Matt Andruscavage's Latest Articles

  • By Matt Andruscavage
    21 hrs ago 2 comments
    Earlier today, Jeff Diamond, the former president of the Tennessee Titans, wrote an article about why the 49ers CAN'T win the Super Bowl this year. It is another typical opinion piece laced with knee-jerk feelings based on an odd comparison with the 1999 Rams and one that clearly demonstrates that the writer has not watched many full games of this year's 49ers. 1 - Opening comments The article begins by acknowledging that the 49ers have had a "terrific turnaround", but then immediately states he "doesn't expect them to advance far in this year's NFL playoffs." He believes they will win the Wild Card game and then immediately...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Dec 1, 2019 at 2:38 PM 2 comments
    1) San Francisco Struggled to Stop the Run Today Baltimore's success on the ground all year has been no surprise. It continued today as they ran for 178 yards, with Lamar Jackson getting 101 of them on 16 carries and a score. What hurt the 49ers the most were the zone read plays that chewed up yardage and clock. It seemed like whenever the Ravens needed a big gain, they were able to get it on a zone read and the Niners repeatedly crashed the running back. Jackson kept making the correct read and it seemed San Francisco was faked out over and over, especially in the first half. The other factor was Mark Ingram's success on first down. He had 59 yards, but the vast majority of them came on early downs and put the offense in very good...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 30, 2019 at 9:10 AM 9 comments
    San Francisco is 10-1 after its 37-8 drubbing of the Green Bay Packers and now it travels eastward for a showdown with the 9-2 Baltimore Ravens. This match-up is receiving all kinds of hype as fans and analysts alike are referring to this game as a "mid-season Super Bowl preview". While both teams certainly have a chance to make it that far, the weather may impede some of the expected offensive fireworks. It's expected to be a rainy afternoon, making it a potentially difficult game for both teams. For the 49ers, they are getting healthy. George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and Emmanuel Sanders weren't even mentioned on Friday's injury report, so they are full-gos for Sunday. Joe Staley and Matt Breida have been upgraded to 'questionable' and could play. Robbie Gould is...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 24, 2019 at 10:50 PM 0 comments
    1) This is a Special Defense Up to this point, most had a lot of respect for the defense. Most thought they were good, but they're wrong. This defense is great. It is a championship defense. San Francisco continued its dominance as it held the Green Bay Packers to eight points and only 198 total yards, which included a paltry 81 net passing yards! The defense harassed Aaron Rodgers all night, sacking him five times, including a forced fumble and recovery at the Green Bay 2 on the Packers' opening drive. The Packers had 12 possessions on offense and only managed to score on one of them. Rodgers was held to only 104 yards passing, the lowest of his career when attempting at least 30 passes. (Chris...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 23, 2019 at 12:01 PM 0 comments
    Week 12 of the 2019 NFL season is here and by the time the San Francisco 49ers square off against the Green Bay Packers, most of this week's games will have been played. This is due to the NFL "flexing" this game onto Sunday Night Football, where the whole nation will be watching. The 49ers are coming off a 36-26 victory against the Arizona Cardinals, improving their NFC-leading record to 9-1. There have been several "ups" and "downs" over the last few weeks, but everything appears to be settling into place for the Niners to embark on an all-important stretch run to see where they stack up in the playoff race. First up are the Green Bay Packers, who enter into this game at 8-2 and lead the NFC North. Aaron Rodgers is putting together another good season, but more...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 17, 2019 at 7:30 PM 7 comments
    1) Jimmy Garoppolo Has Flaws But He Is a Big Game Quarterback Would I like for Jimmy Garoppolo to be more consistent with his ball placement? Yes. Does he have flaws? Yes. ls he the right quarterback for the job? YES! It was a long, difficult, and at times, mind-numblingly frustrating game, but when it mattered the most, Jimmy Garoppolo delivered. On the day, he finished 34-45 for 424 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions. The thing to keep in mind is that this was all on a day where George Kittle and Matt Breida sat out. Emmanuel Sanders played through an injury. There was NO running game to speak of because Arizona sold out to stop it. Garoppolo was going to have to throw nearly every play in the second half and everyone in the building knew...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 16, 2019 at 2:53 PM 1 comment
    It's a short week following the 49ers' 27-24 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks and now San Francisco has to brush the loss off and prepare for its third straight divisional matchup, this time against the scrappy Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals enter the game at 3-6-1, but anyone who has watched them a few times this season realizes they are better than their record and a team not to be taken lightly. The 49ers are somewhat limping into this game after suffering a barrage of injuries that began against this same Cardinals squad. Joe Staley returned on Monday night, but suffered a fractured and dislocated finger that required surgery. He will miss a couple of games. Matt Breida re-aggravated his ankle injury and will likely miss the game. Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair has...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 11, 2019 at 10:48 PM 1 comment
