Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports


Top 5 takeaways from 49ers’ 24-20 Week 3 win vs. Steelers

Sep 22, 2019 at 7:21 PM1


The San Francisco 49ers somehow managed to keep the Pittsburgh Steelers winless through three weeks in 2019, winning the Levi's Stadium home opener 24-20 despite turning the ball over five times. And here are some notable takeaways for the Niners.


In all honesty, the San Francisco 49ers should have lost their Week 3 bout against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Teams committing five turnovers typically don't win games, even against the worst of competition.

But somehow, the Niners managed to upend the Steelers 24-20 on Sunday at Levi's Stadium. This, after San Francisco turned the ball over those five times, including four in the first half. Despite those turnovers in quarters one and two, the 49ers defense still managed to hold its own, keeping the game in range with a mere 6-3 Pittsburgh lead at halftime.

And while the game opened up a bit in the second half, the 49ers figured out a way to come out on top.

"When our offense gave a turnover and put us in a hard spot, we took it as Murphy's law," cornerback Richard Sherman said after the game. "We took it as Murphy's law, and you want to slap Murphy in the face, and we did that today."

That's a pretty good takeaway for the 49ers. Here are five others.

No. 5: 49ers will miss Joe Staley, but Justin Skule holds his own


Rookie offensive tackle Justin Skule got his first NFL start, filling in for injured left tackle Joe Staley, who will be out for a few weeks with a broken leg.

Skule wasn't perfect, flagged for two penalties on the day and giving up a handful of pressures on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

"Can't have those penalties," Skule said after the game. "Those were costly penalties at pretty bad times."

San Francisco will hope Skule takes those gaffes as part of the learning experience.

No. 4: 49ers can rush four with good success


The Niners haven't had to rely on a lot of blitzes this season, which is good. Instead, a four-man pass rush has been solid enough. And while San Francisco didn't face top-tier offensive lines in Weeks 1 and 2, Pittsburgh proved to be another challenge altogether. Entering 2019, Pro Football Focus ranked the Steelers O-line third overall in the league.

Without having to rely heavily on blitzes, the 49ers were still able to sack Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph twice and put four hits on him. But it was the pressure, which proved to be the difference maker.

Pressure ultimately led to cornerback K'Waun Williams' crucial interception, which helped set up San Francisco's game-winning scoring drive:


No. 3: Jimmy Garoppolo can have up-and-down games, but 49ers can still win


No, the 49ers don't need Garoppolo to be elite or perfect on a week-to-week basis. He tossed for only 166 yards in Week 1, yet San Francisco still managed to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on the road.

Now, in Week 3, Garoppolo tossed one touchdown against two interceptions, although it's a good argument not to pin the turnovers entirely on Garoppolo.

In total, Garoppolo was 23-of-32 for 277 yards and an 82.4 passer rating. It wasn't the best outing, but it didn't have to be. San Francisco's defense helped pick up the quarterback.

"But the defense, when they're playing like that, it gives you such confidence on the sideline," Garoppolo said after the game. "So, it was just more about getting our guys ready for the next series. They make huge plays like that on defense, it sets us up for success."

The 49ers are now 9-2 in games Garoppolo started.

No. 2: San Francisco's defense is actually... good?


Yes, the Steelers were starting a quarterback making his first NFL start. And their top running back, James Conner, has been banged up for much of the young season.

That said, the Niners defense answered the call nearly every time following an offensive turnover. By the end of the first half, PIttsburg had managed only 76 total yards despite being handed the ball four extra times by the way of a turnover.

Overall, San Francisco gave up just 241 all-purpose yards in Week 3. Paired with the 611 combined yards the Niners gave up in Weeks 1 and 2, the defense is allowing an average of just 284 yards per game this season.

Stacked against last year's yards-per-game rankings, that would have placed the 49ers fourth best in this particular category.

No. 1: 49ers can win the ugly games, too


San Francisco had a shoddy offensive effort in Week 1. And while the offense gained yardage relatively easily against Pittsburgh, turnovers were the key problem.

