49ers entering familiar territory; Observations from 33-17 win over Miami

Here is what stood out from the 49ers 33-17 win over the Dolphins on Sunday afternoon at Levi’s Stadium.

Brock Purdy

Given the circumstances surrounding Purdy’s entry into the game, his performance was very good.

Purdy, dubbed Mr. Irrelevant due to being the final pick in the draft, completed 25 of 37 pass attempts for 210 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He became the first Mr. Irrelevant to ever attempt a pass in an NFL regular season game.

Where the 49ers go from here is the question.

It is not uncommon to see an untested quarterback come in and look good for a game or two.

San Francisco fans know this all too well. They’ve seen Nick Mullens step in and make just enough plays to get the 49ers beat.

If Purdy can keep from giving the ball to the other team the 49ers defense and playmakers may be able to sustain them.

“I got all the confidence in the world in Purdy,” said 49ers starting linebacker Fred Warner. “It’s a lot to ask of a rookie being thrust into the situation he’s in. At the same time, he doesn’t need to do too much. He has so many weapons on that side to get the ball to get the ball to. His job is just to protect the football. We have a really good offense so he’s in the best position possible.”

Christian McCaffrey

McCaffrey was held under four yards per rushing attempt for the third time in the last four weeks. However, that hasn’t stopped him from being a spark plug for the Niners offense.

Against Miami, McCaffrey accounted for 146 of the 49ers 351 yards. He became the first 49er to lead the team in rushing and receiving in the same game since Raheem Mostert on week one of 2020 against Arizona.

The running back caught eight passes for 80 yards, six of those turning into a first down or touchdown.

Jordan Mason

The undrafted rookie free agent saw the most action of his career. Mason finished with 51 yards on eight carries.

Mason started hot but as the game wore on it appeared the Dolphins caught on to how San Francisco was using him.

When Mason entered the game, it was to run the ball. Not only was it going to be a run, but it was also going to be a zone run.

Mason gained 43 yards on his first four carries but managed only eight yards on his final four attempts.

Deebo Samuel

Samuel finished with six catches for 58 yards, the most receiving yards for Samuel since week six in Atlanta.

He also had the most exciting four-yard loss in 49ers history when he made several Dolphins defenders miss to limit the damage on an end around.

Fred Warner

Taking away the middle of the field was key for San Francisco against Tua Tagovailoa.

Warner knocked away a pair of passes on the day. The most impressive coming in the first quarter when he dropped deep into the middle of the field and got a hand on a pass intended for Trent Sherfield.

The linebacker finished off the game with an interception of Dolphins backup quarterback Skylar Thompson.

Dre Greenlaw

Greenlaw was all over the field against Miami, leading the 49ers in tackles with eight. The linebacker also knocked away a pass and recovered a fumble.

The fumble recovery was Greenlaw’s second in as many weeks. He became the first 49er to recover a fumble in consecutive weeks and return a fumble for a touchdown since 2019.

Perhaps the best play from Greenlaw came in the second half when Tua Tagovailoa hit Tyreek Hill with a short pass. Greenlaw ran the speedy wideout down and made the stop for only a gain of three. Impressive showing of athleticism for the linebacker.

Nick Bosa

In 11 games Nick Bosa in the lineup, the 49ers defense has allowed more than 19 points only once.

Bosa got to the quarterback three times on Sunday. It was Bosa’s first three sack performance since Carolina in 2019.

The defensive end now has 39 sacks through his first four seasons, second only to Aldon Smith’s 44 since the NFL made sacks an official stat in 1982.

Bosa also led San Francisco in hits on the quarterback, registering four on Sunday.

Arik Armstead

In his first start since week four Armstead was held without a tackle. That does not mean he was insignificant in the 49ers win.

The defensive tackle came up big on consecutive plays in the third quarter.

Holding onto a seven-point lead and the Dolphins threatening, Armstead drew a holding call on a Raheem Mostert run.

On the next play, Armstead beat the Dolphins right guard and hit Tua Tagovailoa has he tried to hurry a throw to Jeff Wilson Jr. resulting in an interception for Jimmie Ward.

Jimmie Ward

As mentioned above, Ward came away with a key interception in the third quarter. Playing zone coverage, he broke on Tagovailoa’s check down and dove over a falling Jeff Wilson Jr. to come away with his second interception of the season tying a career high.

Ward finished second on the 49ers with five tackles and a pass breakup in addition to the interception.

Deommodore Lenoir

Lenoir has been a solid replacement on the outside since Emmanuel Moseley was lost for the season with a knee injury.

