Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers

Photo courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers


The Sky Is Not Falling, 49ers Fans

Brian Renick
Sep 16, 2020 at 11:43 AM0


I have recently discovered one of my new favorite shows on Hulu during this COVID-19 quarantine. It's called Letterkenny, and it's a half-hour comedy out of Canada that brings jokes, wit, and one-liners at a pace that is almost overwhelming at times. There is a LOT of Canadian slang (yes that's a real thing, and most of it comes from hockey), and one of the phrases that main character Wayne, the town's champion fighter and tough guy, says often when confronted by nonsense from somebody is "You better settle down over there or I'm gonna come talk to ya."

49er fans, you better settle down over there or I'm gonna come talk ya!

The 49ers' performance against the Cardinals in Week 1 was less than stellar. The offense looked disjointed with its top two receivers, Deebo Samuel and (unproven) Brandon Aiyuk sidelined, and the defense did not perform to the standard it set for itself last season. However, you would think, by the reactions on social media, that the 49ers lost to the Cardinals and dropped their record to 0-10. The sky has been falling on Niners Twitter since the final whistle blew on Sunday, and the cries have become even louder since news broke that Richard Sherman is going on IR with a calf strain and Akhello Witherspoon is in the concussion protocol.

The 49ers offense has been pretty pedestrian during Week 1 every season during the Shanahan/Lynch era:

2017: 23-3 LOSS to the Carolina Panthers, 217 total yards, 2 of 11 on 3rd down
  • Brian Hoyer - 24/35, 193 yards, 0 TDs, 1 INT

2018: 24-16 LOSS at the Minnesota Vikings, 327 total yards, 5 of 13 on 3rd down
  • Jimmy Garoppolo - 15/33, 261 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT

2019: 31-17 WIN at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 256 total yards, 5 of 13 on 3rd down
  • Jimmy Garoppolo - 18/27, 166 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

2020: 24-20 LOSS to the Arizona Cardinals, 366 total yards, 2 of 11 on 3rd down
  • Jimmy Garoppolo - 19/33, 259 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

Just looking at these games, you can see that Jimmy G & Co. actually improved upon their previous three Week 1 performances, but the 3rd down conversion rate is what really killed the offense, and ultimately the defense, on Sunday.

Let's go ahead and forget the 2017 season and just look at Week 2 performances for the 49er offenses with Jimmy Garoppolo at QB:

2018: 30-27 WIN against the Detroit Lions, 346 total yards, 3 of 11 on 3rd down
  • Jimmy Garoppolo - 18/26, 206 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT

2019: 41-17 WIN at the Cincinnati Bengals, 571 total yards, 5 of 9 on 3rd down
  • Jimmy Garoppolo - 17/25, 296 yards, 3 TD, 1 INT

As you can see, the offense rebounded quite well in Week 2 after poor performances in Week 1. One may argue that the 49ers played inferior opponents in those Week 2 games, and you'd be hard-pressed to find somebody to disagree with you on that point. Herein lies the silver lining: the 49ers' Week 2 opponent this year is the hapless New York Jets.

The Jets' defense is coming off a performance in which it gave up 404 total yards to the Buffalo Bills, along with 27 points, 312 yards through the air to QB Josh Allen, 31 first downs, and a 50% 3rd down conversion rate. Their defense is just not very good, and that's good news for the 49er offense. On top of that, the team signed free-agent wide receiver, Mohamed Sanu on Tuesday, and he is on track with COVID-19 protocols to be able to play on Sunday. Sanu played for Shanahan in Atlanta, so his familiarity with the offensive scheme should allow him to jump right in and contribute right away. Shanahan has also stated that the team expects WR Brandon Aiyuk to be available for the game, and at the time of this writing, tight end George Kittle is probable with the knee injury he sustained against the Cardinals. Adding Sanu and getting back Aiyuk should allow the pass offense to be more dynamic and consistent for play-caller Kyle Shanahan and QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

The defense didn't look great against the Cardinals in Week 1, especially in the second half, but that can be contributed to the fact that it was on the field for 78 plays, in unhealthy air conditions, and spent much of that time chasing down Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Wednesday morning the team announced that it will be without CB Richard Sherman for at least three weeks when it placed him on short-term Injured Reserve with a calf strain, and also announced that CB Akhello Witherspoon, the player who would be in line to step in for Sherman, was in the concussion protocol. The 49ers were already thin in the secondary, and not having two of their expected contributors is not ideal. However, just like with the offense, there is a silver lining: at Jets, at Giants, vs. Eagles, vs. Dolphins. If there was a time at any point this season when the loss of your top cornerback can be weathered, it's this next four-game stretch for the 49ers.

