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David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports


49ers vs. Patriots: Studs and Duds from San Francisco’s Week 7 victory

Chris Wilson
Oct 27, 2020 at 12:37 PM0



The San Francisco 49ers were full of studs during their 33-6 thrashing of the New England Patriots in Week 7.


Selecting "Studs and Duds" from a Niners squad that put on a clinic against the perennial Super Bowl contender Patriots is a difficult task. But while the struggle is indeed real, it's an enjoyable challenge. Weekly "Studs" such as 49ers linebacker Fred Warner won't be found in today's list, although the All-Pro contender played the part on Sunday. As for the "Duds," they were hard to find. Does defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw's rookie blocking mistake on special teams overshadow his work on the defensive line?


Unless you ask kicker Robbie Gould, it's difficult to give Kinlaw a failing grade. Advanced apologies to deserving players like Azeez Al-Shaair and Tarvarius Moore, but some of your teammates were too difficult to ignore. Here are the San Francisco 49ers' "Studs and Duds" from Week 7:

STUDS


Kyle Shanahan


Sunday was perfect timing for head coach Kyle Shanahan to bring his "A Game," with the Niners in a must-win East Coast battle against the NFL's top coach of this generation. Coincidently, hours after a certain writer published an article criticizing the coach's unwillingness to close out games, Shanahan continued coaching throughout all 60 minutes of the contest, and even outscored the Patriots in the second half. Although the 49ers were pass-free on first downs in the second half, Kudos to Shanny for allowing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to throw the ball four times on second downs and twice on third downs. Garoppolo's 83-percent success rate on second-half throws helped the 49ers move the sticks, control the clock, and -- finally -- finish off an opponent in convincing fashion.

Jeff Wilson Jr.


Wilson fought through injury throughout the week and put on a show on game day, only to injure his ankle late in the contest. From opening kickoff until he was carted off the field in the third quarter, Wilson had his way with the Patriots' defense, in what was his most impressive game as a pro. Wilson finished the day with 112 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries -- and an unfortunate trip to injured reserve. Expect Wilson to return later this season, and if he looks half as good as he did on Sunday, to be active on gamedays once he's healthy enough to play.


Jimmy Garoppolo


Garoppolo's ankle continues to improve each week, which is evident by his play on the field. However, he still has room for improvement, as demonstrated when he failed to plant his back foot, and a third-and-long pass sailed into the arms of a Patriots defender. Outside of a confusing deep pass attempt dialed up by Shanahan at the end of the first half, Garoppolo was nearly flawless through the air and on the ground, as he tossed a pair of defenders to the side to convert on an early third-down scramble. The 49ers' signal-caller was in a groove on Sunday, as he racked up 277 yards on 25 attempts at an 80-percent clip. Jimmy G simply continues to move the sticks on half of his throws, while piling up the victories, yet the "Faithful" haters continue to hate. #JimmyHate2020 lives on.

The "YAC Bros"


Wide receivers Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, along with George Kittle, who spent much of the day reminding anyone who would listen -- even the officiating staff -- about #NationalTightEndDay, came to play on Sunday. The trio accounted for 85 percent of San Francisco's passing yardage, while Samuel, who was clearly on Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's radar, also filled in at running back on three plays.


Unfortunately, Deebo's questionable final touch -- a third-and-8 red zone run in the fourth quarter -- resulted in a hamstring injury which will keep the 49ers' star sidelined for at least two games. Even with all three of the "YAC Bros" on the field, the rookie Aiyuk stole the show with 115 receiving yards, and will likely play the "Deebo role" for the next two weeks. While the a-DOT truthers sulk in the corner, the 49ers' passing game -- built on yards-after-the-catch -- continues to thrive. Somewhere out there, Bill Walsh is smiling.


Jamar Taylor


Cornerback Jamar Taylor has certainly struggled while attempting to replace starting slot corner K'Waun Williams, but not on Sunday. The veteran backup was up for the challenge in New England, as he recorded a pair of interceptions after failing to pick off a pass since 2016. Taylor isn't the long-term answer, but it was certainly a feel-good afternoon for the 8-year vet, who has bounced around the league since he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2013 draft. On Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, Taylor was a "Stud."

DUDS


Arik Armstead


In this challenging segment, we'll lead off with a player who has been hot and cold in 2020, after scoring a monster contract over the offseason, which forced the team to deal stud defensive tackle DeForest Buckner to the Indianapolis Colts. Sunday was a cold day for Armstead, who has taken a step back in 2020, while Buckner has continued to progress. Given the plethora of injuries on the outside of San Francisco's defensive line, Armstead has not stepped up as needed. Failing to convert quarterback pressures into sacks has always been an issue for the former first-rounder. On Sunday, and for much of the 2020 season, Armstead struggled with pressures as well.

Jerick McKinnon


The 49ers keep losing running backs, and RB Jerick McKinnon continues to see fewer touches and less time on the field. McKinnon has been relegated to a third-down, mostly pass-blocking role -- a far cry from the team's expectations when the 49ers' front office handed him a large contract fit for an elite feature back. Unfortunately, McKinnon has lost a step due to injury and doesn't fit into Shanahan's running game. With Samuel sidelined, perhaps McKinnon will see some snaps in the "Deebo role." Otherwise, he can expect more time on the sideline as the Niners opt to start a series of undrafted free agents in his place.

Dante Pettis


The once-bright future for wide receiver Dante Pettis is now pitch-black, making him one of a few players who can be a "Dud" without even suiting up for the game. Pettis will not be a member of the 49ers' 2021 roster, and given his combined lack of passion and playing time, San Francisco will be lucky to receive a conditional third-day pick in exchange for the once-electric wideout.
  • Chris Wilson
  • Written by:
    You may have seen Chris Wilson's work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis, and film breakdowns at FanSided, Niner Noise, Insidethe49, LockedonSports, ClutchPoints, and others. Follow Chris on Twitter @cgawilson.
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.


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