49ers Bounce Back at Home!

49ers Bounce Back at Home!

It was important for the 49ers to win game two. They couldn’t start the season 0-2. They needed to beat a divisional rival. They needed to win their home opener. They needed to let Trey Lance build some confidence. They accomplished all these goals except one. During the 49ers second possession, Trey Lance went down with a season ending injury after running quarterback power and breaking his ankle. Lance is done for the season. It is quite an unfortunate circumstance. Lance will lose a year of development on the field. He will lose a year of reps. At the end of the season, the 49ers will have a difficult decision to make. We will cross those bridges later. Let’s discuss the win!

Coach Kyle Shanahan and General Manager John Lynch are fortunate. They are fortunate Jimmy Garoppolo opted for surgery before a trade could be completed. They are fortunate no one wanted to trade for Jimmy G and his salary. They are fortunate that Jimmy G was willing to restructure his deal to stay. Finally, the whole team is fortunate that they could turn to the veteran to lead the team to victory on Sunday. The game plan was not built with Jimmy G in mind. In fact, Coach Shanahan told the sideline reporter that they had to throw the whole game plan out now that Jimmy G is under center. When you consider that, the Niners 27 to 7 victory was a coaching masterpiece.

The Niners looked crisp in Jimmy’s first full possession. Jimmy G led the Niners to a touchdown in four plays, ending in a 38-yard pass play to Ross Dwelly. This was one of the few drives of the game where Jimmy G executed on multiple pass plays in a row. The Niners spent the rest of the game leaning heavily on the run game. Jimmy G completed 13 of 21 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown, narrowly avoiding a couple of interceptions. I won’t grade him too harshly. Sunday was his first time with the starting unit in months. However, I will note that most of his eight incompletions were errant throws, that were either under thrown or thrown wide of the receiver.

The Niners left points on the board. Three different trips into the redzone netted only six points. Two field goals and a blocked field goal for a Seahawks touchdown is poor execution in the redzone. Imagine the score if the 49ers would have executed better in the redzone. It is important to note that Trey Lance led the offense into the redzone the first two 49er possessions. The other area of improvement is the Niners offense must always get points off turnovers. During the 2nd quarter, Talanoa Hufanga tipped the ball to Tashaun Gipson for an interception. Eventually the Seahawks forced a fourth and long that the Niners could not convert. Despite not capitalizing on the first turnover, the Niners learned from their mistake. During the next Seahawks possession, Charvarious Ward intercepted DeeJay Dallas in the endzone running it back to the Niners seven-yard line. The Niners executed a length of the field drive ending in a Kyle Juszczyk touchdown.

Seahawks 49ers Football

The Niners defense is by far the best unit on the team. They forced two interceptions and collected two sacks. Nick Bosa sacked Geno Smith twice forcing fourth down punts. Hufanga once again was flying all over the field, tipping multiple passes and collecting a lot of tackles. The rotating defensive line consistently put pressure on Geno Smith and more importantly consistently stuffed the Seahawk run game. The Niners held the Seahawks to just 36 yards rushing.

Conversely, the Niners rushing attack compiled 189 yards, despite big Al Woods routinely clogging up the middle against the 49ers. It is important to note that the Niners only rushed for 67 yards in the second half. Additionally, they only managed 48 yards thru the air during the 2nd half. The Seahawks defense adjusted well to Jimmy G being under center. They focused on the run and forced Jimmy G to throw. Traditionally, that is the formula to have a shot at beating the 49ers. Despite that, the Niners executed a six-minute drive to score a touchdown in the waning minutes of the game. They ran the ball 12 out of 15 times. One completion occurred to Deebo Samuel for 15 yards. The other two pass plays were defensive pass interference calls, the last of which placed the Niners on the one-yard line. This last Niners drive of the game was vintage Niners football from the last couple of years. Still, I would like to see more efficiency from the passing attack as this season unfolds.

Jimmy G did miss eight of his throws. Most of those throws were off target. For this week, and this week only, I will chalk that up to lack of practice and a lack of a game plan between him and his receivers. He is a veteran. He knows what his top three receivers can do. He has played with Juan Jennings, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Ross Dwelly. There are no more excuses for a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo. He must come out execute and play well on a consistent basis. The margins to victory are too slim for him not to. Aiyuk is much improved from last year. Deebo is healthy. Jennings will continue to build off of last years gains. If Jimmy G can stay healthy, look for a much more balanced 49er offensive attack. They have a stable of backs to lean on. This could be the 49ers year. We shall see…..

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