    1) Regardless of the Outcome, the 49ers Are a Playoff Team The atmosphere from Levi's Stadium tonight was nothing short of electric. Tonight's game had the feel of a playoff game. Just two years ago, the 49ers started a complete rebuild and now they are 8-1 and still atop the NFC. Despite the injuries and all of the adversity, San Francisco fought back and nearly won a very difficult overtime game. It showed everyone that though it may not win every game, it is a legitimate division and conference contender and after watching the last five seasons as well as the post-Steve Young era, it's fun to be a 49ers fan again. 2) The Offensive Line Got Dominated I'll get to Jimmy Garoppolo's woes later, but this cannot be overstated. The offensive line...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Nov 10, 2019 at 9:52 AM 5 comments
    San Francisco enters Monday Night's matchup against the Seahawks with a perfect record (8-0) and an 11 day rest. The Seahawks (7-2) are coming off an overtime win against Tampa Bay. Russell Wilson is playing as well as any quarterback right now and could be the league's MVP. Regardless of any statistical measure concerning their team offense or defense, the Seahawks are going to make life difficult for the 49ers as the division could be at stake. If San Francisco wins, it will be 9-0 and will jump three games ahead of Seattle and the Rams. If Seattle wins, the race will be much tougher. As far as injuries, tight end George Kittle and kicker Robbie Gould are listed as doubtful and might sit in order to heal up and avoid long-term injuries. The good...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 31, 2019 at 9:41 PM 1 comment
    1) Jimmy Garoppolo is a Franchise Quarterback This is not an overreaction. On a short week on the road with multiple injuries and facing a very scrappy divisional opponent, Jimmy Garoppolo put the team on his back and won the game. It wasn't just the raw numbers, though they were great as he finished 28 for 37 with 317 yards and four touchdowns. What really made the difference in the game was Garoppolo's ability to convert on third down. His third-down passing ended at 12 for 14 for 159 yards and three touchdowns. Look no further than the final drive for Jimmy G's ability to come up big in "crunch time". His 16-yard pass under duress to Emmanuel Sanders was probably the play of the night. If he doesn't make that play, the Cardinals get the ball back with...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 30, 2019 at 12:26 PM 3 comments
    After last week's 51-13 beatdown of the Carolina Panthers, the San Francisco 49ers have officially gotten the attention of the rest of the league and now are being viewed as legitimate contenders. Ultimately, the team only cares about stacking wins, but it's safe to say that everything the organization and its fans believed about the team is finally coming together. At 7-0, the 49ers have a great chance to build on that tomorrow in Arizona, although it will be on a short week and they could be a little thin at running back. (More on that in a bit) The Cardinals are 3-4-1 and are coming off a 31-9 loss in New Orleans. Due to injuries of their own at running back, Arizona traded for Miami standout Kenyon Drake, who will suit up in place of David Johnson and Chase...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 27, 2019 at 6:49 PM 1 comment
    1) Starting to Believe Nick Bosa Could Be Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa continues to live up to the hype and is dominating offensive tackles. Bosa finished with 4 tackles, 3 sacks and a gorgeous interception that almost turned into a pick six. He consistently pressures the quarterback and makes plays. The scary part is, he's just getting started. 2) The Run Game Hasn't Missed a Beat The 49ers ran for 232 yards and five scores against a very stout Carolina defense. What gets overlooked is that this production is happening without both starting offensive tackles and Kyle Juszczyk, the all-important starting fullback. The scheme is certainly part of it, as we all saw on the Deebo Samuel...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 26, 2019 at 1:19 PM 7 comments
    After last week's 9-0 win in Washington over the Redskins, the San Francisco 49ers have improved to 6-0. This week will be a difficult test against the red-hot Carolina Panthers, who are second in the NFC South at 4-2 and are coming off a bye. The Carolina Panthers have won four straight games and have not lost with new starting quarterback Kyle Allen. The Panthers are fifth in the league in points per game (27.2), twentieth in yards per game (353.0) offensively, and on defense they are fifteenth in points given up (22.2) and twelfth in yards per game (344.0). This is a good football team, but it is beatable. As far as injuries go, the 49ers will be without tackle Mike McGlinchey, fullback Kyle Juszyzck, and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Joe Staley is listed as...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 20, 2019 at 2:06 PM 5 comments
