49ers improved in key areas leading up to 1st win

1

Sunday’s win against the New York Giants could have been a fluke, a one-off, a random win against a bad team signifying nothing for the 49ers.

Or, Sunday’s win could have been the culmination of a recent trend.

For the past three games, despite losing numerous starters to injury, such as wide receiver Pierre Garcon, free safety Jimmie Ward and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt, the 49ers have made significant statistical strides in several key areas. The team may be improving.

Here’s a close look at the areas they’ve improved the most since Week 8.

Click here to read my article.

This article has 103 Comments

  1. Nice article Grant. Thank you. Lot’s of homework went into that piece with tons of info. Appreciate it. They are definitely headed in the right direction but it’s gonna take time and there will be up’s and downs, which is typical of the extremely hard to win NFL. This week should be a good measuring stick on the effort. Seattle seems slightly vulnerable compared to where they’ve been so it should be interesting. I see a close game. How do you feel at this point?

  2. I believe it’s important for the team going into next season to have a signature win to show for these improvements. A victory over the Seahawks would be quite the feather in Shanny’s cap….

      1. I actually think this is the perfect game to play Jimmy Goatrappolo. Seattle have been the bullies taking the 49ers lunch money, and they’ll be short a bully in the secondary. Let’s see if Jimmy can exploit them through the air, and establish a No Bully Zone….

        1. I am so stoked to see what we have in Jimmy, and with Seattle weakened defensively, the timing may be ideal. But from what we’re hearing via Lynch, it just doesn’t sound imminent.
          Do you think Jimmy will have had enough time, and this may just be a smoke screen to keep SEA off balance?

  3. Players matter, and part of the statistical improvement is personnel group stability. If the 49ers can stem the injury epidemic I’ll expect the trend to continue.

    I hope Adrian Colbert can play in the Seattle game (odds are against it at this time). Single high safety is key. The return of Tank should give us some defensive rotation depth.

    1. Colbert has made a name for himself in the last two games. Unlike Polo, Colbert did not come in with any fanfare but is climbing up the charts with his play.
      Foster, Colbert, Thomas and Witherspoon provide a good foundation to build on.

  4. Very impressive article! Even though I felt like we have been improving, I just learned a lot of things I was not aware of before reading this article – good stuff.

    And even though some of the stats are based on a fairly small sample size, it is hard to deny that we have been improving when we have literally improved in almost every single statistical category over the last 3 games. That is amazing to see and hopefully we can continue to show steady improvement like that over the last 6 games of the year (hopefully not winning too many of them haha ;)).

    Actually, I would not hate winning a few of them even if it means we move back a few spots in the draft, because I feel like the way we play and improve over these last 6 games will be huge in deciding which way we trend going forward next year.

  5. First of all, Hoyer was Hoyer. We got exactly what he always has been. As far as the stats improving, I think that the players are FINALLY getting comfortable in the system on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Players like Celek, Tomlinson, Hyde, and Beathard have shown great improvement in knowledge and technique within the offense as well as Coyle, Witherspoon, Colbert and the return of Blair on defense. And the one positive of all the injures is we have got to play a few younger players that we might not have had the opportunity otherwise. The by-product of that being is that the roster will not have such a crazy turn over next year.

  6. Grant
    Great and informative article. The Niners appear to be headed in the right direction. The players are getting to understand the system better. The coaches are getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of their players.
    I agree with B2W that players matter and the current starters fit the system better.
    It would help the team attitude if they can end the season with a couple of more wins to establish the improvement of the team and set up the off season for more improvement.

  7. Dang, CJB still is sticking out his tongue. He needs to keep it in his mouth, or he might bite it off when blindsided. Does the QB coach teach him anything?
    .
    Nice statistical analysis. It is amazing how a change in QB can make all the difference. One should not downplay the effect Rashard Robinson had on the team, and how they improved greatly since he was benched, then traded. RR was unfocused and undisciplined. He was also a flag magnet.
    .
    I think the team is finally starting to gel into a cohesive unit. Took a couple years at Atlanta, so it should be no different here.

  8. Grant:

    Nice job. Facts are facts and not opinions, and that is one reason that this article is very good. Can they win another game? Is it important to do so? In some ways it is and in others it really isn’t. It is constant improvement in both performance and acquisition of talent that will prove to be the answer. The learning curve just gets steeper also. Is there another Lott, a Montana or Young, a “Hacksaw” or other great talent out there to be drafted? Will this draft class live up to all the hype or are replacements just around the corner? So many questions and so little time.