Last season, or the year before, the Niners would have ended up losing games like this. And it's a fact not lost on head coach Kyle Shanahan, who pointed out as much after the game.

"Anytime you have five turnovers in a game, that means you didn't play that well," he said. "But, you take those away, and every aspect of the game decides that. I thought the guys did very well."

Shanahan compared this contest to the Week 5 loss the 49ers suffered a year ago, in which they dominated the visiting Arizona Cardinals in nearly every statistical category, except the two which counted most: turnovers and the final score.

"It reminded me a lot of the Arizona game we had last year," the head coach continued. "We had a game versus Arizona where it was like 30 first downs to 10, and like 500 yards to 200. But we ended up losing the game because we had all those turnovers.

"Today was very similar ... but thd defense, they stepped it up big."

And by doing so, the Niners proved they could win ugly, even on an off day from its offense.
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.
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.


1 Comment

  • abhi kumar
    Thanks for sharing this quality information with us. I really enjoyed reading. I will surely be going to share this URL with my friends. For SMO services in India contact us. https://www.tangensys.com/smo-services/
    Sep 23, 2019 at 2:43 AM
    0

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Rapoport: Trey Lance 'cannot win' the 49ers' starting job vs. Cardinals

By David Bonilla
Oct 10

What happens if San Francisco 49ers rookie quarterback Trey Lance shocks the NFL world with a strong performance today against the Arizona Cardinals and Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) is healthy heading into Week 7 after the bye? Nothing, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (h/t to Alex Didion of NBC Sports). The job will reportedly still belong to Garoppolo, no matter what happens this afternoon at State Farm Stadium. "San Francisco has been very clear that, not just this week—although, they were clear this week as well, really, ever since Trey Lance was drafted No. 3 [overall] when the 49ers traded all the way



49ers' Kyle Shanahan on Trey Lance: 'He will give us a chance to win a lot going forward'

By David Bonilla
Oct 11

San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters this afternoon, nearly 24 hours after his team suffered its third consecutive loss of the season. There was a lot of bad from the trip to State Farm Stadium to play the Arizona Cardinals. However, there was also some good. The game was rookie Trey Lance's first NFL start. The 21-year-old quarterback had his ups and downs, but it was an opportunity for growth. Lance was playing because the 49ers' regular starter, Jimmy Garoppolo, is dealing with a calf injury. "I was proud of him," Shanahan said of Lance via a conference call. "I thought he went into a tough environment versus a real good team. I thought he did a lot of real good things. He threw a bad pick on that first drive, but I thought he



Alex Mack on 49ers' QB situation: 'I want the guy who's going to win games'

By David Bonilla
Oct 19

The San Francisco 49ers might be approaching a crossroads. Eventually, a quarterback decision will need to be made. Jimmy Garoppolo is the team's undisputed starter right now. However, his injury history made the 49ers uncomfortable to the point that the team drafted Trey Lance this offseason. Lance is the future. He will eventually succeed Garoppolo. When that happens is anybody's guess. Garoppolo sustained a calf injury during Week 4, forcing Lance to start Week 5 — when the rookie suffered a knee sprain. Things are trending toward Garoppolo starting this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts. The veteran passer was out on the practice field with his



NFL Week 5: 49ers at Cardinals live updates

By Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 10

4th Quarter GAME ALERT: With the 17-10 win, the Cardinals will remain undefeated on the season, with the 49ers moving to 2-3 as they approach their bye week. QUARTER ALERT: At the 2-minute warning, the 49ers trail 17-10, as the Cardinals have a 1st & 10 at the 50-yard line, while the 49ers have no timeouts. James Conner gets a four-yard rush on 2nd & 2 to essentially put this game away for the Arizona Cardinals. SCORE ALERT: After failing to convert on 2nd and 3rd downs, the 49ers settles for a field goal on 4th down, bringing the game to 17-10 with 4:17 remaining in the 4th. After the touchdown, Trey Lance fires a bullet to Deebo Samuel, who makes the catch for


Featured

More by Peter Panacy

More Articles

Share 49ersWebzone