Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

19 observations from the 49ers’ costly win over Seattle

Marc Adams
Sep 19, 2022 at 7:40 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers won on Sunday. They also lost.

The 49ers lost because second-year quarterback Trey Lance suffered a season-ending ankle injury. The positive side of this is that the 49ers could not trade veteran Jimmy Garoppolo in the offseason, and he was retained as the backup QB. Garoppolo will now serve as the starting quarterback.

The negative side of this is twofold: the first (and obvious) negative aspect of the injury is that it's a terrible turn of events for Lance. He now has to endure a long rehab, and miss the season that was laid out as his first season as the 49ers starting quarterback.

The second negative aspect is that this injury costs Lance a valuable season of reps, something he desperately needed. Lance's development has now been pushed back a season, and as a result, this unknown player will be even more unknown in 2023. By next September, Lance will have played only about 18 quarters of football since finishing his 2019 season. That's less than five games of experience over his past three seasons.

Lance's injury is bad for the 49ers, but it's even worse for Lance and his development. I feel horrible for him.

Fortunately, that wasn't the only thing that took place on Sunday. The 49ers dominated the Seattle Seahawks. Here are my observations from the game:

  • Lance broke his ankle on a designed run play. Many are blaming Kyle Shanahan. I'm not necessarily one of those, but I am one who was calling for less deliberate rushes for Lance. And while I was ok with some running, I hated the plays that called for Lance to run inside, right into the teeth of the defense. Now you know why.

  • Former 49ers offensive coordinator, Mike McDaniel, has turned his QB into Dan Marino. Shanahan has turned his QB into a spectator.

  • The 49ers have a really good running game. And it was on display Sunday.
  • Jeff Wilson, Jr. ran hard. He looked great, rushing for 84 yards. He had 4.7 yards per carry. That's solid.
  • Deebo Samuel is still good. He had a 51-yard run, in addition to his five catches for 44 yards.
  • Aren't you glad the 49ers didn't trade or release Garoppolo?
  • Garoppolo was a little rusty, but he looked good and came out firing.

  • Ray-Ray McCloud was a good pickup. He's more than just a return man.
  • Brandon Aiyuk is on the brink of becoming a star. If the 49ers can figure out the QB situation, Aiyuk could be great.
  • Talanoa Hufanga is still making plays. On Sunday, he deflected a pass that Tashaun Gipson intercepted. Hufanga also had six tackles.
  • The 49ers Special Teams Unit is much better. And yet, the blocked field goal they gave up, that was returned for a touchdown, felt at the time like it was going to be the momentum swing that let the Seahawks get back in the game. Thankfully, the defense had other plans.
  • Tarvarius Moore had multiple big plays on special teams.

  • The defense shut down a good Seattle running game and pitched a shutout. This unit is really good when they're not committing penalties and blowing coverages.
  • Nick Bosa had two sacks. He now has three on the season, and is off to a great start. Not that I'm surprised by that.
  • The offense is still missing way too many opportunities. They're moving the ball well, but keep coming away with only field goals or no points. That's going to have to change, and I think it will. This offense seems to start slowly and get better as the season progresses.
  • The interior of the offensive line had no answer for the Seahawks' Al Woods. That brings back some bad postseason memories when interior defensive linemen (specifically Chris Jones and Aaron Donald) took over the game.
  • Other than struggling with Woods, the interior of the offensive line, and the line as a whole played well. Jake Brendel fumbled a snap. Aaron Banks had a good game.
  • Unlike week one, the 49ers were much more disciplined on Sunday, committing only one penalty. And that one was very questionable.
  • In the fourth quarter, I asked the question on Twitter if Shanahan and the 49ers will show us they have learned how to close out a game. At that time, San Francisco had a 13-point lead, with 9:00 left in the game. The 49ers responded, with a 13-play, 7:09 touchdown drive.

Next up is a Sunday Night battle in Denver. Garoppolo and the 49ers' offense will be facing a better defense, but with Garoppolo receiving all the starter snaps this week, they should be ok.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.
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