  9. I appreciate the attempt at positivity. It’s amazing how much a single game against a bad opponent can flip some of those stats around.

    Example, in the 2 games prior to Sunday they were at 28% on 3rd down conversions then 75% on Sunday, and BAM!!!! the overall numbers look better.

    1. On the flip side, they played the Eagles who have the #2 offense and just put a 50-burger on the Broncos (which just goes to show how a bad offense (especially the QBing) can impact a good defense). As a team the Eagles have averaged 31.4 PPG and haven’t been held to less than 20 all season.

      So while we gave up 33 points to them, 8 points were off the Pick-6/2pt Conversion which means, defensively, we put up one of the best efforts against the Eagles offense this year (despite being ravaged by injuries).

      So, yes, small sample size. There’s no getting around it.

      But the takeaway remains that instead of going backwards, the teams is at last moving in a positive direction as it’s going forward. And even though I expect ups-and-downs, there is reason to believe that (despite the chronic whinging from couch potato land) the team is on the right track.

    2. Grant, thank you for generating some optimism, and not minimizing the recent effort.

      Too small a sample size to reach a meaningful conclusion (more of break point than a trend).
      This team could slam back down to earth at SEA. However, enthusiasm, like winning, can be contagious, and having the opportunity to see some of the new faces has been fun and even encouraging at times.

      While we wait:
      https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/930654559038345216
      Players and leadership savoring the win… holding personal tragedy at bay for few moments… game balls and euphoria. You can’t help but enjoy this 130 seconds.

      1. “So while we gave up 33 points to them, 8 points were off the Pick-6/2pt Conversion which means, defensively, we put up one of the best efforts against the Eagles offense this year”

        Which would hold up only if that was their only defensive score all season. It wasn’t.

        1. Which is, once again, another trivial observation you’ve tried to blow up to save face beacuse you’re so interested in swinging your **** you can’t take it when someone points out you’re just looking at one ignorant side of the coin. Which is what you do every ****ing time you get called.

          The Eagles have scored all of two defensive TDs all season longe. Big. F***ing. Deal. They’re still the #2 offense no matter how you want to cover your one-sided BS.

          1. I knew how many TD’s the Eagles had scored on defense prior to typing that comment.

            I never countered that the Eagles offense wasn’t #2.

            The 49ers defensive performance that day wasn’t anything I’d mark as showing improvement.

            You seem to be quite a testy feller.

    3. He never hesitates to throw shade on Hyde ranked 9th in the NFL for rushing. Omitting the fact that Brown and Staley out for the majority of the time Hyde’s stats went down. Also omitting how much Hyde has contributed in the passing game. Breida runs for a couple of YPC then breaks a big one. Grant remember how you would ding Gore by taking out his long runs and then creating his adjustmented YPC average? Why not do that with Breida?

      Could they have gotten worse? Let’s hope not? A win is a win, glad they got it and I am glad for the improvements. CJ is a competitor.

            1. You sure you’re not confusing Love with Josh Adams? He’s the overrated back that’s been running through holes the size of a semi. Love leads the league in yards after contact, if I’m not mistaken….

              1. I also say Hyde is a good running back. Just good not great, which is why the Niners shouldn’t give him the money he will demand. And it’s not that he isn’t getting any holes to run through. There are plenty of backs in the NFL who would love to have the holes Hyde has been given.

            1. If the experts are of the same mind of Jack Hammer, the 3rd round would be perfect. Dude is a beast. Runs through tackles. Impeccable vision. I think he could be a star in Shanny’s offense….

              1. I agree with you, OldCoach. He’s better than McCaffrey in my humble opinion, and we all know where he was drafted. Rivera didn’t get Hammer’s memo about Stanford running backs;>)

              2. “Rivera didn’t get Hammer’s memo about Stanford running backs;>)”

                Them drafting McCaffrey in round 1 doesn’t make my point incorrect. He’s averaging 3.0 yards per carry.

                Toby Gerhart was another Stanford stud who fizzled in the NFL.

                Maybe I’ll be proven wrong. ?‍♂️

              3. Them drafting McCaffrey in round 1 doesn’t make my point incorrect. He’s averaging 3.0 yards per carry.

                #8 in Round 1 to be exact. He’s also averaging 8 yards per reception. He’s got 69 rushes, and 57 receptions. 2 rushing TD’s and 3 receiving TD’s. He’s also got 140 yards returning punts, and another 60 returning kickoffs. Pretty even distribution, and pretty much what I expected.

