop losing CBs and edge rushers every week to injury. Ziggy Ansah was signed this week to help with the vacant pass rush and promptly tore his biceps and headed off to season-ending IR. While CB Dontae Johnson gave a vivid demonstration of why he’s played for every team in the league, but not for long with any of them.

The entire O-line looked like crap Sunday, also, but part of that is the Eagles D-line and part of it is not-much-you-can-do-about-it this year. Meanwhile, the Eagles O-line consisted of guys signed off the street, but they had little trouble fending off the feeble 49er pass rush.

If this kind of sloppy performances keeps up, it will be tempting to wonder if last year was the fluke, and this year is the reality.

Not sure if it’s my imagination, but doesn’t it seem like every team in the league can routinely make two point conversions, often waltzing in untouched, while the Niners routinely fail? Kyle Shanahan‘s lack of chops around the goal line is bordering on criminal negligence.

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49ers 36, Giants 9

The stock price of Nick Mullens, Inc surged upward Sunday in New Jersey as he directed a thorough and relentless butt-kicking of the hapless New York Giants. Mullens completed 25 of 36 to ten different receivers while racking up 343  yards.

Rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk had a breakout game, catching 5 passes for 70 yards and running three times for another 31. With Deebo Samuel possibly returning this week from three games on IR, along with Kendrick  BourneMohamed Sanu, and Trent Taylor, the Niners’ receiving unit finally has a chance to be a dangerous group.

The 49ers had nine drives in the game, none of which ended with a punt. One ended with a missed FG, another was a three down game ending kneel job, and the other seven drives all resulted in points. The Giants simply could not stop the Niners’ offense.

The injury-wracked defense was missing its top three CBs but got a huge boost when the never-endingly injured Jason Verrett stepped in and actually played a entire game without getting carted off the field! Shades of Jimmie Ward finally escaping the injury jinx last year. At least for one game. If he manages to stay healthy, a pairing of him and Sherman would help dilute the loss of both of the team’s top pass rushers.

But defenses are not doing well throughout the league this year. Every game seems to be a shoot out, with scores in the thirties common place. Not sure if that is an early season aberration or a 2020 trend. We’ll see.

Next up is a home game against the even more injury riddled Philadelphia Eagles, who are so banged up they could only manage a tie against the woeful Bengals. The Niners won’t get any more help from a soft schedule after that game, though. After the Miami game, the rest of the schedule is a gauntlet against some of the best teams in the league. They could easily lose six or seven in a row if they’re not at their best.

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2020 Schedule
9-13: L Cardinals 24, 49ers 20
9-20: W 49ers 31, Jets 13
9-27: W 49ers 36, Giants 9

10-4: L Eagles 25, 49ers 20
10-11: L Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
10-18: W 49ers 24, Rams 16
10-25: W 49ers 33, Patriots 6

11-1: @ SEA
11-5: GB (TNF)
11-15: @ NO

BYE

11-29: @LAR

12-7: BUF (MNF)
12-13: WAS
12-20: @ DAL (SNF)
12-26: or 27 @ AZ

1-3: SEA

2020 Draft Class
1. DT Javon Kinlaw, South Carolina
1. WR Brandon Aiyuk, Arizona State
5. OL Colton McKivitz, West Virginia
6. TE Charlie Woerner, Georgia
7. WR Jauan Jennings, Tennessee
 
2020 Prognostications
Bullit: 12-4
Grumpy: 12-4
NJ49er: 11-5
Skeebers: 11-5
Winder: 11-5

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