Matt Andruscavage's Latest Articles

  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 19, 2020 at 1:32 PM 1 comment
    For many, the 2020 49ers season is over. While San Francisco is not mathematically out of the playoff picture, at 5-8 the odds are slim. The injuries have been too much to overcome and the rest of the season just has an impossible feel to it. While I'm no longer as confident in the 49ers' chances of making the playoffs as I was two weeks ago, there is a simple scenario in which a postseason berth is possible. If the 49ers, Vikings, Bears and Cardinals all finish 8-8, the 49ers would advance to the playoffs as the 7th seed. Hence, why Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle are held out for one more week. Win this...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 7, 2020 at 9:06 PM 0 comments
    1) The defense got lit up Josh Allen completely dismantled the defense of the 49ers tonight. There was very little pressure and Allen took advantage. Robert Saleh's unit could not get a meaningful stop after recovering a fumble in the first quarter. Josh Allen was able to make nearly every throw and there wasn't anything the defense was able to do to stop it. Some of this has to fall on Saleh as it appeared the defense was determined to stick with rushing four and playing zone. It wasn't until the fourth quarter that we finally saw some blitzes. All in all, it was just a disaster of a night for the defense. 2) The offense was off-balance much of the game Throughout the second and much of the third...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 7, 2020 at 11:54 AM 0 comments
    It's Monday Night Football and who would have guessed that the 2020 San Francisco 49ers would be competing for a playoff spot, especially after all of the injuries? The playoffs could be a reality, but the 49ers can only get one win tonight against the Buffalo Bills. This is the scenario that many, including yours truly, have been talking about. Being able to hang in there and begin to get players back from the injury list en route to a late-season push. There are no guarantees, but if San Francisco pulls off this game tonight, the playoffs, and even the division, are in play. Who is back this week? Running backs Tevin Coleman and Jeff Wilson Jr. should both be active, marking the first time since Week 2 that all four backs are healthy. Brandon Aiyuk will return...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 29, 2020 at 5:11 PM 0 comments
    1) Great defensive effort Up until Aaron Donald changed the game, the Niner defense completely stifled the Rams. Kerry Hyder provided edge pressure, the defensive backs made plays and prevented big ones, and Javon Kinlaw scored on an interception return. Jared Goff was completely off-balance and the Rams had no ground game to speak of. Despite the offense giving the ball back twice to the Rams in the first half after the defense forced a turnover, Robert Saleh's unit never wavered and kept pounding. In the second half, it was more of the same as the Rams could not score more than 2 field goals until Raheem Mostert fumbled late in the third quarter, resulting in a Rams' touchdown to cut the lead to 17-13. After the 49ers were able to...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 28, 2020 at 2:05 PM 1 comment
    The bye week finally came and left. It has definitely been a difficult road in 2020, but some of the 49ers' best players will finally be back in uniform this Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams. Running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson are back and figure to be the primary backs the rest of the season. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel returns, though will likely not play alongside rookie Brandon Aiyuk due to COVID-19. Cornerback Richard Sherman will play in his first game since Week 1 and there is already talk about the possibility of him transitioning to safety in the coming years. Sherman will play corner this Sunday but it would be interesting to see him move to safety at some point. He will join Emmanuel Moseley, Jason Verrett, and Jamar Taylor as the primary...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 15, 2020 at 7:52 PM 0 comments
    Well, somewhat rapid. This was an incredibly frustrating game. Afterwards, I had to take a walk, cool down, laugh it off and just get my mind off of this dumpster fire of a season for awhile. 1) Lack of execution The first quarter went fairly well. After deferring, the Saints kicked off and I admit to having some angst about a quick three and out. Instead, we saw the 49ers drive down and score a touchdown on the opening drive. Great start! Next, a three and out for New Orleans. Once the Saints muffed that first quarter punt and the Niners recovered, it sure felt like a 14-0 lead was going to happen. Instead they got it to 10-0, but this was still a surprise! Then, things fell apart. The Saints were able to cut the lead to 10-3, then it would be...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 14, 2020 at 1:54 PM 0 comments
    This is not how most envisioned Sunday's matchup with the New Orleans Saints. It was supposed to be similar to last year and be a matchup of two heavyweights. Instead, the 49ers are hanging on for their lives with far too many key players missing. Out for this matchup are Richard Sherman, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, Jimmy Garoppolo, Raheem Mostert, Tevin Coleman, Jeff Wilson Jr, K'Waun Williams, and Jaquiski Tartt. This is on top of all the players missing for awhile now like Dee Ford, Nick Bosa, Ronald Blair, Ben Garland, Weston Richburg, and Solomon...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 10, 2020 at 8:30 AM 1 comment
