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Another second half lead and another tick
01-14-2019, 06:56 AM,
Post: #1
Another second half lead and another tick
in the loss column for the 49ers. After the game 49ers Richard Sherman Jersey , head coach Kyle Shanahan didn’t mince his words at all when asked about the late-game collapse, adding “There was a number of plays, extremely disappointed. Thought we put ourselves in a position to win the game...I thought we had a chance to step on their throats and didn’t.”The 49ers’ youth and lack of a pass rush continues to show up late in games when they try to protect a lead. There are a few defensive breakdowns or penalties, combined with too much time in the pocket for opposing quarterbacks. On New York’s final drive, Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning was 7-of-10, aided by two huge defensive penalties from corner Ahkello Witherspoon and linebacker Malcolm Smith that kept the drive going. Nine plays, 75 yards later, the Giants have taken the lead and now the 49ers are in a near-impossible situation given who their quarterback is.Flipping that around, I thought San Francisco’s offense played decently, given that they were down wideout Pierre Gar莽on before the game. Breakout quarterback Nick Mullens finished 27-of-39 for 250 yards, with one touchdown and two interceptions.How did the 49ers measure up to the pre-game keys that were laid out?1. Slow down the Giants’ superstars, RB Saquon Barkley and WR Odell Beckham JrI expected the 49ers to cover one of these guys particularly well, while the other would run wild all over Robert Saleh’s defense. Except, the exact opposite happened. The 49ers’ defense did a particularly effective job defending running back Saquon Barkley, but dropped the ball against superstar wideout Odell Beckham Jr — on the two most important plays of the game.First up — Barkley. The former Penn State running back carried the ball 20 times Cheap Dante Pettis Jersey , yet it was for only 67 yards (3.3 YPA). On numerous occasions, Barkley would be stuck dancing in the backfield with nowhere to go. If you take out his longest run of 18 yards, the average drops to 2.6 YPA. He tacked on four catches for 33 yards, but considering his multiple double-digit reception games in the past, the 49ers did well against the rookie.On the other hand, San Francisco’s defense seemed to let Beckham Jr. run “buck naked” — as corner Richard Sherman likes to say — against the defense. On both of his touchdown receptions, there were busts in coverage that allowed for an easy 12 points for the Giants.On the first touchdown catch, three 49ers’ defenders were in the area, but the ex-LSU star snuck behind them for a wide-open — I mean, the next defender wasn’t in the same zip code wide-open — touchdown. In the ensuing touchdown, Witherspoon expected help from the free safety, but Beckham Jr. was too busy celebrating his touchdown by that time already. Outside of those two plays, the 49ers’ defensive backs and linebacker Fred Warner did a decent job of keeping Beckham Jr. in check.2. QB Nick Mullens continues his “Mullens’ Magic” from last weekThis was going to be the real question heading into Monday night — can Mullens keep up his play from last Thursday. The answer was a resounding confirmation. Mullens certainly continued his magical play against the Giants — who played much better defense than the Raiders did last week. I’m sure there were a few plays that Mullens would like to have back, but for the most part, it seemed like he did what he could. His first interception raises questions about arm strength 49ers Alfred Morris Jersey , but the second interception was due to a dropped pass.On the final drive of the game, Mullens was able to move the ball 54 yards in 53 seconds, before throwing it out of the end zone in the final play to win the game and I’m sure he had a lot of Giants’ fans on the edge of their seats.For the rest of the season, opposing defenses are going to force Mullens to throw the ball outside of the numbers and really test his arm strength and timing with his wide receivers. Aside from that, Mullens has continually showed poise in the pocket and the ability to make the correct pre-snap reads. It’ll be tougher against better defenses, but I expect more from Mullens than I did from backup C.J. Beathard the last few weeks.3. DC Robert Saleh should turn the pass rushers loose against the Giants’ OLComing into the game, Manning was sacked 31 times by opposing defenses and it’s been a poor theme for the Giants’ offensive line all year long. Looking at a lot of his sacks before the Monday night matchup, it seemed to be partially due to Manning’s immobility, as well as an offensive lineman’s mistake. I fully expected Saleh to turn the pass rushers loose and make Manning feel the pressure in the pocket. This was a case of: “Are the 49ers’ rushers that bad or the Giants’ OL that good?” — because San Francisco finished the game with only one sack for an eight-yard loss. Coming into the game, the Giants were giving up nearly four sacks per game, so I expected at least that for a young 49ers’ defense. Yet, a combination of poor coverage in the backend and no top-flight pass rusher continues to hurt the defense — especially in late-game situations. It was a particularly bad sign that the 49ers’ could not generate more sacks against a team that gifts them away on a weekly basis. San Francisco 49ers running back Jerick McKinnon was watching his teammates from a hotel just days after undergoing reconstructive knee surgery when he saw quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's knee buckle.McKinnon knew immediately what Garoppolo was enduring, having torn his own anterior cruciate ligament just three weeks earlier."When you have an injury like this, a season-ending injury, there's emotion that comes with it at first ," McKinnon said Wednesday. "When I saw the play that ended his season, I already knew what he was going through. For me and him to have somebody to go through that experience with and not be alone and push each other along the way will definitely help."McKinnon reached out to Garoppolo as soon as the game in Kansas City ended on Sept. 23. McKinnon told him what his experience was like after getting hurt in practice on Sept. 1 and how he dealt with the pain and stiffness following surgery.Garoppolo had his surgery Wednesday to repair his left knee. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he didn't know whether any additional damage needed to be repaired or whether Garoppolo would be recovered in time for the offseason program next spring.But he will have a partner in rehabilitation in McKinnon."Jimmy's a warrior," McKinnon said. "I'm pretty sure that he has the same mindset I had in the whole situation and recovery process. The only thing we can do is push each other through these next nine months."Garoppolo and McKinnon were being counted on to lead San Francisco's offense after Garoppolo signed a five-year, $137.5 million contract in the offseason and McKinnon joined the Niners as a free agent with a four-year, $30 million deal.But McKinnon got hurt a week before the season opener and Garoppolo went down in Week 3, when he tried to plant and cut up field instead of running out of bounds late in a loss to the Chiefs.Those injuries dealt a major blow to the 49ers (1-3), who are now going with C.J. Beathard at quarterback and Matt Breida at running back. San Francisco hosts Arizona on Sunday."It's a huge challenge," Shanahan said. "It's the biggest challenge I think in our game. It's a challenge that a lot of people deal with, that I've had to deal with in my career before. ... Chalk a lot of that up to just luck."Breida has rushed for 316 yards and is averaging 7.6 yards per carry so far this season.Beathard lost four of five starts as a rookie last year before Garoppolo took over and had the second-lowest passer rating of any qualifying quarterback. He looked better in his first start this year, throwing for a career-high 298 yards and two TDs in a loss at the Chargers."I think just getting the ball out quicker and making reads quicker is definitely a big part of it," he said. "A lot of that has to do with the offense just slowing down for me. I'm able to go through progressions quicker and stuff like that. But, there's a lot of things in the offseason, just little things that you want to critique so you can get better at."NOTES: The Niners were without three starting offensive linemen at practice with LT Joe Staley, C Weston Richburg and RT Mike McGlinchey all sidelined. Shanahan wasn't certain if any would be able to return this week. ... CB Richard Sherman and WR Marquise Goodwin also did not practice and WE Dante Pettis is out this week with a knee injury. ... WR Victor Bolden Jr. returned to practice after a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing substances. The 49ers don't need to make a roster move to activate Bolden until next Monday.

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