49ers Snap Losing Streak!


Man, it feels good to win! The win was very much in doubt at half time. The Niners were down 9 to 13 and had already missed one field goal and squandered 4 red zone opportunities for touchdowns. Honestly, the game felt like another 2021 49ers substandard performance. The first half was marred by dropped balls, off the mark passes, and an overall lack of execution. The two main 49er highlights in the first half came from Nick Bosa’s sack of Justin Fields and Deebo Samuel’s 50-yard run after catch reception right before the half.

This week validated the 49ers head shed decision to keep Jimmy Garoppolo and sit Trey Lance for the year. It remains to be seen if they should have picked Justin Fields over Trey Lance. Fields’s performance today might suggest otherwise. He did not put-up huge numbers on the stat sheet, but he made plays when he needed to. Fields running for 103 yards on 10 carries, which made up for his lack of throwing prowess. His late game interception should not be held against him. He has a bright future if he keeps plugging away.

Jimmy G also played well…and played better than Fields. He should. He is a veteran. He threw for 322 yards and rushed for a personal best of two touchdowns. Perhaps he was motivated by playing only 30 miles from his hometown. Perhaps he was motivated by playing in front of 100 of his family and friends. Perhaps he was the healthiest he has been since the beginning of the season. Perhaps, it’s a combination of all three. Jimmy G knew the team was struggling in the first half. Yet, he did not get frustrated as we have seen him do in games past. He kept encouraging his teammates to keep their heads up and stay in the game. His leadership as much as his play made the difference for the Niners on Sunday.


The Niners malaise has been the subject of much debate. Is it Jimmy’s fault? Is it Kyle Shanahan’s fault? Shouldn’t we play Trey Lance? Even I was ready to put Lance in last week. As this game progressed, it occurred to me that today’s game is a perfect embodiment of what the 49er brass wanted to happen throughout the season. They knew the roster was good. They wanted Trey Lance to watch Jimmy G lead the team throughout the season and on game day. Sunday presented some great opportunities for learning for the young rookie. In the third quarter, a scoring play was supposed to go to Deebo Samuel, but the play broke down and Jimmy G calmly kept the ball followed the preset blocks and ran it in for a TD. This is a perfect example of an improvising veteran’s play. However, it’s also a powerful lesson for an untested rookie to learn. Don’t get frustrated, think through the problem, and find a way to make a bad situation a good one. The other big lesson was the overall arc of the game. The Niners went into half time down 9 to 13 knowing they missed several key opportunities. Trey Lance watched Jimmy G keep his team focused and their heads up throughout all the adversity they were enduring. This also is a key lesson and take away for an untested rookie. Pro Football is hard. The other team has players too. One has to learn how to manage adversity. Jimmy G showed how to do that on Sunday, as he has throughout his career.

Jimmy G distributed the ball well on Sunday, targeting seven receivers and hitting six. Deebo Samuel had himself a day! Deebo snagged six balls for 171 yards with a long of 83 yards. He truly was the king of yards after catch (YAC) on Sunday. Deebo also has 816 reception yards in seven games breaking Jerry Rice’s record of 781 yards in the same time period. Sanu had a respectable day snagging key 3rd down conversions. Brandon Aiyuk finally had himself a decent day catching four balls for 45 yards. Lastly, Elijah Mitchell is starting to establish himself as the 49er main ball carrier. This was his second 100 yard game in a row. It was hard to remember that he was a rookie as he slashed the Bears offense on 18 carries for 137 yards and a touchdown.

The 49er defense played well, but not up to its usual standards. The defensive line had 11 tackles behind the line of scrimmage mid-way thru the 3rd quarter. However, throughout the first half, they broke down their rush lanes and allowed Fields to run all over them. Fred Warner whiffed on several key plays in the first half. First, he got fooled on pass play and put himself out of position to catch a leaking Cole Kmet who caught a ball over the middle for a first down. Later in the same drive he allowed himself to get sucked up on a pass rush, missing a sure opportunity for a would be pass break up which in turn was a first down conversion. Overall, he played well, but could have been better. Nick Bosa secured two of the team’s four sacks while Josh Norman was second in tackles, forced two fumbles, and had a late game pick. The 49ers defense must learn how to play without Javon Kinlaw. They also missed Tartt and Al-Shaair today. Every team has injuries. The Niners are not alone in this regard. They must work through these injuries and find ways to win. That is what practice is for. Thankfully the defense finally woke up and forced two fourth quarter punts and secured a game ending interception. The Niner defense bent, but they did not break the team on Sunday.

The 49ers finally snapped this year’s 4 game losing streak! Let’s see if they can turn that into a long-term winning streak.

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