Matt Andruscavage's Latest Articles

  • By Matt Andruscavage
    22 hrs ago 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...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 25, 2020 at 1:11 PM 0 comments
    Despite a 1-1 record after a blowout win against the Jets and a close loss to the Cardinals, injuries have taken over the discussion as to how the 49ers will finish in 2020. Here is where San Francisco currently stands on the injury front. Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas both suffered torn ACL injuries and are out for the season. Jimmy Garoppolo has a low grade high-ankle sprain and will not start against the Giants. Raheem Mostert has a mild ACL sprain and will sit this week. Tevin Coleman has a knee injury that will sideline him for about four weeks. Dee Ford is nursing a back issue. Dre Greenlaw has a quad issue that will keep him out of Sunday's game. In short, it's a M.A.S.H. unit. George Kittle isn't ready to go and now Ahkello Witherspoon is ailing. The depth...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 21, 2020 at 2:49 AM 0 comments
    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...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 19, 2020 at 1:20 PM 0 comments
    After last week's loss to the Arizona Cardinals, the San Francisco 49ers are looking to rebound and chalk up that first win of the season. It has been a difficult week as the team dealt with the loss, but also in the health department as the injury bug has reared its ugly head early and often. The offense was hampered by the losses of Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Richie James Jr. at receiver, Ben Garland and Weston Richburg at center, and perhaps most importantly, George Kittle at tight end. Kittle, Samuel, Richburg and James will not play on Sunday, but there was some good news as Aiyuk and Garland are set to make their season debuts. Free agent receiver Mohamed Sanu was signed this week to shore up the receiver corps. While the loss of Kittle is never good,...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 13, 2020 at 9:55 PM 1 comment
    1) The Cardinals are good While the 49ers should have been able to get a win today, let's not lose sight of the improvements made by the Arizona Cardinals. DeAndre Hopkins dominated the secondary today with 14 catches for 151 yards. He was open a lot and the 49ers were not able to give much of an answer for his play today. Kyler Murray ran for 91 yards, passed for 230 yards, and had two total touchdowns. The ground game was good, their defense was scrappy, and their playcalling was not predictable. San Francisco had a lot of opportunities, which I'll go into, but the performance by the Cardinals should not be discounted. They are a playoff contender and will not be an easy out this year. They still have weaknesses, especially if you can force Murray to throw...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 11, 2020 at 2:48 PM 2 comments
    Week 1 of the 2020 season is upon us! It's been just over seven months since the San Francisco 49ers suffered a heart-breaking defeat in the Super Bowl to the Kansas City Chiefs. This offseason has been branded "The Revenge Tour" and after several moves, the 49ers are ready to take that first step towards their ultimate goal of a sixth Super Bowl championship. Up first are the Arizona Cardinals, who made plenty of moves of their own by drafting linebacker Isaiah Simmons and trading for wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Kyler Murray enters into his second season and figures to lead the Cardinals to another improved season in the difficult NFC West. In both meetings last season, the Cardinals gave the Niners all they could handle, but Jimmy Garoppolo was able to lead...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Jun 18, 2020 at 9:09 PM 4 comments
    Despite there being no preseason football at the moment, NFL teams are not immune to the injury bug. Second-year wideout Deebo Samuel suffered a foot fracture during a throwing session on June 18th. The initial timetable for his return is 12-16 weeks, however, Samuel believes he will be back in 10 weeks in time for the regular season to start. For starters, this injury can't be shrugged off as no big deal. It is a big deal. Deebo Samuel came into his own during the second half of the 2019 season, shortly after Emmanuel Sanders was signed. He was probably the biggest contributor in the passing game down the stretch and in the playoffs, while consistently gaining large chunks of yardage on end-arounds. He will be needed in order to fill the void left in the wake of Sanders...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Feb 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM 9 comments
