• Justin Wong
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    Justin Wong
    Justin Wong has been writing for the 49ers Webzone since 2017 while also running an NFC West blog and podcast called Just The West. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to @JustTheWest on Twitter.

Justin Wong's Latest Articles

  • By Justin Wong
    Dec 9, 2019 at 6:34 PM 0 comments
    In what was arguably the best game of the season, the 49ers went head-to-head with the Saints in a 48-46 shootout as 49ers kicker Robbie Gould kicked the game-winner in the waning seconds of regulation. Here are your Week 14 Studs and Duds of the game. The 49ers are now back atop the NFC West division with a 11-2 record as the Seahawks subsequently lost to the Rams on Sunday Night Football. With victories over the Packers and Saints, the 49ers technically have the tie-breaker for the top overall seed in the NFC Conference—albeit the outcome of the final three games of the season. Studs Kyle Shanahan It's rare that a defense allows the opposition to hang 46 points and still come away with a win...
  • By Justin Wong
    Dec 3, 2019 at 4:24 PM 0 comments
    After a narrow loss at the leg of Ravens kicker Justin Tucker with a game-winning field goal kick, here are your Week 13 Studs and Duds of the game. The 49ers now sit with a 10-2 record but have dropped to the No. 5 seed in the National Football Conference, as the Seattle Seahawks, who own an identical 10-2 record, defeated the 49ers in their first matchup and currently stand atop the NFC West Division. The #49ers woke up the #1 seed and go to bed the #5 seed. Life comes at you fast. And also, that just doesn't seem right.—...
  • By Justin Wong
    Nov 25, 2019 at 5:10 PM 2 comments
    After a convincing win against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night Football, here are your Week 12 Studs and Duds of the game. The 49ers are now two games ahead of the Packers in the NFC overall and maintain a one-game lead over the Seahawks in the NFC West division with a 10-1 record. Studs Contract Year Players Defensive back Jimmie Ward and defensive end Arik Armstead were former first-round draft picks in the 2014 and 2015 drafts, respectively, and were often maligned by fans because of their inconsistent play. Injuries have obviously been a factor but heading into this season, it was a big question mark whether either player would feature in the long-term plans of General Manager John Lynch and Head Coach Kyle...
  • By Justin Wong
    Nov 18, 2019 at 4:49 PM 2 comments
    Below are the Studs and Duds of the game as the 49ers rallied from a 16-point deficit to sweep the Arizona Cardinals, 36-26. Studs The Replacements In their most crucial moments, it was the replacements who stepped up for the 49ers. They may have played in limited snaps, but you saw across the board how players made the best of their opportunities. It's likely they'll see their numbers called more often in the ensuing weeks. The 49ers were down 0-16 with about nine minutes left in the second quarter. Up to that point, the offense had only generated 10 yards of total offense. On the first play of the drive, the 49ers dial up a screen pass to receiver Richie James Jr. to the left for a 57-yard gain and...
  • By Justin Wong
    Aug 31, 2019 at 1:36 PM 5 comments
    With today being the deadline for NFL teams to cut their rosters from 90 to the final 53-players, here are a couple of quick reactions for the San Francisco 49ers. Wow, 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was true to his word when asked about keeping three quarterbacks on the roster. Personally, between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard, I would've swallowed my pride and sided with Mullens. The 49ers seem persistent to get value for their quarterbacks and perhaps that could still happen via trade. Nonetheless, it's problematic when you consider the 49ers have other positions of need. It was a long time coming for the oft-injured guard. Former General Manager Trent Baalke traded back into the first round to draft guard Joshua Garnett in 2016. Since then, Garnett has...
  • By Justin Wong
    Aug 21, 2019 at 12:46 PM 3 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0 at the midway point this preseason. I don't take particular notice on preseason records but more importantly—I'm more concerned about the execution. Through two weeks, whose stock has risen and whose has fallen this preseason? Stock Up Deebo Samuel Deebo Samuel is looking primed to provide the offense with an immediate spark. The 49ers' second-round pick has made a 45-yard play in every game this preseason whether it's been through the air against the Cowboys or on a run against the Broncos. It's only been a small sample size so far but Samuel is making a case for more playing time in his rookie...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jul 25, 2019 at 5:30 PM 1 comment
    While there are questions looming on the interior of the offensive line, the future of the tackle position looks relatively bright. Upside: The starting bookends look to be a mainstay with veteran Joe Staley at left tackle and second-year Mike McGlinchey at right tackle. Staley continues to play at a high level while McGlinchey could be groomed to be his eventual replacement. Staley took McGlinchey under his wing last season which has paid dividends towards McGlinchey's development and overall continuity at offensive line. General Manager John Lynch surprised everyone last year when the team nabbed McGlinchey with the...