The second-year defensive back came away with his first career interception when he caught a deflected pass off the hands of Tyreek Hill. Lenoir had one tackle to go along with the takeaway.

This article has 51 Comments

  1. Cursed. Cursed, I tell you. And it’s been so ever since the Yorks deserted San Francisco for Santa Clara. Oh if they could just reverse that silly, ill-thought-out move and return to the City. Is Kezar still available?

    1. Kezar holds a capacity of around 9k seating. Unless San Francisco miraculously brings their property values down, I doubt we ever see the 49ers back in SF.

      1. The SF politicians are responsible for the 49ers being in Santa Clara. They refused to work with the York’s to keep the 49ers in SF. Until and unless the SF politicians value the Niners they will never return to SF. Just my opinion.

        1. Indeed…it was more plausible to turn, what was once, a favored destination city, into a shan gri la for for derelicts and meth heads

  2. I don’t want to get caught up in this too soon, but I wonder what the story-line will look like if Purdy can get a win against Brady next Sunday.
    Is it too soon to get excited? lol.
    Just saying …

    1. looks like Brady does not have to go up against his old buddy Jimmy G; has that happened yet? I don’t think so

    1. Imagine if we had Brady the last few years with the talent in our offense and our stout Def?! Phew… do we even lose a game?

      1. Just talking to a coworker at work about Jimmy G & how often he’s been seriously injured. He made the point — a good one — that to his knowledge, Brady has only been seriously injured once in his entire career, which cost him a full season. But otherwise he has pretty much played through his entire time in NFL. And, yes, Shanahan should have grabbed Brady when he had the chance two years ago. We’d be talking a third consecutive Super Bowl at this point. Cursed is right.

        1. I was watching that game on TV when he got hit low and got injured that knocked him out of the year. The league made a Brady rule coz of that where you cannot hit the QB that low. Yeah, I think we all can confidently say that we at least would have won our 6th SB by now with Brady and most likely more.

  3. Shanahan said (per espn) that he was surprised with the Baker Mayfield move, and that he’s always liked him.
    We’re 24th on the priority list if Shanahan wants to sign him.
    Maybe some Shanahan shenanigan’s?

      1. I wonder if 33yr old Andrew Luck can be talked out of retirement?
        Of course Ryan Fitzpatrick is recently retired as well.
        Just thinking out loud, lol

  4. One of the questions in the 49ers vs. Dolphins post game press conference was asked by Grant Cohn, “Is there any possibility that you would activate Trey Lance?” HC Shanahan said, “No, he can’t.”

    Well, why not??? Didn’t you trade three first round picks and a second rounder to move up to the third pick of the draft? Are you serious about signing Josh Johnson from the Denver Broncos practice squad? Josh Johnson instead of Trey Lance, who was the third pick.

    According to Grant Cohn, Trey Lance is walking around, attending QB meetings, running around, working out, at the 49ers practice facilities rehabbing, etc… Jimmy G is out for the season, supposedly, but it takes about 4-8 weeks to heal from a broken foot unless there are pins inserted in the foot. I think it’s possible he might come back in time to play in a playoff game or two. Now that Jimmy G is out of the picture and Trey Lance is walking around, running around, and working out, I’d like to see Trey Lance play. This is the perfect time to see what the third pick of the draft can do. Who would you choose to play? Third pick of the 2021 draft (Trey Lance) or the Last pick of the 2022 draft (Brock Purdy).

    Brian Hoyer, CJ Bethard, Nick Mullens, and Brock Purdy….These are the types of QBs he’s been going with since 2017. His most successful QB has a record of 40-19 as a starter, and he was ready to dump him. Daddy, daddy…I don’t like my toy….I want another.

    You have the THIRD pick of the draft, let’s see what he can do. I guess you can run the table with Brock Purdy and get dropped from the playoffs. When spring training comes next year, you have the dilemma of another QB controversy because you spent all that CAPITAL (the four high round draft picks) and still don’t know what you have.

    Maybe Grant Cohn can borrow Wonder Woman’s magic truth telling lasso, and ask HC Shanahan, “Why can’t he?” And the truth will be revealed. I’m afraid he might say, “I screwed up, Trey isn’t good enough, I wasted a lot of high round draft picks, I like the last pick of the draft, I wasted the third pick of the draft.”

    1. Shanahan told Tim Kawakami:

      “From what I’ve been told, no,” Shanahan said, “He’s not physically able to. If he could, hell yeah. But right now, I’ve been told no on that.”

      So now, you have the rest of the story.