The defensive line is going to have to step up to take some pressure off the secondary, and the next three opponents have suspect offensive lines. The Jets, Giants, and Eagles gave up three, three, and eight sacks, respectively, in Week 1. Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, and the rest of the 49ers' ferocious pass rush should have a field day against these teams. The CB depth for the 49ers will be tested with Sherman out, but this team is built to shut down passing offenses from the front to the back. A QB can't throw a pass from his back, nor can he make long completions if he has a swarm of defenders around him. The pass defense should be just fine during the three weeks that Sherman is out.

The sky is not falling 49ers fans.

You better settle down over there or I'm gonna have to come talk to ya!
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


0 Comments

  • No Comments

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers convene advisory committee to explore eventual safe return of fans to Levi's Stadium

By Site Staff
Mar 2, 2021

The San Francisco 49ers released the following presser to the media outlining the team's plan to convene a medical advisory committee of leading Bay Area public health experts to explore the eventual safe return of fans to Levi's Stadium. SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The San Francisco 49ers have assembled an advisory committee with leading medical experts to explore the best practices and health considerations that will underpin an eventual safe re-opening of Levi's Stadium. The committee's ongoing expert advice will guide how the 49ers determine safety protocols and leverage the newest technologies to support effective stadium design for the fans, employees, and local community surrounding Levi's Stadium. Members of the committee



Overall health, not just QB, is the 49ers' biggest concern

By Chaz Inouye
Feb 20, 2021

If one scoured across the internet and 49ers' social media you would see that quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, is the most polarizing and debated topic discussed. Garoppolo has been the starting quarterback since the end of the 2017 season, but missed most of the 2020 season with an injured ankle and was only able to complete two games in 2018 due to a torn ACL. There are other reasons why people want a change at quarterback, but his health seems to be his biggest concern, which is valid. However, Jimmy Garoppolo and his injuries are a microcosm of the 49ers' major issue: their overall team health. Garoppolo would be the poster child for this concern as he plays the most important position on the field, but his injuries, along with those to other significant



Searching for hidden gold: 5 overlooked QB draft prospects who might pan out for 49ers.

By Don Atkinson
Feb 19, 2021

Winston Churchill once said, "There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction." This is so in football, as much as in everyday life. With a slew of free agents, a tight salary cap, and roster questions at many key positions, the 49ers are indeed about to change. Nowhere is that more true than at the quarterback position. Rumors suggesting the release of 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, a blockbuster trade for Houston's star quarterback Deshaun Watson, and a host of potential free agent signings have swirled since the close of the team's 2020 season in January. Nothing yet has happened, and in fact it may not any time soon. But ready or not, the NFL draft is approaching, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch will



No. 10 Should Be Under Center for the 49ers in 2021

By Tim Sprinkles
Mar 4, 2021

Where there is smoke, there is fire, and there has been a ton of smoke coming out of Santa Clara concerning the 49ers, their quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and the future of the two together. Don't get me wrong, the most likely scenario for who starts under center for the 49ers in 2021 is Jimmy Garoppolo, but GM John Lynch and head coach Kyle Shanahan have made it clear that they are open to upgrading the position and moving on from Jimmy G. If the 49ers do move on from Garoppolo, they shouldn't look to mortgage the future by trading a haul of picks to move up into the top 10 or even top 5 for a quarterback. They should pick No. 10 from Alabama, quarterback Mac Jones, if he falls to the twelfth pick in the 2021 NFL draft. Mac Jones is rapidly moving up the boards


Featured

More by Brian Renick

More Articles

Share 49erswebzone