  • By Justin Wong
    Apr 29, 2019 at 7:02 PM 8 comments
    Standing atop the third round with the 67th overall pick, many 49ers fans were expecting General Manager John Lynch to look at addressing either the secondary or offensive line; they had just selected wide receiver Deebo Samuel in the second round. Samuel is a great prospect in his own right, but at 5-foot-11, most of his work was done primarily on underneath routes as a slot receiver. It turns out, the 49ers decided to double down on the position. Enter Baylor receiver Jalen Hurd, an intriguing prospect at 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds who was previously a running back for two seasons with the University of Tennessee before transferring to Baylor—and making the switch to wide receiver. Hurd had to redshirt the 2017 season, but in his brief time at Baylor, he finished the...
  • By Justin Wong
    Mar 11, 2019 at 3:16 PM 2 comments
    As of today, NFL teams can now negotiate with prospective free agent players with plenty of sports news talk in between. NFL free agency officially begins on March 13th at 1PM PST and already, the San Francisco 49ers made headlines. NFL Network Ian Rapoport reported the 49ers reached an agreement with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Kwon Alexander on a four year/$54 million deal. There are also rumors swirling that the 49ers are still looking into trading for New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. With an estimated $65 million in cap room to spend, let's preview another potential 49ers' target in Los Angeles Chargers WR Tyrell...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jul 27, 2018 at 2:07 PM 1 comment
    Twitter is currently trending with an ongoing set of questions for fans and analysts alike to answer as NFL teams head into training camp. Having said that, I thought I'd give it a go. I'll be visiting the 49ers' training camp this Saturday afternoon--can't wait. Breakout Guy: George KittleRising Star: Adrian ColbertDon't Forget About: Pierre GarçonNeeds to Rebound: Jimmie WardDarkhorse: Matt BreidaUnder the Radar: Jaquiski Tartt#49ers ...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jul 3, 2018 at 6:15 PM 1 comment
    While 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner was left off the NFL's Top 100 List, the folks at The Ringer recognized the former 2016 first round pick. Danny Kelly highlighted several up-and-coming pass rushers in his recent offseason piece, "Meet the NFL's New Generation of Superstar Pass Rushers". Kelly identifies several NFL players age 25 or younger who could make up the NFL's newest generation of superstar pass rushers. In this instance, Kelly breaks down his list into four tiers: (1) Leaders of the Pack, (2) Not Far Behind, (3) Ready to Break...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jun 26, 2018 at 4:43 PM 1 comment
    Earlier today, in his "For These Nine NFL Players, 2018 Is a Now-or-Never Year," the Ringer's Danny Kelly highlighted several players who have not lived up to their draft day value and have heavy expectations for the 2018 season. "The 2018 season represents the final opportunity to post a breakout performance—and avoid earning that dreaded 'bust' label," wrote Kelly Kelly highlighted the extension of 49ers guard Laken Tomlinson as a possible sign that the 49ers might already be thinking otherwise about their 2016 first-round pick, Joshua Garnett. The 49ers' decision to sign guard (and former Lions draft bust) Laken Tomlinson to a three-year, $18 million contract extension last week solidified him as the team's starter at left...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jun 26, 2018 at 2:25 PM 0 comments
    What is the definition of a true NFL No. 1 wide receiver? ESPN Mike Clay and colleagues of NFL Nation deciphered the league in Rating No. 1 wide receivers for all 32 NFL teams. New! Are more teams using a committee at WR? Not exactly. I split all 32 teams into 4 groups and discussed the target share of each No. 1 WR with notes from the NFL Nation: https://t.co/jJPyjT123v— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL)...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jun 26, 2018 at 12:45 PM 1 comment
    After the Webzone's recent roundtable discussion about the 49ers' 2018 Breakout Candidates, it comes as no surprise that others view 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman in a similar fashion. 49ers Webzone's TJ Bice picked Sherman as his top breakout candidate: But I think perhaps an even a bigger reason Sherman is going to have a breakout year: the dude has a chip on his shoulder the size of Mount Rainier after being released. I can't remember a player--in any sport, not just the NFL--who is more self-motivated by sleights (real or perceived) than Richard Sherman. NFL.com journalist Adam Schein recently posted his assessment on the...