      1. What do you mean David? Dr Wes MD and Dr Grant Cohn MD have spoken. Maybe we’ll hear opinion from Dr Oz as well?

      2. I would like to see Tim Kawakami, Grant Cohn, Jack Hammer, or any other 49er reporter go dig a little deeper and ask Trey Lance if can play, and I’d like to see the video where he says he can’t play. Futhermore, I’d like these reporters to ask his parents, his teammates, team doctors, coaches, etc… “Why can’t he play?” From my understanding, it was a broken ankle which is 4-8 weeks recovery. This is week 13 and his ankle injury was 11 weeks ago in Game Two against the Bears. Does he have pins or screws inserted in his ankle? What’s the full medical report? What’s the deal?

        Since Jimmy G can’t play for the next 6-8 weeks, I would rather see the Third pick of the 2021 draft play RATHER than the LAST pick of this year’s draft. The 49ers have nothing to lose right now. I saw a glimpse of what he did in the preseason against Green Bay when he threw a TD Bomb. At this moment, there’s no QB controversy because Jimmy G is out. If Trey Lance shows potential, then the 49ers can Jimmy G WALK at the end of this season. If Brock Purdy goes 3-2 and gets eliminated in the playoffs because of tougher defenses, then next spring, you’re back to SQUARE ONE with QB controversies among three QBs.

        If fans see the medical report that Trey Lance has pins and screws inserted and the doctor says he needs six months to recover, then 49ers fans have no choice but to stick with Brock Purdy. If the report says it was just a clean ankle break, Lance should be healed and ready to go. Purdy did an admirable job of winning his first game against the Dolphins, but it’s time to ACTIVATE the THIRD pick!

        1. The procedure took place Monday morning at Stanford Hospital and, according to a statement from the team, repaired two injuries to Lance’s ankle: “a fibula fracture and ligament disruption.” Lance’s ankle injury reportedly included a dislocation.

          That rehab process will take some time, and a return this season has been ruled out, but Niners team physician Dr. Tim McAdams said in a statement that he is confident Lance will “recover completely in time for a full return in the 2023 season.” Coach Kyle Shanahan said Monday he also believes that Lance will be back in time for the start of the 2023 season.

          Doctors make decisions, not fans.

          1. David,

            Thanks! That’s good information that I wasn’t aware of. Are you a reporter? If so, you definitely delivered.

            So did Trey Lance have two procedures? One procedure after the Bears game in week two, and a second procedure this past Monday. Is that right? Why two procedures? And what a coincidence that the second procedure to Lance occur this past Monday.

            Fans don’t make decisions. but fans can demand that communication is disseminated in a clear manner.

            Cohn asked: “Is there any possibility that you would activate Trey Lance?”
            HC Shanahan said: “No, he can’t.”

            My reply was my observations on this press conference question, and reports that Trey Lance is walking around, working out, rehabbing, attending QB meetings, and on the sideline at games. If HC Shanahan would have replied, “No, he can’t because blah blah blah…”, then I probably would have just accepted that Brock Purdy is the ONLY choice.

            David, thanks for your reply. You sound like a reporter or 49ers information specialist. If you have general information about the first and second procedures, send a reply.

            1. I just did a quick Google search. The answers are out there, you just have to look. Little Cone is not a reporter, he is an agitator who wants to stir the pot.

              1. That’s what 49ers reporters should do is to deliver what 49ers fans want. That’s what sells papers or ads on the website. The onus shouldn’t be on the fans to find out.

                I remember Joe Montana was out for eight weeks from back surgery in the mid 80s, and the fans, the coach, and the ownership wanted him back, and he came back to lead them to the playoffs. If there’s a WILL, then there’s a WAY.

                Even though the team doctor said he (Lance) will recover in time for the 2023 season, it fails to mention the earliest he can return. For any reporters out there, I challenge you to find out.

                One way or another, we need to find out if Trey Lance can play. I’m 100% sure, as a competitor, Lance will tell you he can play.

    2. Grant Cohn…he’s been the conductor on the Hate Garoppolo train for three years now….I take about 50% of what he reports with regard to Lance and Garoppolo as meaningful..the other 50% I look at as Cohn having an axe to grind with Garoppolo, and wanting to swing off of Lance’s jock..

      1. Jack is a refreshing change from little Cone’s style of “reporting”. I never understood his hatred for Shanahan and Jimmy G. I guess there are people who love his style but I just don’t get it.

