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Rapid Reaction to the 49ers’ 31-13 Win Over the Jets

Matt Andruscavage
Sep 21, 2020 at 2:49 AM


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1) Injuries really suck


As I covered in my preview for this game and as most predicted, the San Francisco 49ers rolled over the New York Jets 31-13. It came at a steep price, however.

Nick Bosa likely tore an ACL that will end his season. Jimmy Garoppolo has a high ankle sprain that could sideline him for a month. Solomon Thomas may have a severe knee injury. Raheem Mostert could miss time.

This is on top of injuries to Richard Sherman, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Ronnie Blair, Dee Ford, Richie James Jr., and Weston Richburg.

The 49ers will have their work cut out for them as they try to survive the early part of the season and get healthy in time to make a playoff push.

2) MetLife Stadium is going to make everyone nervous for awhile


It was clear the turf on MetLife Stadium was going to be an issue. To make matters worse, the 49ers have to play on it again in Week 3.

The NFL will be investigating the turf and hopefully either something will be adjusted or, most importantly, San Francisco can get out of there with a victory and no more injuries.

3) The Positives


There were a number of positives to take away from the game, though it felt like a loss.

Jimmy Garoppolo, despite all of the criticism he receives for not throwing 5 touchdowns and 400 yards every game and for overthrowing Emmanuel Sanders in the Super Bowl during his first full season as a starter, is a good quarterback.

Garoppolo battled through an ankle injury he sustained early in the game after getting hit low and then hit again on the same play despite being on one knee for a couple seconds. (And of course, no flag)

He was able to lead the Niners on two drives that resulted in touchdown passes to tight end Jordan Reed. Garoppolo finished 14-16, for 131 yards and two touchdowns. No turnovers, again.

He was much more decisive, got the ball out faster, and took what the defense gave him in what resulted in a far better performance than last week. Garoppolo is now 5-0 following a loss.

Jerick McKinnon has been a bright spot in a lot of darkness. His 55-yard run on 3rd-and-31 was just what the doctor ordered and led to a field goal in the third quarter to put San Francisco up 24-3. It was an underrated play of the day as the 49ers could have punted and allowed a score to put the Jets back in the game. Instead, it pretty much put them away.

Jordan Reed finished with 7 catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns, including the critical one before the half that allowed the 49ers to sit their starters.

Arik Armstead recorded his first sack of the season, Brandon Aiyuk showed flashes of what he is capable of, Kendrick Bourne is reliable, and Fred Warner is on his way to being an All Pro.

And the schedule is tolerable for awhile.

4) Nick Mullens will get his opportunity


Early on in the second half, Nick Mullens looked very shaky, but after his interception (tipped), he seemed to settle in.

It is apparent that he will start in Week 3 against the Giants and knows he needs to play well. "This is my fourth season and there is no excuse as to why I shouldn't perform." Mullens appears to be very confident in his ability and knowledge of the offense.

Hopefully, he can lead the 49ers to a win against the Giants and play well as long as Garoppolo is out.

5) Everything else


Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon continues to struggle as he did not have a strong outing against the Jets. The good news is he cleared the concussion protocol and can play. He needs to have a better game against the Giants to not only build his confidence, but justify his spot on the roster. He has the size and ability, but hasn't been same since his injury last season.

Raheem Mostert is outstanding. Mostert scored on an 80-yard run on the game's first play and set the tone. That's two straight weeks he has scored on plays greater than 75 yards, something that hasn't been done since Jerry Rice in 1988. Hopefully he misses only one game.

Another diamond in the rough is defensive lineman Kerry Hyder, who finished with two tackles and 6 assists. Most importantly, he finished with 3 pressures. While these may not be eye-popping stats, Hyder has been critical in the pass rush rotation at creating pressure. He will be called upon to keep this up, but his performance thus far has been very encouraging.

Next Week


San Francisco plays the Giants, again at MetLife Stadium. Nick Mullens is the likely starter and the 49ers will face a struggling Giants team that has likely lost running back Saquon Barkley for the season.

If the 49ers can come away with a win and manage to avoid injuries, the next few games are at home and are winnable. If they can get most of their players back, they will be a contender despite some key losses.
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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