                In contrast, Fournette is averaging 4 yards per carry, with 147 attempts. 17 receptions at 9 yards per catch. 6 rushing TD’s and 1 receiving TD. Again, pretty much what I expected. He’s more of a pure running back, whereas McCaffrey is the new model. He’s one of seven backs in the NFL to have run 100+ routes, if I’m not mistaken. He’s slight, but cat quick. In space, he’s rather dangerous, and creates mismatches. Would I have taken him that high? No way, but I think Love is the better running back. We don’t have the luxury of taking a running back in the first round, and personally, I don’t believe in it anyways. If for some strange reason Love is there in the 3rd round, (he won’t be), I’d jump all over him….

              4. Ricky was much bigger than McCaffrey. He’s still my favorite Niners running back. Sorry Mr. Gore;>( Losing Waters, and especially Haley really bummed me out….

        1. Grant, by advocating trading Hyde away because he was not a good fit in the KS system, that was not only shade, but an eclipse. You called him injury prone and dissed his pass catching skills, but Hyde has proved durable and he has caught the ball well this season. I think you wanted to get a 5th round pick for him.
          .
          Of course, you were Jonesing on JW as his replacement. Too bad he turned into a fumblefingers and was put on IR. Hopefully, JW has worked out hard and built muscle so he can hang onto the ball.
          .
          With JW waiting in the wings, they should still sign Hyde for his veteran leadership, and his run after contact is impressive. If they re-sign Hyde, JW and MB are perfectly adequate as complementary backs, and they can move back in the draft and still get more O line help, which will help the running game even more.
          .
          I hope the Niners can Move back twice, and get 7 picks in the first 3 rounds, while also garnering 2019 second and third round picks.

        2. So pointing out Hyde’s numbers went down and only highlighting his decline is positive? Having Brown and Staley back is huge for the running game.

          You have a narrative going on Hyde. He’ Probably the only player on offense they game plan for. I like Breida, he’s a good change of pace back.

    4. Before I forget,

      Offense first 7 games: 17.57 ppg
      Offense last 3 games: 17 ppg

      Offense first game in AZ: 15 points
      Offense second game vs AZ: 10 points

      Defense first game in AZ: 18 points
      Defene second game vs AZ: 20 points

      Leave you with a slight positive though…
      Def first 7 games: 26.57ppg
      Def last 3 games: 24.67ppg

      But didn’t the Rams hold the Giants to 17 while scoring 51 the week before in NY on an early East Coast start? Oh I digress.

  10. Jack Hammer: Yah to be honest, I was initially thinking the same thing regarding the small sample size of stats and being skewed quite a bit because we got to play the NYG in those 3 games. Then when you really look at it, and even in a small sample size, the fact that we significantly improved on basically every statistical category across the board, it definitely is a positive thing and is pretty impressive.

  11. is it important to with the SEA game? — absolutely, this team is trying to find it’s identity–
    a young team learning new systems also needs to learn to fight together physically and emotionally– as trite as that sounds– it is a basic tenet of the game…
    KS still has Buy-in from team, JL will and is helping that…
    Lynch’s subtle sideline greet to Hyde in last ARI game after flag is an example, JL knows what it takes to get 11 guys to fight for each other– he knows Hyde was answering a challenge–
    CJ helped get the 1st win, if he & the O gets another vs. SEA– or at least makes it close, JG’s debut will be closer to end of season…

  12. Colbert is our new Eraser! If you re-watch the game, you’ll notice that he never even attempted to wrap up a runner (because he broke his thumb on the first series and was protecting it). He just delivered blows, that knocked the runner off his feet! This dude has wheels and understands angles. Reminds me of a young Ronnie Lott!! I remember both Jimmy Johnson, and Mel Phillips playing Corner & Safety with a cast on their arm in the early 70’s. Seems to me like Colbert is of the same ilk… If he plays against the Seahawks, he’s our new staring Safety.

    1. That is not a good thing. I hate it when players don’t wrap up. It leads to targeting penalties and big plays from simple tackles being missed. Wrapping up doesn’t reduce the impact felt by the receiver either.

      1. Shoup– Didn’t you read the part where Coastledave said he didn’t wrap up to protect his broken thumb? It’s not like he does it all the time and didn’t have a good reason for it this last game.

