Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Silver not surprised by 49ers’ 2-0 start; Daniel Jeremiah calls them a ‘playoff team’

Sep 17, 2019 at 8:30 AM--

Michael Silver of NFL Network took some undeserving criticism from the Niner Faithful for his comments earlier this month saying that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was under increased pressure because the San Francisco 49ers really like backup Nick Mullens.

Sometimes fans forget Silver's roots, growing up a fan of the 49ers and then covering the team in the Bay Area for years before hitting the big time. The NFL Network analyst has always been very complimentary toward the franchise, head coach Kyle Shanahan, and yes, Garoppolo.

Silver pointing out how capable Mullens is was seen as a knock on Garoppolo, which isn't necessarily what it was. Those who watched NFL Network on Monday may have heard Silver's comments during a discussion on which 2-0 team — there are currently nine, including three from the NFC West — is best suited to sustain success.

Silver picked the 49ers.

"I am not surprised that the 49ers are 2-and-0, but I am surprised that they seem to be putting it together this quickly without so many key components," Silver said on-air.

Some of those components include slot receiver Trent Taylor, who has missed the first two games of the season due to a fractured foot suffered during practice on August 9.

Running back Jerick McKinnon is once again out for the season. Silver questions whether or not he will ever end up playing a down for the 49ers. Another running back, Tevin Coleman, signed in March, was injured during Week 1.

The good news is that the plan is to have two of those players, Taylor and Coleman, plus rookie receiver Jalen Hurd, back after the Week 4 bye. That's the plan, at least. Each has been a notable absence on offense, yet the 49ers sit at 2-0 for the first time since 2012 and have a shot at 3-0 for the first time since 1998.

"They are rolling. Give credit to Jimmy Garoppolo," Silver continued. "I said a week ago that they consider Nick Mullens a very viable alternative, especially the way Garoppolo played in Week 1; played much, much better in Week 2, and some exceptional play design there by Kyle Shanahan and Mike McDaniel, the run-game coordinator, freeing up three running backs (Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Jeff Wilson) to do their thing. Just an impressive performance all the way around."

Another NFL Network analyst, Daniel Jeremiah, went as far as to call the 49ers a playoff team.

"In terms of the surprise team, I'm with Silver on the Niners," Jeremiah said. "I think they can keep this rolling. They've got a pass rush, and they've got improved quarterback play. This is a playoff team, in my opinion. Although, I think they play in the best division in football. You look at the way the 49ers are playing, the Rams, and the Seahawks, it's going to be a fun one to watch."

H/t to Patrick Tulini for the find.

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