    1 - The Key Play Truly Was the Tyreek Hill Bomb With a 20-10 lead in the 4th quarter, the 49ers had the Chiefs at 3rd and 15 at their own 35 with just over 7 minutes left. The pass rush was there but there was a blown coverage on Tyreek Hill and he put a move on Jimmie Ward. The pass rush was a half second from a sack but Mahomes got the ball off in time and completed the pass for 44 yards, which led to a touchdown, cutting the lead to 20-17. If the 49ers were able to make a stop there, they are likely able to kill clock and maybe put up more points. Kansas City had been struggling up to that point and had not made a big play the entire game. Unfortunately for San Francisco, the Chiefs made the play that changed the...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Feb 1, 2020 at 12:55 PM 8 comments
    It is Super Bowl weekend and the San Francisco 49ers are not on the outside looking in! For the seventh time in history, the 49ers will take the field on the world's biggest stage and compete for a Super Bowl championship against the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams have been tremendous all season. The Chiefs have star power at quarterback in the reigning MVP (for a few more hours) Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City is loaded with offensive stars and have some playmakers on defense. San Francisco has one of the top defenses in the NFL, a very capable quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo, and a balanced offense that has showcased the ground game as of late. This should be one of the best Super Bowls we have witnessed over the last 25 years. There have been a lot of things built...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Jan 22, 2020 at 11:38 AM 5 comments
    Thank you to Pete Watt for the graphic and information Pete Watt over at a web site called Odds Checker has calculated and created a fantastic graphic that shows the odds from the start of the season all the way to the Super...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Jan 19, 2020 at 10:05 PM 0 comments
    The 49ers are headed to the Super Bowl after their 37-20 drubbing of the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game! Here are some initial reactions: 1) This Ground Game is Dominant Yeah, I'm sure most will agree with this point, but did anyone really see San Francisco steamrolling two playoff opponents on the back of its ground game, almost entirely? Jimmy Garoppolo threw EIGHT passes. EIGHT! The rushing attack ran 42 times for an eye-popping 285 yards and four touchdowns. Everyone knew what the 49ers were going to do, especially in the second half. It did not matter. Kyle Shanahan dared Mike Pettine to try and stop it. The Packers failed to stop the ground game on nearly every important snap. Raheem Mostert has really done a remarkable job...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Jan 18, 2020 at 3:53 PM 7 comments
    Despite nearly every media outlet, analyst, and opinion piece counting the San Francisco 49ers out the entire season, the team has stubbornly defied the odds and is now preparing to host the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game. In a remarkable turnaround from last season's 4-12 record, San Francisco has met every challenge and won several different ways en route to an NFC-best 13-3 record with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Each week, much of the media presented a scenario where the 49ers would finally lose, finally meet their match, and not be able to compete. Each week, San Francisco responded, winning nearly every game or losing at the buzzer. Heading into the postseason, the narrative did not change. Jimmy Garoppolo and...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Jan 12, 2020 at 3:29 PM 0 comments
    For the first time since around Thanksgiving, the San Francisco 49ers did not play in a game decided in the final 30 seconds! Instead, San Francisco controlled the game with a lead and lowered both the heart rates and blood pressure of the Faithful, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 27-10. Here are my takeaways from the 49ers' first playoff win in six seasons: 1) The Defense is Back After Minnesota answered San Francisco's impressive opening drive with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Stefon Diggs, there was a little uncertainty as to how the defense would hold up. It turned out to be the only big play allowed the entire day. The return of Jaquiski Tartt, Dee Ford and Kwon Alexander provided a major shot in the arm to a defense that had been...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Jan 10, 2020 at 1:44 PM 4 comments
    The playoffs are here and for the first time since the 2013 season, the San Francisco 49ers will not be preparing for the Draft or free agency, but rather, will be preparing to host the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are coming off an impressive win in New Orleans and have some momentum as they travel to California, poised for an upset. While it appears that many pundits are once again doubting the 49ers, implying this would not be an upset if Minnesota won, this is nothing new. The Niners have been considered underdogs or not good enough the entire season. They were Vegas underdogs in Week 2 in Cincinnati, if you can believe that! It doesn't matter. The 2019 San Francisco 49ers are far and away a legitamite contender, much improved over last season, and have the...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 30, 2019 at 6:03 AM 3 comments