  13. Excellent, informative article Grant. And all I was hoping for was to see this team grow as the season progressed. They’ve done that lately, despite a rash of injuries.

  14. While the article is interesting I don’t know that they have improved. They have only played one good team in that stretch.
    It could easily be said they have improved because the quality of competition was much lower.
    The reality is in a 3 game stretch 1 game can completely skew the numbers.

  15. Yeah, but another huge reason is the Giant’s are horrible. Coming to the Bay Area for the Seattle game and hoping they can send those boy’s home with a loss.

    1. Seriously, how could they not improve. Easy to second guess everyone involved but this team has demonstrated an uncanny ability to find a way to lose for a long time. Snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Now a new GM, new coaches, new system and a roster that Belichek couldn’t win with. Bruce Arians who is no dummy, defends Blaine Gabbert saying he is not as bad as everyone thinks because he has only played on “$-itty” teams. He points out that both of the teams he played for were as bad or worse without him. (He was 1-4 here and Kaep was 1-10) Learn the system, eliminate mistakes and players who don’t live up to potential and they will again become competitive. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Romans didn’t have Trent Baalke leaving a big hole for them to dig out of.

      1. I beg to differ. Belichick could have won those games the Niners lost by close margins. Niners easily could have been 5-5, with BB coaching.

  16. For the hits Beathard took during that 3 game stretch I hope Colbert shows that same toughness getting ready for Seattle in two weeks.

      1. My father boxed growing up and then at Santa Rosa Junior College in the 60’s. I grew up boxing with him as my instructor. I had a bad habit of sticking out my tongue and when I did, he would hit me on top of the head which would cause me to bite down on my tongue. He didn’t hit hard but he used to tell me if I did that in a match someone was going to cause me to bite off my tongue. He would make me do the speed bag with water in my mouth to prevent me from sticking out my tongue. I learned that lesson well.

        1. Nice personal story Houston, Thanks for sharing.
          What a great idea with the water!

          I tried to grow a beard and mustache years ago, and noticed after a while that my tongue kept finding this new hair around my mouth. Cut the beard off before it became really habitual though.

      2. I saw him sticking out his tongue in the Giants game.
        .
        Dont they have a mouthpiece that can prevent that while still allowing him to call the signals?

      1. Bilbo Baggins changed his name when he got his new job in the packaging and shipping dept of the adult toy dept. of Amazon. He changed all the B’s in his first name to D’s.

  17. Grant you mentioned pass coverage being much improved as a major contributor to the win. A primary component of that improved pass coverage was the pass rush. The Niners got 3 sacks on Eli Manning. Ronald Blair got two of them. He (and Dumvervile) did something I haven’t seen from a 49er do since Aldon Smith, bend the corner around the edge for a sack. The Niner’s defense not only got sacks but got pressure on Eli all game. Now likely that dominant pass rush was due to the Giant’s poor pass blocking by their offensive line. But still it was rare day of pass rush dominance by the 49er’s defensive line.

  18. 49ers won a game against a terrible opponent. As Jack Hammer mentioned earlier, the 3 game average stat improvements can largely be attributed to the Giants game. The games against the Eagles & Cardinals were in that 3 game span and those were abysmal performances in all facets of the game. I’m happy for the players and coaches that they finally got a win but let’s not get too high on excitement. This rebuild is a multi year effort that has just begun. I’m sure there will be gnashing of teeth and proclamations of doom after the Seahawks game but even then the organizations real goal the rest of this year is experience and improvement for the key players going into next year. I just want to see some level of effort and passion from the players and a sense that they are growing in the schemes.

    1. “This rebuild is a multi year effort that has just begun.”
      “I just want to see some level of effort and passion from the players and a sense that they are growing in the schemes.”

      +100
      Managing expectations…

  19. It seems to me that the three game sample isn’t a problem in itself. There are good and bad teams around the league; your record is who you are.
    Beagles are good, Cards are mediocre, Giants are bad. The various improvements through a period of continued debilitating injuries is a good sign; if not definitive.
    Mediocre Cards team with a mediocre QB beat the Niners. Their pass rush has been up and down but dominated SF’s OL.
    Seahags were a middling team before their significant injuries, but RW bails them out with his improvised plays game after game. I’m having trouble expecting the Niners to get a win against Seattle this year. Hope I’m wrong, I was last week.

  20. I found this to be interesting from PFF:

    1.

