Niners Sloppily Win Game 1

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The Niners’ Supply Management team placed a large order of Rustoleum with Same-Day delivery as they played with a lot of rust showing while Jameis Winston won the game for the Niners by throwing 3 INT’s with 2 Pick 6’s.

While the Rustoleum will be used mostly by the Offense, the Defense has some rust chiseling to do also before they face a surprisingly tough Cincinnati Bengals team this Sunday.

While being critical of their performance, one can easily see that this is a much improved club and the improved talent hid many mistakes.

Let’s look at the good and the bad of the Defense as I believe that the success of the 2019-2020 Niners will depend on how this side of the ball keeps the opposition out of their End Zone.

The Good:

  • They had 3 INT’s with 2 of them directly scoring 14 points. Richard Sherman and Akhello Witherspoon both had Pick 6’s with Akhello’s being the game clincher. Last year’s Niner Defense registered a grand total of 2 INT’s the entire season!!!
  • They had 1 fumble recovery. Last year they had 5 the entire year.
  • They sacked Winston 3 times. The key additions of Dee Ford and Nick Bosa as Edge Rushers was prominently on display and hopefully will continue throughout the season.
  • They allowed the Bucs to score only once out of four times in the Red Zone.
  • When under pressure, the 49ers limited Winston to 4-12 passes for 37 yards and two INT’s for a passer rating of 3.1.
  • The much maligned Defensive Secondary broke up 6 key passes and Tarvarious Moore broke up a 4th down pass in the End Zone which very easily could have been another INT.

The Bad:

  • Although the Niner D gave up only rushing 121 yards, many of those yards came at critical times allowing the Bucs to keep their drives alive. Poor tackling is where they need to improve.
  • They gave up 194 passing yards so although the Secondary is much improved, they have much to work on to compete against more dominant teams.
  • They gave up a 1st down on a 3rd and 17 play. Salah had them line up 7 players 18 yards from the line of scrimmage. As we all know, a Prevent Defense simply prevents them from succeeding. I blame this directly on Salah, the Defensive Coordinator.

The Offense was mostly offensive but they displayed enough to hope that they can come together and generate more consistent drives resulting in more TD’s rather than Robbie Gould 3 pointers. Having said that, I’ll take “Good as Gould’s” 3’s all day long. The only other guy better at 3’s is Steph Curry….

The Bad:

  • The WR’s had only 7 catches with Deebo Samuel having 3. James, Bourne, Pettis, and Goodwin had only 1 catch each. If this doesn’t improve, then their opponents will focus only on shutting down George Kittle who had 8 catches.
  • The Run game was horrendous generating only 98 yards. The RB’s are better than average so the blame goes to the O-Line. They simply did not open holes. If this trend continues, it will be yet another long losing year.
  • Jimmy G had a decent game but made a terrible decision by staring down his receiver and threw a very bad Pick 6. He also made several other bad plays not throwing to wide open receivers.
  • They had 11 penalties for 87 yards with three of those penalties wiping out 3 TD’s. This is a Rustoleum in the brain issue.

The Good:

  • Jimmy G had decent stats with 18 completions out of 27 attempts with a Passer Rating of 80.2.
  • The O-Line allowed only 1 sack of Jimmy G.
  • Jimmy G threw a beautiful TD pass to Richie James.
  • It is clear that Jimmy G has developed chemistry with George Kittle.
  • Deebo Samuel looks like a rising star.
  • Although the running game stunk, Raheem Mostert showed much promise with 40 yards on 9 carries. With Tevin Coleman out for several weeks with a high ankle sprain, Raheem has a chance to shine.

While there are plenty of areas to improve upon, the Niners played hard in an “away” game under hot and humid conditions. An Ugly Win is better than a Pretty Loss no matter how you cut it. They have another “away” game in Cincinnati. If they clean up their mistakes and start with a 2-0 record before their first home game, this will set the direction for their entire season.

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