  5. Great write up Jack. One of the things I noticed during the game is that it seemed McDaniel was attacking the 49ers Safeties in the passing game. It seemed to me that McDaniel noticed our Safeties were taking bad angles and lack speed so he was trying to beat them specifically. They had several plays that would have been big hitters but they barely missed. Hit one of those plays and it would have been an entirely different game. I felt like our defense dodged a bullet in this game. Hufanga and Gipson aren’t the fastest guys in the world and I’m hoping the Dolphins didnt give other teams a good blueprint to use in the passing game in how to attack poor coverage angles by the Safeties.

    1. good points by the patriot. I thought our safeties did not look good and certainly our OL played even more poorly. Tua missed a lot of wide-open receivers.

    2. It also helped our D that 2 of their starting Tackles were out and DL kept their pressure on Tua.
      Tua palyed as bad as we probably gonna see him played the rest of the year and they were only down 6 pts midway in the 4th. So many wide open receivers running around for Maimi. The good news we have time to fix those if we can.

  6. Also what stood out

    Kyle Shanahan

    Following Purdy’s entrance, making adjustments to the game plan on the fly. Flummoxed the raft of “Kyles too conservative” reactionaries by going for 4th down twice. With his rook QB no less. Beat another of his regarded former assistants, spawning many Shanahan Family internet memes.

  7. The 9ers are going to need to sack Brady at least 4 times and knock him down another 5 times if they expect to win this Sunday. TB will have a week to prepare for Purdy and I don’t see the 9ers scoring more than 17 points. Here is hoping Brady doesn’t finish the game.

    1. Tampa Bay’s defense is weird to me. Sometimes they look like a top 5 defense and then you look at their stats and they are average to below average in most categories. They are a top 10 defense with Sacks. I do think Todd Bowles will be able to come up with a game plan to shut down McCaffery in order to force Brock Purdy to have to pass to win. If I were Bowles, I would have Devin White shadow CMC any time he was lined up in the backfield. White is athletic enough to take away that little outlet pass to McCaffery in the flats. When CMC lines up wide, I would cover him with a slot corner. I would mix in some heavy blitzes and then show blitz but drop into zone. I don’t see Tampa Bay scoring many points so 17 points would win the game for the 49ers. Good news is Tampa Bay must fly across country after playing a Monday night game. Tom Brady is the GOAT but he’s also 45 years old. The schedule really works out well for the 49ers.

      1. 1.6
        “Todd Bowles will be able to come up with a game plan to shut down McCaffery in order to force Brock Purdy to have to pass to win.”
        * Mason can change all that conjecturing, just depends on KS giving him a chance! Also, run CMC on outside zone and play to the strength of both TW and Glinch.

        * TB had196 yards of total offense before final 2 scoring drives and struggled to muster much offensively.
        For the game, TB had a total of 76 rushing yards and 3.8 yards per rush. 9er D can shut down the TB run game and make them one dimensional.

        * With his back against the wall, Brady and TB woke up. They covered 91 yards in 10 plays and 63 yards in 11 plays, in less than 5 minutes of game time.
        A) The 9er have the #1 defense in the NFL and I don’t see them chocking against TB. I also believe Ryans is more than capable of adjusting the D to anything Brady will throw at him.
        B) I look for Bosa and Ebukam to have a good night! Brady is a statue, even he finds it difficult complete passes when he’s laying on his backside……

    2. It will be tough to sack Brady multiple times. I think he has the least or in the top 5 amount of sacks coming in to next weeks game. But constant pressure is what beats him and we have the horses to do it. I love Bosa but I will be surprise if he sack Brady multiple times. This is not Miami’s backup tackles he will be facing.

        1. I can’t think of any team that has gone from a super bowl winning team to a toilet bowl losing team as quickly as the rams.
          And I must admit, I love it!

        1. And he’s missed one season in total, I think. Maybe a game here or there beyond. But he’s been a remarkably durable quarterback, especially compared to JG.

  8. espn is reporting that Jimmy G does not need surgery.
    If rehab goes well he could be back in 7-8 weeks.

  9. Just reported that the break in Jimmy’s foot is a standard break , healing time 6 to 8 weeks. Jimmy could be back for the playoffs!

  10. The 9ers need to play primarily man D this week. If they play zone Vs. Brady he will get rid of the ball before the rush can get there. In Man he will have to hold on to the ball longer and Bosa can take him out.

  11. Huge game for Purdy. Is he the real thing? Can he beat Seattle? I worry we might just miss the playoffs.

    1. allie,
      No need to worrie, the prospect of Jimmy making it back for the playoffs will fire up the entire organization.
      This team wants that SB trophy, they will fight for it big time…
      Go 9ers!

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