  • By Justin Wong
    Jun 26, 2018 at 9:49 AM 2 comments
    While the 49ers Faithful might have mixed feelings in regards to the team's 2014 first round pick, that is certainly not the case with 49ers defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley. Jimmie Ward, a versatile defensive back who can play both cornerback and safety, has been in and out of the lineup throughout his career with various injuries. The promise is certainly there with 162 career tackles and two interceptions--but he has also been on injured reserve several times in his young career. As reported by Matt Maiocco, Hafley was recently featured on the 49ers Insider...
  • By Justin Wong
    Dec 24, 2017 at 2:43 PM 0 comments
    The 49ers got off to a hot start as Jimmy Garoppolo rushed for a rushing touchdown--his first career rushing touchdown and the first touchdown allowed by the Jaguars in the opening drive this season. The 49ers overall looked sharp the first half; they got a field goal on the ensuing drive and would score another touchdown off a pick-six by 49ers cornerback Donate Johnson. Overall, the 49ers looked like the more poised team early on when you consider the Jaguars are the ones contending for the postseason. The Jaguars defense still remains intact; the Jaguars blocked an extra point and returned it for two points while Jaguars safety Barry Church intercepted Jimmy Garoppolo in the red zone in the final minutes of the first half. At halftime, Garoppolo...
  • By Justin Wong
    Nov 1, 2017 at 9:31 AM 1 comment
    Halfway through the NFL season, the San Francisco 49ers were 0–8 with little optimism moving forward for the fan base. Not only were the 49ers just blown out by Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday, but they were also left battered with injuries. Left tackle Joe Staley, running back Matt Breida, free safety Jimmie Ward, and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas each suffered injuries, with some more severe than others. Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard was resilient last week, but with two passing touchdowns and three interceptions through two and a half games, the 49ers' front office had come to a decision. Enough is enough. In what could be their lone "appearance" on Monday Night Football, the 49ers were the talk of the town when Adam Schefter of...
  • By Justin Wong
    Oct 6, 2017 at 11:58 AM 0 comments
    San Francisco 49ers (0–4) vs. Indianapolis Colts (1–3) After losing in overtime in a tough divisional matchup last week against the Cardinals, perhaps the 49ers finally get it right. They're playing a Colts team that just got destroyed against the Seahawks and is still without its franchise quarterback, Andrew Luck. Still, the 49ers' passing offense continues to sputter under quarterback Brian Hoyer despite solid play from the defense. The 49ers have lost by a combined eight points the last three games. Key Factors Rashard Robinson — 49ers cornerback Rashard Robinson has been a disappointment a quarter of the way into the season as he adjusts to the...
  • By Justin Wong
    Sep 21, 2017 at 11:17 AM 1 comment
    Los Angeles Rams (1–1) vs. San Francisco 49ers (0–2) 49ers' Kyle Shanahan and Rams' Sean McVay are two of the youngest head coaches in the NFL and now come full circle. They worked on the Washington Redskins' staff from 2010–2013. The Rams lead the NFC West with five offensive touchdowns while the 49ers are still looking for their first but boast a top-10 defense to start the season. Key Factors Brian...
  • By Justin Wong
    Sep 15, 2017 at 1:00 PM 0 comments
    San Francisco 49ers (0–1) vs. Seattle Seahawks (0–1) Kyle Shanahan gets his first division rival game on the road against the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have won the last six matchups but are coming off a tough road game in which their offense scored zero touchdowns against the Green Bay Packers. Pass Protection — 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer never seemed comfortable in the pocket as the 49ers' offensive line allowed four sacks and eight quarterback hits last week. In particular, left guard Zane Beadles was clearly the unit's weakest link. Per Pro Football Focus, Beadles finished with the lowest grade of any guard in Week 1. Whether it's Beadles or newly acquired Laken Tomlinson, the...
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