So, with about half of a former roster coming back home this week, it feels like maybe Bruce shoulda penciled in the 49ers as Homecoming/Alumni Week. Though that whole “Homecoming” theme never really went our way, typically ending in a Redskins loss. Freshly minted first time Head Coach Kyle Shanahan brings his surprisingly 0-5 49er team to FedEx Field this Sunday. Now, there’s just no way this week I have the time to review all 5 of their games, so I’m picking two games at random. First up is their Week 2 game at the Seahawks, followed by their week 4 loss to the Cardinals. The 9ers lost both of these games by 3 points each. And both of these games were on the road, just like tomorrow’s will be for them. Here we go…
First thing that stands out is the 9er Defense is kinda like wet cardboard. They allow the Seahawks to start the opening drive at their own 25 & march it all the way down to the 9ers 7 yard line before finally holding Seattle to a Field Goal. Seattle even converted a 4th & 1 at the 9ers 41 yard line during this drive. With a no gain run at the 7 yard line followed by two incomplete passes, it was more the Seahawks stalling theirselves out then it was the Defense finally making a stop.
The Offense’s opening drive, Kyle surprisingly calls a run to the right to start with. It’s on 2nd Down that he calls his shot deep that goes incomplete. On 3rd & 1 they run it & get half of it. Unable to get a yard the 9ers are forced to punt. Had the deep ball been more accurate, they’d still be on the field.
Second drive, second play & the Defense gets a sack for a loss of 1. Defense holds them to a 3 & out.
On SF’s 2nd Offensive drive, it gets a bit cray cray. Here’s the Official description of what happened:
(5:39) (Shotgun) B.Hoyer pass short middle intended for C.Hyde INTERCEPTED by B.Wagner at SF 43. B.Wagner to SF 36 for 7 yards (M.Goodwin). FUMBLES (M.Goodwin), recovered by SEA-R.Sherman at SF 36. R.Sherman to SF 36 for no gain (C.Hyde).
Like I said, cray cray. To make it even more screwy, Russel Wilson is sacked for a loss of 8 on the Seahawks 1st Down the very next play. The Defense is trying to make a lot of substitutions this drive, Seattle responds by picking up the pace on Offense. On 3rd & 9 Seattle drops a sure TD in the end zone & are force to kick another field goal. They’re not getting TD so far but the Defense isn’t really stopping them either.
One play into the 2nd Quarter & SF takes their first timeout. 3rd & 3 & they don’t convert. This Offense can’t get anything going. Seattle takes over after the punt, on their own 3 yard line. Seattle picks up 4 yards on two plays on the ground. Wilson to Lockett gets them a 3rd Down conversion. The 49ers Defense should have gotten off the field there but couldn’t.
At this point, SF has had 8 plays for 17 yards & their T.O.P. is a measly 3:57 while on the flip side, Seattle has had 34 plays for 127 yards with a T.O.P.of 15.11.
Offensively, Seattle got a few more plays off before the Defense finally made a stop.
9ers next drive opens with a 14 yard pass to Kittle. Kittle’s a good sized rookie & one to keep an eye on how Kyle uses him. Hoyer throws a mistimed pass out of bounds & gets called for Intentional Grounding. Garçon’s first catch this game is for 6 yards. 9ers once again end up punting. Then the Seahawks end up running 4 plays & punt. The 9ers Defense had started out as turnstiles but have now started to tighten up a little bit. Especially in the run game.
Let’s see if the 9ers can get anything going this drive….Hoyer pitches to Hyde on a run around to the left for a gain of 6. 2nd & 4 at their own 17. And there it is. Hyde, on the ground breaks loose for a gain of 61 yards. And guess who the only 49er is downfield blocking for him, our guy Garçon. Oh & it’s started raining in this game too. Seattle’s Defense holds the 9ers to 3 & out & SF settles for a field goal. 6-3 Seattle at the Two Minute Warning.
Seattle goes 3 & out & San Fran finishes the first half off by hitting another field goal to tie it up at 6-6. At least it was a quick half. So far with only 2 quarters in, this is the worst Kyle Shanahan offense I’ve seen since John Beck tried to run it. Hoyer isn’t a starter. He’s been inaccurate enough to maybe be a 3rd string QB. Maybe. I wonder if Kyle tried to coax Grossman out of retirement before going with Hoyer. Hyde, an every down back with good size, is probably the best weapon they have on Offense. And Garçon has only had one target so far.
The 9ers open the Second Half with seven plays, a timeout & a punt. (Res next offensive drive starts at their own 6 yard line. Hyde gets 1 yard uno the middle then Hoyer is sacked for what appeared to be a Safety but the officials spot the ball inside the 1. Hoyer then passes for a gain of 10 & are forced to punt from the 11. A bad punt put Seattle at nearly mid field. They manage to waste it & go 3 & out.
San Fran with the fair catch at their own 13. Hoyer to Garçon for 11 yards. Then it’s Hyde off the LG for 4 yards followed by Hyde getting 5 yards off of the RT but there’s a 10 yard penalty for Offensive Holding & they lose 10 yards. Hoyer’s next pass is again, incomplete. On 3rd & 16, Breida gets 10 yards up the middle & San Fran once again punts while I try to stay awake watching this disaster.
Seattle takes over with a run & two incomplete passes just so they can punt it back to the 49ers. Hoyer hits Goodwin for a gain of 12 as the 3rd Quarter ends. Hoyer starts the 4th Quarter with a 8 yard pass to Hyde that gets them to the 50. Hyde gets another 6 on the ground, Hoyer incomplete to Hyde. Next it’s Breida again for gains of 11 & 13, & 4.The 9ers take a timeout & follow it up with incomplete passes to Goodwin & Garçon. Gould hits a 34 yard field goal & the 9ers take a 9-6 lead.
