Matt Andruscavage's Latest Articles

  • 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 3 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...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 21, 2019 at 12:00 PM 2 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers are 2-0 and now it's time for the home opener! The 49ers will host the 0-2 Pittsburgh Steelers and have a chance to go 3-0 for the first time since 1998. Coach Kyle Shanahan stated this week that it was very important to head into the Week 4 bye week with a 3-0 record. Here are the keys to achieving a win on Sunday: Where and When: 1:25 PM PST (4:25 p.m. EST) at Levi's Stadium Where to Watch: How to watch or listen to Steelers at 49ers 1) Keep Jimmy Garoppolo Upright It's no secret. Everyone is concerned over the loss of Left Tackle Joe Staley, who sustained a broken fibula against the Bengals that will sideline him for six to...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 15, 2019 at 4:14 PM 1 comment
    The San Francisco 49ers rolled in Cincinnati as they defeated the Bengals by a score of 41-17. Here are some rapid reactions to the second win of the season: 1) The offense is good. Really good. From start to finish, Jimmy Garoppolo and the offense took it to the Cincinnati Bengals. Garoppolo had protection, big plays were had in the air and oh, the running game had a bit of an impact. Matt Breida ran 12 times for 121 yards, Raheem Mostert carried the ball 13 times for 83 yards, and Jeff Wilson rushed for two scores. There were so many "chunk plays" of ten yards or more as well as big plays from Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, and George Kittle. Garoppolo finished 17 for 25 for 297 yards, three touchdowns and one...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 15, 2019 at 8:01 AM 0 comments
    It's Week 2 of the NFL season, and the San Francisco 49ers are in Cincinnati this week to take on the Bengals. The Niners are 1-0 after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Bengals fell to 0-1 in a hard-fought game against the Seattle Seahawks. Where and When: 1:00 PM EST (10:00 a.m. PST) at Paul Brown Stadium Where to Watch: How to watch or listen to 49ers at Bengals 1) Get in Andy Dalton's Face Just like last week, priority number one is going to be to pressure quarterback Andy Dalton early and often. Dalton was able to throw for over 400 yards last week, and it will be up to the pass rush to ensure he doesn't get off to the same...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 8, 2019 at 5:59 PM 3 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers found a way to put the Tampa Bay Buccaneers away, led by two pick-sixes and three interceptions overall. Here are the rapid reactions to the first win of the season: 1) The Defense Overcame Adversity and Carried the Day New Linebacker Kwon Alexander was ejected early in the game and it definitely affected the team in the second half of the game. Despite being gashed on the ground, the defense came up with three interceptions (2 pick-sixes), a fumble recovery, and three sacks and took over the second half. While there were penalties and a few big plays given up, all in all, despite the conditions and being on the field a lot, the defense played well. 2) The Penalties Were...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Sep 8, 2019 at 7:50 AM 1 comment
    Week 1 is finally here and the San Francisco 49ers will be in Tampa Bay to take on the Buccaneers. Where and When: Raymond James Stadium at 4:25 EST (1:25 PST) Where to Watch: How to watch or listen to 49ers at Buccaneers Below are the keys to victory for the 49ers. 1) Pressure Jameis Winston It's no secret that Tampa Bay does not have the greatest offensive line, but the revamped 49ers defensive front needs to exploit that early and often. If Winston is under heavy pressure, it will be very difficult for Tampa to put up points. It will be important for Dee Ford and Nick Bosa to showcase...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 29, 2019 at 10:15 PM 2 comments
    The 49ers wrapped up the preseason with a 27-24 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers. It was largely an evaluation of several players. Here are some observations from tonight's game and what they could mean for the final 53-man roster. Making the Team Jeff Wilson Jr. went from preseason running back to a likely member of the final 53-man roster as he capped off a very good preseason with 21 carries for 100 yards and a gorgeous 41-yard score. With Jerick McKinnon likely headed to season-ending injured reserve, Wilson Jr has shown that he can be a reliable back who already has game day experience. Damontre Moore continued pressuring the quarterback as he has done all preseason. It would be a stunner if he were to not make the team. The...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 29, 2019 at 8:39 AM 0 comments
    When and Where: Thursday, August 2019 - 6 pm PST (9 pm EST) at Levi's Stadium Watch or Listen: How to watch or listen to Chargers at 49ers Synopsis It's the final preseason game for the San Francisco 49ers and while the starters will be resting and preparing for Week 1, here are some notable position battles to keep an eye on tonight: 1) C.J. Beathard's final opportunity While Coach Kyle Shanahan has stated that the 49ers will be keeping three quarterbacks, many do not believe it to be true. There are other players who could be better suited to make the final 53, but tonight will be Beathard's...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 24, 2019 at 9:02 PM 2 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers led most of the game and came away with another solid preseason victory. Here are some things that stood out: 1) Jimmy Garoppolo Looks Good The story of the night was obviously all about how Jimmy Garoppolo would respond to his dreadful Week 2 performance. I think it's safe to say he put a lot of doubts to rest. Though the first drive did not yield points, Garoppolo completed passes to Kendrick Bourne and Marquise Goodwin, setting up what would have been about a 47-yard field goal. The 49ers elected to go for it and Jimmy's pass, intended for an open Bourne, was deflected at the line. The next drive was a thing of beauty. After a third down completion to Dante Pettis, Garoppolo found Richie James down the sideline for a...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 24, 2019 at 8:19 AM 0 comments
