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Stock up, stock down from 1st half of 49ers vs. Giants

Rohan Chakravarthi
Sep 21, 2023 at 6:54 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers are leading through the first half on Thursday Night Football, holding a two-score lead at 17-6 heading into the second half.

The 49ers came into the game as overwhelming favorites, but started slow offensively with an early punt after an initial field goal drive. But, San Francisco rebounded with two touchdown drives to go into the half up 17-6 after the Giants finished the first half with a field goal.

Stock Up

DT Javon Hargrave

Defensive tackle Javon Hargrave notched his second sack of the season, and has continued to showcase why the 49ers signed him to a massive deal this offseason.

With the 49ers' defensive line being highlighted against a banged-up Giants offensive line, the unit needed to generate pressure, and they've done exactly that, forcing quick throws from Daniel Jones that have caused the New York offense to stall after an early score.

Hargrave is at the forefront of the action, and his ability to eat up space over the middle as a pass-rusher has been a pleasant addition. Good start for the star defensive tackle.

WR Ronnie Bell

Having your first career catch as an impressive, toe-tapping touchdown? That's a great start to his career for Ronnie Bell, who started the game off with a strong special-teams tackle.

Bell caught another pass off a deflection, leaving the first half with two catches for 24 yards and a touchdown.

While the stats aren't over-the-charts, the 49ers needed somebody to come in and relieve some of the work off Deebo Samuel, and Bell did exactly that with his first touchdown.

RB Elijah Mitchell

There were questions about what Elijah Mitchell's role would be this season after limited usage through the first two weeks, including Christian McCaffrey earning the entire set of snaps in Week 2.

Mitchell rotated in on a number of occasions in the first half, rushing five times for 27 yards, including a nice 18-yard run, while seeing volume in the receiving game with two catches.

More importantly, Mitchell looks explosive and possesses what the 49ers need in their backup to shoulder some of the load off Christian McCaffrey.

Stock Down

QB Brock Purdy

Brock Purdy had a strong Week 1, followed by a mixed performance in Week 2, leading to questions surrounding how well he'd perform against Giants defensive coordinator Wink Martindale's blitz-heavy defense.

Despite the favorable matchup, it has been a shaky start from Brock Purdy, who has thrown a number of off-target throws, which led to a stalling offense early.

Purdy has made a few "wow" throws, including the touchdown ball to Ronnie Bell where he properly identified the blitz and hit his receiver on the money while trailing backward.

But, the number of off-target throws has been present, although, they haven't impacted the 49ers too much, who have three scoring drives on four chances.

Purdy's lack of impressive play in the first half has likely led to a difference in playcalling for Kyle Shanahan(more on him in a minute).

HC Kyle Shanahan

After being in his bag over the first two weeks, Kyle Shanahan seems much more conservative in Week 3, both with his playcalling and go-for-it decision-making.

Shanahan has amped up the number of screens, not placing much trust in his quarterback or his offensive line.

Given Purdy's game thus far, you can somewhat understand the decision, but downfield passing has been a rarity thus far, and the mixture of passes led to high efficiency over the first two weeks.

The 49ers are still cruising through this game in the first half, but an increase in aggressiveness from Shanahan, much like we saw in the first two weeks, could lead San Francisco to the dominant offensive performances that we were accustomed to over the two weeks of the season.
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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