    1) The Defense Continues to Shine In a game featuring bad weather, it was the kind of game that required a lot of patience and a defense that can prevent the opposition from taking control of the game. The offense didn't do very much in the first half. It didn't matter because the defense stopped Washington when it mattered. For the third straight week, the defense held its opponent to under 200 yards of total offense and under 7 points. The defense has given up 10 total points over the last three weeks. That is dominance. It's getting timely sacks and turnovers. This is a defense that can be leaned upon in big spots and that is a key component in competing for a championship one day. 2) Jimmy Garoppolo Just Keeps...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 19, 2019 at 1:14 PM 2 comments
    After last week's 20-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, the San Francisco 49ers have turned some heads as they remain undefeated and atop the NFC West with a 5-0 record. Next up are the Washington Redskins, who have won a single game and that was against the Miami Dolphins. While there's no getting around how bad the Redskins are, don't expect this to be a trap game. Kyle Shanahan still has a bad taste in his mouth after his time in Washington and you can bet he will take out his frustration on the Redskins. As far as injuries go, the 49ers will be without tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, wide receiver Deebo Samuel,...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 13, 2019 at 5:51 PM 2 comments
    1) This May be the Best Defense in the NFL There is so much to report about concerning this defense that it's difficult to find a starting point! First, it held a passing attack that averages 421 yards to only 131. The 49ers' pass defense limited Jared Goff to a measly 78 yards (56 yards net passing on the day). The Rams went 0-9 on third down and 0-4 on fourth down, including failing to convert on a devastating goal line stand. After giving up a touchdown on the Rams' opening drive, the 49ers never looked back and shut out the Rams the rest of the way. Once the Rams fell far enough behind and couldn't run anymore, it was open season on Jared Goff and the front seven did not disappoint as its members were in the backfield and in Goff's face the entire...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 12, 2019 at 11:20 AM 5 comments
    It's Week 6 and the San Francisco 49ers remain undefeated with a 4-0 record. While it's great, like Coach Shanahan said earlier this year, "I've been 5-0 and missed the playoffs." It doesn't mean a lot yet. This week will be the most important game they have played thus far as it is a divisional game against their rivals, the Los Angeles Rams. Both teams have injuries as they head into this matchup. The 49ers will be without cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (foot), tackle Joe Staley (fibula), tackle Mike McGlinchey (knee) and fullback Kyle Juszczyk (knee). Tight End George Kittle (groin) is also listed as questionable, but is likely to play. The Rams will be without cornerback Aqib Talib (rib) and linebacker Clay Matthews (jaw). Running back Todd Gurley is a game...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 8, 2019 at 12:42 AM 3 comments
    1) Nick Bosa is the Real Deal Despite a lot of noise during the offseason and preseason, Bosa has shown that he is worth that second overall pick. He continues to consistently pressure the quarterback and finished with four tackles, two sacks, two tackles for loss, five quarterback hits, and recovered a fumble. Bosa is looking like a legitimate Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate and should continue to improve. It's turning out to be a good thing the 49ers didn't give Cleveland their second overall pick for Odell Beckham. 2) The Running Game is Dominant Whether it's Matt Breida bursting through a hole for an 83-yard touchdown run on the first offensive play from scrimmage, Tevin Coleman grinding out nearly 100 yards on tough...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Oct 6, 2019 at 2:45 PM 2 comments
    The Bye Week is over, and the San Francisco 49ers are atop the NFC with a 3-0 record. While virtually no one is giving the 49ers credit for this turnaround, it is important to take this one game at a time. Like Coach Kyle Shanahan stated, "I've been 5-0 and missed the playoffs." There is still a lot of season left. Up next are the Cleveland Browns tomorrow night on Monday Night Football. The Browns are 2-2 and are garnering more respect at this point than the 49ers. While San Francisco will have a great opportunity to improve to 4-0, this will not be an easy game. Here are five keys to winning this game and perhaps turning a few heads in the process: Where and When: Monday, October 7 at 5:15 PST at Levi's Stadium Where to Watch:...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 22, 2019 at 8:08 PM 8 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers held on to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 in the home opener at Levi's Stadium. It also marks the first time since 1998 that the Niners have gotten off to a 3-0 start. Here are some rapid reactions to a very difficult and sometimes very ugly game. 1) Turnovers and Self-Inflicted Wounds The 49ers looked very good on offense the entire game...except when they turned the ball over. San Francisco made things harder than they had to be with bad bounces, errant throws, bad snaps, and not hanging onto the ball, but in the end, it overcame them. That said, the 49ers cannot afford to have that amount of sloppiness going forward. Hopefully, they got it out of their system. 2) Jimmy Garoppolo is a...
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