    The 2019 San Francisco 49ers are NFC West champs and have home field advantage throughout the playoffs! It's been a long, long road, but the rebuild under John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan that started in 2017 is finally over. This team is for real, has a legit quarterback, and is ready to shine in the postseason. Here are my takeaways from last night's thriller in Seattle: 1) Winning in Seattle is Huge for Several Reasons What a finish! As if any of our hearts can take this amount of stress, the 49ers won in Seattle by a razor-thin margin as Dre Greenlaw tackled tight end Jacob Hollister inside the one-half line! It was reminiscent of Dan Bunz in Super Bowl 16 (who also wore number 57 and the final score in that game was oddly 26-21) when he tackled Charles...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 28, 2019 at 2:39 PM 0 comments
    It doesn't get much bigger than this. One game for all the marbles. It's an amazing opportunity, especially when considering where the 49ers were the last six seasons. A season ago, San Francisco was flexed OUT of prime time matchups as the season was lost by mid-October. This season has been a different story as the Niners have been flexed into those very same prime time matchups and will have played six times in front of the nation. Despite overcoming doubters on every front throughout the season, having the goalposts of success moved repeatedly, dealing with wave after wave of difficult injuries, and most importantly, finding different ways to win, no matter the situation, the 49ers are 12-3 and control their own destiny. Now, they must overcome their longtime adversary....
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 21, 2019 at 10:38 PM 0 comments
    1) This Team is Resilient In similar fashion to the Saints game, the San Francisco 49ers overcame what at least felt like an insurmountable deficit, as they defeated the Rams 34-31. After giving up 21 relatively quick points and falling down 21-10, the defense appeared a bit overmatched as the Rams' offense made things look easy. It would be Fred Warner who made the splash play as he intercepted a Jared Goff dump pass and took it all the way back for a pick six and a 24-21 lead right before the half. From there, the Rams took a 28-24 lead in the 4th quarter and appeared poised to hold the lead until Jimmy Garoppolo and George Kittle led the Niners on a 91-yard drive that resulted in a Kittle touchdown. After Marcel Harris...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 21, 2019 at 10:27 AM 0 comments
    After last week's unexpected loss to the Falcons at the buzzer, the 49ers will be looking to rebound and start their stretch run as they prepare for the playoffs. There are a lot of possibilities for a bye, winning the division, and even home field advantage no matter what happens in tonight's game. That being said, the simplest and most desired path for the 49ers to get where they want to go is to win tonight and win in Seattle next week. That will secure home field advantage and give them a much needed week off. The Niners will get Richard Sherman and slot corner K'Waun Williams back from injury tonight, which should give the defense a big boost. Offensively, San Francisco will be as healthy as it can be, besides players who are on injured reserve. One player...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 15, 2019 at 6:35 PM 5 comments
    1) Do Not Panic! I'm going to break down what this loss means at the END of the article, but for now, take a deep breath. The season is NOT over. (Yes, there are SEVERAL fans throwing in the towel - don't be one of them!) 2) This Ended Up Being a Trap Game As much as everyone knew this was a possibility and as much as we heard about the team coming out and not letting this happen, it happened. This was a trap game. I'm not going to criticize anyone's preparation and mentality, whether it be the players or coaches. They wanted to win this game and they knew what could happen. Sometimes, no matter the preparation, things happen out there and as a team, you can come up short. The biggest problem in this game was the 49ers were...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 14, 2019 at 1:22 PM 5 comments
    San Francisco is now 11-2 after a huge win in New Orleans last week and now it's time to go for win number 12 and clinch a playoff berth against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers can position themselves for the playoffs with a win against the Falcons as they continue to build momentum going into the final two games of the season against the Rams and Seahawks, which will decide who wins the NFC West and possibly, home field advantage. The Falcons enter the game with a 4-9 record and not a lot to play for, except maybe draft positioning. This game on the surface is more about a reunion between Kyle Shanahan and the Falcons, where Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for two seasons, including the 2016 season where Matt Ryan was the League MVP and the Falcons made it...
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