    January of 2020 was a beautiful month. Following the incredible Week 17 victory over Seattle on December 29, 2019, the 49ers entered January with a 13-3 record and secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The all-important bye week allowed Kwon Alexander, Dee Ford and Jaquiski Tartt time to heal and come back for the postseason. The 49ers then dismantled both the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers en route to another trip to the Super Bowl, something that defied the thoughts of many fans and analysts alike. Some called the 49ers "pretenders." Others just could not wrap their minds around the fact that the San Francisco 49ers had turned everything around by year three of the Kyle Shanahan/John Lynch era. The 49ers would now be competing in the Super Bowl...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 4, 2020 at 4:00 PM 1 comment
    Well, this is not at all what we expected. It's Week 9 and the season has been all but lost after a devastating rash of injuries and a slew of other things. The 2020 season has sure been a forgettable one. I'm writing another article this week on everything that went wrong this year, what the rest of the season may hold, and what the 49ers' possibilities for 2021 are. It's a brutal assignment to relive this season, but that is how things can go. Back to Week 9. The Green Bay Packers are coming to town for Thursday Night Football. Both teams are injured, though you know which team is slightly more banged up. Both teams are dealing with COVID-19 issues, though everyone else from both teams tested...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 1, 2020 at 5:18 PM 1 comment
    1) Jimmy Garoppolo is still hampered by the ankle Despite basically everything going wrong, it was obvious early in the game that Jimmy Garoppolo's ankle was not right. There were some errant throws, one of which was an interception. He rebounded with a good drive and good throws that led the 49ers to an early 7-6 lead. After that, it was all downhill. The offensive line was unable to protect him, he was not able to be mobile, and what made it worse was there seemed to be no offensive adjustment to the blitz. (More on that later) Then came the second half. After another awful quarter, he aggravated the ankle further. We'll find out more tomorrow, but surviving this difficult stretch now seems nearly impossible with all of these...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 31, 2020 at 2:21 PM 0 comments
    Seattle week is here! The Seahawks (5-1) will host the San Francisco 49ers (4-3) in what will likely be one of the better games of the season. Both teams come into the game banged up, but surprisingly, it's the 49ers that might be in better shape. Seattle has injury concerns at running back with Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, and Travis Homer all being potential game-time decisions. Safety Jamal Adams is still recovering from a groin injury and is also a game-time decision. Updated #Seahawks injury report for Week 8 with...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 25, 2020 at 4:22 PM 2 comments
    1) Jeff Wilson Jr. The 49ers must have seen something on film that enabled Kyle Shanahan to attack New England's 31st ranked rushing defense (DVOA). Wilson ran extremely well, gaining long chunk plays and finishing shorter runs for quality 4+ yard runs. Wilson gashed New England over and over and finished with 112 yards and three touchdowns. This was terrific scouting by Shanahan. 2) Another inspired performance by the defense Fred Warner continues to show why he is the best middle linebacker in the game. Finishing with seven tackles and an interception, he harassed running backs, Cam Newton, and even Julian Edelman all day. The secondary came up with three interceptions and made life miserable for the New England...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 24, 2020 at 2:14 PM 0 comments
    It has been a whirlwind of emotions over the course of one week. Last Saturday, there was a lot of unrest and a feeling of desperation as the season hung in the balance as the 49ers were set to face the Rams. San Francisco won, bumping its record to 3-3. As the 49ers travel to New England to take on the Patriots tomorrow, not much has changed. This is another must-win as the Niners need to continue to collect all important wins to stay afloat until reinforcements return. After the win against Los Angeles, the injury bug continued to claim victims. The latest list includes Raheem Mostert, Jaquiski Tartt, Trent Williams, and Ben Garland. It got worse after the news that Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, Jordan Reed, Weston Richburg, Julian Taylor, and Ronald Blair would all likely not...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 18, 2020 at 9:12 PM 0 comments