Seattle answers with a 10 plays for 82 yards in 4:30 for touchdown but miss the extra point. Seahawks take the lead back at 12-9. After the kickoff there’s 7:01 left on the clock in the 4th. San Fran goes 3 & out. With 4:47 left, Seattle does enough to get to the Two Minute Warning, then they continue to eat the clock by taking 3 kneel downs to end it.
Like I said at the Half, worst looking Kyle Shanahan Offense I’ve seen since John Beck. Even old, broken down McNabb ran it better then this. And yeah I know SF is in a rebuild, but Kyle has enough of his guys that have been in this system long enough, a quality QB would get it going like it should. Hoyer was 15 of 27 for 99 yards passing.His longest pass was 14 yards, he had 1 INT, a completion percentage of 55.6% & a QB Rating of 48.2. Hyde had 15 attempts for 124 yards on the ground & caught 3 of 6 passes for 19 yards. Both Goodwin & Garçon had 3 catches for 26 yards each.
Let’s see if they improved any two weeks later against the Cardinals….
To start off, the Cards are missing 3 of thier starting O Line so SF should, on paper, get a lot of pressure on Palmer this game. Oh & RB David Johnson is out this game for the Cards as well.
The Cards take the opening drive from their 25 to the SF 4 where on 3rd & 4 Palmer gets picked off at the Goal line for a touchback. San Fran takes over at the 20 with 8:16 left in the First Quarter. Hyde gets 2 on the ground followed by two incomplete passes from Hoyer to Garçon & Taylor. # & out & they punt. So the Cards with the mentality of “anything you can do, we can do better” are also held to a 3 & out & a punt. From their 24 Hoyer hits Goodwin for a gain of 18. Hyde gets 11 on the ground. Two positive plays in a row, could they be gaining momentum? Yeah, no. Brieda looses 3 yards & Hoyer passes incomplete. Then again…Hoyer connects with Taylor for 12 then gets 3 up the middle. Followed by incomplete passes to Paulsen & Goodwin. Hoyer to Taylor for 4 yards & the 9ers hit a 49 yard field goal. 3-0 49ers.
The Cards answered with a 9 play 63 yard field goal. They had a touchdown but it was reversed. Tied game at 3-3. Cardinals passing game is looking REALLY good so far.
San Fran starts the next drive at their 15. They pick up 6 yards on two runs, ALDRICK ROBINSON SIGHTING- Hoyer complete to Aldrick for 16 yards. SF goes No Huddle. Breida stopped on the ground for a loss of 2. Hoyer goes deep left to Aldrick for a gain of 24. Hoyer complete to Taylor for 11. Last 3 plays were No Huddle. Hoyer to Garçon for a gain of 6 & they burn a timeout. Hoyer in Shotgun & he gets sacked, loss of 11. (Res are forced to kick a 39 yard field goal, it’s good. SF takes the lead at 6-3.
Arizona starts at their own 25, get to the SF 39 before stalling out & having to punt it away. SF’s Defense has started getting to Palmer. If they weren’t sacking him, they were knocking the snot outta him. (The 49ers get 3 plays off- a run, an incomplete pass, & then Hoyer throws a pick & it’s Two Minute Warning time. Three plays later the Cards tie it up with a 43 yard field goal. 6-6
Next drive, Hoyer completes to Kittle for 14 yards then has 3 incomplete passes & they punt it away. The Cards stall out with a 3 & out to end the 1st Half.
The 49ers start the 3rd Quarter with a great drive. Hoyer to Garçon for 16, ?Hoyer to Kittle for 21 yards, Hyde for 14 on the ground, Hoyer to Juszczyk for 5, Breida for 8. Hoyer to Breida an 11 yard touchdown that gets nullified due to Offensive Pass Interference. Hoyer gets sacked on the next play for a loss of 10. Hoyer complete to Hyde for 2, then incomplete to Taylor. Gould hits the 47 yard field goal & SF takes a 9-6 lead.
Nine plays later the Cards answer with a 50 yard field goal. Tied game at 9.
SF starts at their 25. Hyde gets nothing up the middle. Hoyer complete to Aldrick for 12. QB SWITCH - HOYER OUT, BEATHARD IN- Hyde goes up the middle for a gain of 15. Hoyer back in & passes incomplete to Kittle. Breida gets 6 on the ground, Hoyer to Taylor for 12, SF called for Offensive Holding, Hoyer incomplete to Aldrick, Hoyer complete to Hyde for 7 then incomplete to Garçon. 4th Down. 48 yard field goal is good 12-9 SF leads.
The 9ers next drive starts at their 20. Hoyer incomplete to Aldrick. Brieda stopped for a loss of 1 up the middle. Hoyer incomplete pass to Brieda & they punt it away. The Cards go 50 yards in 11 plays & kick a 32 yard field goal to tie it up at 12. Clearly these teams do not believe in touchdowns.
There’s 7:06 left on the clock & to quickly sum it up, neither team really does much of anything. This game stays tied at 12-12 & goes into OT.
SF starts OT on Offense & get a field goal to go up 15-12. Carson Palmer aint having that. Eight plays later he throws a touchdown pass complete to Larry Fitzgerald for the 18-15 win.
Maaaaaaaaan…..The 49ers are not a good team, but I’d bet they could still beat the Giants.