For 49er fans, the week 1 loss wasn’t a bad sign for the remainder of the season for multiple reasons.
Despite losing to a Super Bowl contender in their hostile environment, the 49ers showed that they can play toe-to-toe with the big boys.
Multiple injuries to their Right Guard position forced Shanahan to move his rookie Right Tackle, Mike McGlinchy, to play Guard and Garry Gilliam to play Right Tackle. The Offensive Line held their own against the league’s best defense under these conditions. Starting Guard, Mike Person, and backup Joshua Garnett both suffered foot injuries forcing this move.
Marquise Goodwin, the 49ers Home Run Wide Receiver, injured his quad early in the game so couldn’t contribute.
Then, there were the Turn Overs and Dropped Passes which were the deciding factors in the game. The 49ers had 4 Turn Overs (1 Fumble and 3 INT’s). The reliable Alfred Morris fumbled on the 1 yard line. The sure-handed Pierre Garcon dropped a Touchdown pass. George Kittle dropped a perfect long pass from Garoppolo and could have run all the way back to San Francisco without being touched. On the very next play after the Kittle drop, Garoppolo threw a Pick-6. Kendrick Bourne, the target Wide Receiver on that play, admitted after the game that he ran the wrong route causing the Pick-6. Those two plays created a 14 point swing against the 49ers. In the 4th Quarter, Garoppolo over-threw a wide open George Kittle in the end zone. Thus, they left a potential 28 points on the field. Then, to put the icing on the cake on errors, with a little under 3 minutes left in the game, Defensive Tackle, Solomon Thomas, committed the sin of all sins by biting on a hard count with 1 second left on the play clock and jumping off-sides giving the Vikings another 4 downs to run the clock.
Now, onto the positives…
DeForest Buckner had a monster game on Defense recording 2 ½ sacks. In general, the entire Defensive Line (including Solomon Thomas) had a solid game. Shanahan said that he was pleased with his Defensive Line play as they held the Vikings to 17 offensive points which he thought would be good enough to win.
Rookie LB Fred Warner had a game high 12 tackles and looks like the real-deal. Richard Sherman looked like he is fully recovered from his achilles tear injury and had a solid game. He also said that Middle Linebacker is the toughest position to come into as a rookie and commended Warner for his performance.
Rookie WR Dante Pettis also had a good game and made a fantastic 22 yard catch in the back of the End Zone for the 49ers only Touchdown.
Garoppolo had the 3 INT’s but otherwise had a decent game as his stats match that of Cousins. He had 266 yards passing to Cousin’s 244 yards.
Many mistakes that the 49ers will correct as this is a much improved team from last year…
Around the League:
- The Chicago Bears won the Khalil Mack sweepstakes. He was a 1-man wrecking crew on Defense vs the Packers.
- Aaron Rodgers is more dangerous with 1 leg. He came back to play in the 4th quarter after suffering what looked like a season-ending knee injury in the 1st half and threw 3 Touchdown passes to secure a 24-23 comeback win vs the Bears. The Bears were ahead 20-3 when he limped back onto the field. This was the greatest come-from-behind 4th quarter deficit victory in Packers history. Rodgers played like a wounded bear (no pun intended)… something that nobody wants to deal with.
- Alex Smith and Adrian Peterson, two oldies who haven’t received the respect that they deserve over the last couple of years, showed that they still have plenty in the tank by demolishing the Cardinals in Arizona.
- The Cleveland Browns ended their 17 game losing streak. BUT, they didn’t start a 1 game winning streak either. A tie is like kissing your sister.
- The Buffalo Bills made the playoffs last year and traded their starting QB, Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns so that they can start Nathan Peterman at QB. Against the Ravens, Peterman went 5 for 18 for 24 yards (I didn’t forget the zero at the end of 24) with 2 INT’s and a QB rating of ZERO. In case you are wondering, the Bills lost 47-3.
- Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, the other Super Bowl contender, got trashed by the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a back-up QB, Ryan Fitspatrick, who threw for 417 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Jameis Winston may have to go back to stealing more crabs…