    Snap Counts: 2,874

    Snap Leader: TE George Kittle, 420

    We were big fans of the 49ers’ draft back in April and it’s showed in the early returns. First-round defensive lineman Solomon Thomas has been as-advertised against the run, but still has room to improve upon his 16 pressures on 228 rushes. LB Reuben Foster has been excellent when healthy and his 205 snaps have showed his three-down ability on his way to an 89.0 overall grade that ranks fifth in the NFL. Third-round pick Ahkello Witherspoon has been excellent since taking over as a starter in Week 8 while fifth-round tight end George Kittle ranks second among rookie tight ends with 27 receptions and 277 yards.

    https://www.profootballfocus.com/news/pro-ranking-the-nfl-leaders-in-rookie-snap-counts

  21. A bunch of people have already pointed out that the numbers are somewhat skewed by the Giants game. The team can build on it or sink back into the morass.

    This next game will help everyone see what the 2017 49ers truly are: overmatched, yet scrappy; or an ascending team.

    It will be very hard to duplicate a lot of what helped propel this team to victory last Sunday. There are still many large gaping holes in the way the team plays. I think everyone here hopes that the Seahawks monkey can be taken off the back of the 49ers.

    I like the fact Carradine looks like he may be back. He was looking pretty good prior to his injury. Let’s hope he can return to form.

  22. The wide receiver play was much improved in the Giants win. In particular the play of Kendrick Bourne and to a lesser extent Louis Murphy.

    Bourne and Murphy are both 6 Ft 2 Inch. It was so nice to finally see some big WRs on the field for the Niners. Small guys can hit a home run now and then (such as Goodwin’s 83 yarder on Sunday), but you need some big bodies who can out jump defensive backs, make the tough catches, and keep the chains moving. let’s see if the WRs can make some big plays on Seattle without Sherman.

    Also, I agree with AFFP’s comment about the pass rush making DBs look better. I want to see if the improved pass rush carries over into the Seattle game. Seattle’s O line is almost as bad as the Giants. The big difference is that while Eli is pretty much a statue, Russel Wilson has the maddening ability to run around and make a big play even if you put pressure on him.

    I am really looking forward to the Seahawks game. For the first time in many years, I think we have a ligitimate shot at a win.

    Go Niners.

      1. Indeed Seb,
        The interview certainly speaks to Morgan’s character and commitment, as much as that’s humanly possible under the circumstances. Way beyond my ability to imagine.

  23. The biggest improvement this team made, and yes it was only 1 game, was the commitment to the run game.

    Shanahan has been far to willing to abandon the run once behind and that’s hurt the team.

    Part of the reason the team was so good from ’11-’14 was they stayed committed to the run, even when behind and it seemed like they were “wasting” time.

    Running the ball on 2nd and 10 isn’t a bad thing because it can help set up a more manageable 3rd down. However for much of the year so far it seemed like Shanahan would call a pass on 2nd, especially if the 1st down play was say an incompletion or a run for little gain.

    If this team can commit to the run they will find greater success in the pass game, especially with their PA game.

    1. at what point while behind in the score do you abandon the run and focus on moving the ball to score?

      i think the whole run vs pass ratio is much over blown….

      in 2016……
      the packers had 37.63% run to 62.37% pass ratio and they made it to the conference championship

      the giants had 39.96% run to 60.04% pass ratio and they made it to the playoffs

      if your response is that both teams have a good QB…..then it means the balanced ratio is not that huge importance……

      sure it sounds nice and sexy to say “balance”…..but if that does not apply to teams with good QB’s then the point is mute…..

      1. This isn’t just about falling behind by a number. Against Arizona for example the score was close the entire first half for example yet he called 17 passes to 8 runs prior to the final 2 minute situation. And even then they could have snuck a run in here or there.

    2. Running the ball more will help to a certain degree, but far too often they haven’t been able to generate enough in the running game to keep things balanced. It’s fine to say they need to run the ball more, but if it isn’t working it’s tough to stick with it, especially if you are down on the scoreboard.

      What they need to do is produce a more effective running game so they can keep using it. Sunday was an example of that and hopefully it continues.

      1. With the WCO, the short pass was utilized in lieu of a running play. Get the ball into the receiver’s hands in space and let him attack the defense.
        .
        With all the rule changes, it has now become a passing league.
        .
        The important thing is to not let the opponent shape you. Pass when they expect run, and run when they expect pass. Niners did so well last game because they were unpredictable. Except, that 4th down Juice run that ran into the teeth of the defense.