    When and Where: Saturday, August 24, 2019 - 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) at Arrowhead Stadium Watch or Listen: How to watch or listen to 49ers at Chiefs Synopsis The San Francisco 49ers will be taking on the Kansas City Chiefs in what is typically known as the "dress rehearsal", where we will see more of the starters play and for longer. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is coming off a 1 for 6, zero yards, one interception performance that has caused many in the media and fans alike to doubt his ability to be the passer and leader the 49ers will need in order to make the postseason. All eyes will be on Jimmy G, but there are several...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 19, 2019 at 9:51 PM 1 comment
    The San Francisco 49ers took over the second half and defeated the Denver Broncos by a score of 24-15. It was a fun half to watch as we saw a number of good plays from all three units. And it was a win. But the end result will probably not be what everyone will be talking about on social media and on news outlets. The First-Team Offense was BAD There's no getting around it. Jimmy Garoppolo looked rusty at best in his first game back since Week 3 of last season. He threw six passes. Two were batted down, one was intercepted, and another probably should have been picked. He did complete a pass, but for zero yards. Garoppolo's totals were 1 for 6, zero yards and one interception. Not at all what we wanted to see. There was more. The offensive line...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 19, 2019 at 7:00 AM 4 comments
    When and Where: Monday, August 19, 2019 - 5 pm PST (8 pm EST) at Mile High Stadium Watch or Listen: How to watch or listen to 49ers at Broncos Synopsis The 49ers travel to Denver to take on the Broncos in Week 2 of the preseason. The joint practices had some great battles and there were some good things that happened. Marquise Goodwin was the offensive standout and continues to have a great camp. Jimmy Garoppolo made several great throws and overall, had good practices, despite throwing five interceptions before making the trip to Denver for the joint practices. The story, though, continues to be how good the defense has...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 10, 2019 at 9:51 PM 1 comment
    The Good Wide Receiver - The future looks bright as rookies Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd both had good outings. Samuel had the catch of the night, a gorgeous 45-yard catch down the sideline that he went up and snatched away from the defender. Hurd had two scores and showcased his size and toughness. Both players add a lot to this offense, most notably size and aggression. Samuel finished with 2 catches for 61 yards, 1 rush for 14 yards, and drew a 25-yard pass interference penalty. Hurd finished with 3 catches for 31 yards and scored 2 touchdowns. Dre Greenlaw - Greenlaw could start. He looked great against the run, especially when he knifed in and buried the back for a loss. He is good in pass coverage but did bite on a play-action. That will...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Aug 9, 2019 at 9:45 AM 0 comments
    When and Where: Saturday, August 10, 2019 - 6 pm PST (9 pm EST) at Levi's Stadium Watch or Listen: How to watch or listen to Cowboys at 49ers Synopsis If you've paid attention to 49ers' news in the last 48 hours, then you know that the team heads into the preseason less healthy than it was at the start of the week. The big news right now is the injuries which will prevent several players from playing at all this preseason. That said, the first week was not going to be a likely opportunity to showcase many of the starters, regardless of health. Below are the top battles going into the...
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    May 8, 2019 at 7:00 AM 8 comments
    It has now been over a week since the NFL Draft and the San Francisco 49ers have added seven drafted rookies and ten undrafted rookie free agents. Here is a "way-too-early" projection of the 53-man roster. Quarterbacks Currently there are four quarterbacks – Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens, C.J. Beathard, and undrafted rookie Wilton Speight. Due to needs at other spots, expect the 49ers to try to move Beathard in a trade and possibly retain Speight on the practice squad. Expected to make the roster: 2 Running Backs This is a deep squad with Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon, and Tevin Coleman in the same backfield. Expect Coach Shanahan to do some creative things to get all of them a lot of reps during the season....
  • By Matt Andruscavage
    Mar 20, 2019 at 9:58 AM 7 comments
    The San Francisco 49ers have spent a chunk of their approximately $67 million in cap space on upgrading a number of key positions in free agency. Kwon Alexander brings big-play ability to the weak side linebacker position while Dee Ford provides the explosiveness off the edge that the 49ers have desperately needed. Other notable signings include veteran receiver Jordan Matthews, speedy running back Tevin Coleman, cornerback Jason Verrett, and linebacker/special teams player David Mayo. There is still a month or so until the NFL Draft on April 25th, so the question begs, who else should the 49ers pursue in free agency? Bryan Witzmann - Guard Witzmann has bounced around the league and ended up playing in ten games last year for Chicago...
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