    It was difficult on the heart at times, but tonight's 24-16 win over the Rams was HUGE for the 49ers, who now have a 3-3 record and are back in the division and playoff races. 1) The offensive line really took care of business After a number of poor performances in 2020, the offensive line came together and put forth its best performance of the season. Jimmy Garoppolo took zero sacks and only a few pressures/knockdowns at most. Daniel Brunskill probably had the biggest rebound of anyone on the unit as he saw Aaron Donald the most and really held his own against the best defensive player in the...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 17, 2020 at 11:14 AM 0 comments
    At 2-3, this is not where most fans and analysts thought the San Francisco 49ers would be. It has been a season filled with injuries and a lot of poor execution. With the Rams (4-1) coming to town, the 49ers are facing a must-win situation in order to salvage this season. A loss would give San Francisco an abysmal 2-4 record, three conference losses, two division losses, and would likely spell the end of the 2020 season, given the amount of difficult opponents on the horizon. A win would put the 49ers back in the race and right the ship for at least a week as more players make their ways back from injury. The injury news continues to be a mix of good and bad. Kwon Alexander was believed to be out 4-6 weeks with a high ankle sprain and while he will...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 11, 2020 at 4:39 PM 7 comments
    This was a complete embarrassment. I don't care who you are, you did not predict this. While it was possible the 49ers could lose to Miami, this was not at all what anyone would have thought. What we witnessed was totally unacceptable. 1) The offensive line is still a real problem This was supposed to be the week the line rebounded and the offense got back on track. The offensive line was terrible. There were both physical and mental mistakes the entire game. One thought for a change, which may be needed, is to slide Ben Garland to right guard when Weston Richburg returns. We'll see how it goes next week, but some changes could be coming. No matter what, this has to get fixed starting next week or there won't be any playoff games this...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 10, 2020 at 11:28 AM 1 comment
    Last week's loss to Philly was a tough one to watch, but it's a new week. Jimmy Garoppolo is back. Dre Greenlaw is full-go. There appears to be a good chance Raheem Mostert and Ahkello Witherspoon are back. Deebo Samuel likely passed his final test for his non-Covid illness and should suit up Sunday. This week there are two big hurdles to overcome. The offensive line had a bad day against the Eagles and needs to rebound. The defense is thin, like really thin, at corner (Richard Sherman, Emmanuel Moseley, K'Waun Williams and Dontae Johnson are out). At 2-2 and facing the Miami Dolphins, this is a game San Francisco must win in order to get back on track. If all goes well on the...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 4, 2020 at 9:28 PM 1 comment
    1) The offensive line was just plain offensive Nick Mullens and the injuries will get most of the blame, but it was the offensive line that probably deserves the most blame for this stinker of a loss. Mike McGlinchey, Daniel Brunskill, and even Trent Williams were beaten repeatedly by a very good Eagles defensive line. The offensive line simply cannot get manhandled like that going forward. They're performances like these that cause Shanahan to use George Kittle as a blocker. It must not happen again. 2) Nick Mullens had a bad day, to put it mildly Mullens finished the day 18-26 for 200 yards and a score. While that's all fine and good, the numbers that really stick out are: 1 fumble and 2 interceptions which include an awful pick-six,...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 3, 2020 at 9:20 AM 3 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers survived two straight weeks of the awful conditions of MetLife Stadium and are finally back home to take on the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday Night Football. After a rash of injuries, San Francisco appears to have been somewhat written off as a team on a "Super Bowl hangover", especially after losing the opener to Arizona. Leaving New York with a 2-1 record may not be gaudy enough to rank high on a power rankings chart, but with all of the players who are missing time, the 49ers are in good shape. There are still a lot of injuries, but there is also some good news. Tight end George Kittle is back and will start. Deebo Samuel is set to return. Nickel back K'Waun Williams is questionable, but could be back in the lineup. As of Friday's...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 27, 2020 at 9:29 PM 0 comments
    1) This team is deep! Usually when a team is missing its starting quarterback, both starting running backs, its number one receiver, the best tight end in the league, the backup tight end, starting center, both of its best edge rushers, another starting defensive lineman, a starting linebacker, and its top three cornerbacks, that team isn't supposed to look very good. That was not the case today as Nick Mullens and the rest of the San Francisco 49ers dominated the New York Giants, 36-9. Mullens started a little slow, but quickly found his rhythm and finished 25-36 for 343 yards and a touchdown. He looked confident and made several very good throws against the hapless Giants defense. Other players of note who stepped up today included rookie...
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