  24. Giants game was an aberration because they laid down and lifted their leg like a dog.
    .
    However, the Niners learned some important lessons.
    .
    If they can reduce the amount of unforced errors, they have good chance to compete.
    .
    Throwing past the sticks is a recipe for success.
    .
    The O line is playing better with more competent QB play.
    .
    Rolling out CJB can help avoid sacks, and using his mobility is playing to his strengths.
    .
    Being unpredictable is better than running into the teeth of the defense.
    .
    The Seahawks will stack the box to stop the run and dare the Niners to pass. They will blitz like crazy to rattle CJB. Niner coaches should be cognizant of that strategy, and devise ways to counter it.
    .
    Running the no huddle with quick snaps may allow the Niners to get more drives, more opportunities to score. Wasting time while behind is obtuse. If ahead, they should milk the play clock to 2 seconds.
    .
    Some day, they will consider time outs to be precious, and saving them for the last 2 minutes of each half may help them win.
    .
    Niners should attack the Seahawk weaknesses. Left side of the O line and Sherman’s replacement.
    .
    I hope the Niners are not terrified to play JG because fear of injury. JG wants to play, and the Niners need to see him on the field to make proper assessments. They should just let him hand off the ball as much as possible, or have him get rid of the ball so quickly, the pass rush is not able to get to him.
    .
    JG might surprise a lot of folks, especially the Seahawks. They should have coached him up enough to have 20 scripted plays for him to run.

    1. I hope they do some safety blitzes, because they are fast enough to catch RW. It was frustrating to see him avoid Brooks and Lynch so many times.

    2. Sponge Bob Squarepants, I was chatting with Patrick Star, and he told me, to tell you, to tell Saleh, to build a fence around Wilson, and then leave a bouncer at the gate when he tries to run out….

      P.S. My favorite episode of yours has always been, Sailor Talk. Pure genius!

    3. keeping 9ers O on field longer is the best way to reduce the RW effect…
      short of that, guys that get penetration must be laterally fast– in prior SEA game AA would get past the OL, but then stay in his lane, like he just couldn’t go from north/south to east/west quickly, or even at all….by then the RW show was far from him…
      here’s hoping Blair, Tank, Buck, and the rest of the RW fan club does a better job of contain this time….and Foster should figure into this too…
      the “RW spy” concept needs to expand into 4-6 “RW spies”
      the DL needs to eat their wheaties b4 game and get IV re-hydration after…

      1. Yep, Foster is the bouncer at the gate. 2 defensive lineman from each side form the fence. Do not not pursue. Hold the fence, and compress until he’s forced out the gate, right into the loving arms of Mr. Foster;>)

        1. I’m sure Foster will help, but the DL and LB’s have to get correct angles on the outside edges of the “fence”, the lateral speed is a key, along with wrapping him the H**L up…he’s a squirmy devil…
          if RW can be kept bottled up most of the time, that really deflates SEA’s offensive production…their OL’s not good enough to make their O work without RW’s “Tasmanian devil” act…
          it’s up to the OL to make the run and short pass game work, then the front 7 on D must keep RW “suppressed” like Seifert used to say about Jimmy an’ th ‘boys…

  25. There is no 3 game trend here. It was one game against a bad team. The previous two games against Philly and AZ featured poor offensive showings across the board. They played a good game against a Giants team that has quit on their HC. It was great to see a win and hopefully it springboards them to a nice stretch to end the season, but there was really no improvement of significance until this past game.

  26. I don’t think much can be gleaned from beating the Giants. All that can be said is for one game, and one game only, the 49ers put together a good game. And it was fun to watch. Let’s see how they go the next few games.

    1. Yea, thinking about it, I can’t recall ever watching a team play with less effort or enthusiasm than the Giants did in that game….

  27. On NN they mention a possible FA centre I hadn’t thought of – Weston Richburg. Easy to forget as he is on IR. But when healthy he is very good. Issue for him is he is on IR after a severe concussion. Would be a risk, but perhaps one worth taking?

    1. He’d be the fall back plan if they were to somehow miss out on Jensen. The concussion is disconcerting, not only for the severity but the propensity for more. I think when you’re a team that’s as bad as this one up front, it would be a risk worth taking, but with parameters….

  28. Great article Grant, but as Jack pointed out, the Giants game has probably skewed some of those stats. With that said, offenses led by Shanahan have shown improvement during the second half of his first season over them. Time will tell if that will hold true for the 49ers offense or if the game against the Giants was an aberration.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *