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Golden Nuggets: 49ers Lose An OT Snoozer

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A daily compilation of 49ers news from around the net. Monday, October 2nd, 2017 edition.

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Another week of 49ers football in the books, another chance for 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan to get his first win squandered. Aside from being a futile exercise in attention span management, there were actually quite a few things to learn from this game. Many of them can be gleaned from a cursory glance at the box score, unfortunately.

Let’s start with “the bad”. Alright, so Brian Hoyer threw the ball 49 times, but connected only 24 times. He didn’t pass the eye test either - it felt like the 49ers hung in the game miraculously despite his play. An extension of his failure was our first real introduction to Aldrick Robinson. Allow me to eat crow, and please, count me among the peanut gallery that begun calling for the WR to replace Marquise Goodwin after the latter’s inconsistent play through three games. After Goodwin was sent to the locker room following a pair of head injuries, Robinson gave us all a crash course in heeding that proverb about grass being greener. Aldrick was targeted 12 times, and only managed to pull 3 in. Sure, there were some bad passes (I’m like 70% sure Hoyer’s final pass of OT was “to” Robinson, although it seemed to be 10 feet over his head), but half the time, it really felt like he simply ran the wrong route. There were multiple occasions when Robinson broke into a hook as the ball sailed for an out route.

The penalties crept back up, and in a big way. Multiple offensive drives were stalled due to dumb penalties (3rd and goal from the 28 comes to mind), as well as our only TD of the day being called back. The defense committed their fair share as well, with the secondary giving up at least one 3rd down conversion that I can remember. Maybe more. 13 penalties were ultimately accepted against the 49ers for 113 yards.

The defense did it’s best attempt to bend and not break, but around the 3rd quarter, Carson Palmer and the Cardinals began exploiting a major hole in the middle. Arizona RBs found a soft spot in the center of the defense, and repeatedly attacked (often gaining 10+ yards per reception) until an adjustment was made. This strategy was particularly effective once the Cardinals got the ball in OT.

Now, for the good. There wasn’t much, but credit is certainly due to Robbie Gould (who, in my mind, has redeemed himself after the missed PAT which ultimately cost us the Rams game), Pierre Garcon, and to a lesser extent, the defensive line. Robert Saleh switched the DL around, instead using Arik Armstead at “big end”, and Solomon Thomas as LEO. While the unit was certainly frustrating at times, they took advantage of a patchwork OL and put 6 sacks on the sheet, with a 7th sack by DeForest Buckner nullfied by an accepted penalty against the Cardinals in OT. Beyond that, they found ways to hit Carson Palmer over and over, getting credit for an absurd 16 QB Hits.

As the 49ers wrap up their first round of division games with an 0-3 record, but only a -8 point differential, I think we’ve seen what the team is capable of. Keep this part of the season in mind, I guarantee it’ll be brought back up in the offseason in “regression to the mean in games decided by 7 or less” articles.

On to the good stuff-

Week 4 wrap-up | Branch, SF Gate | Inman, Mercury | Inman again, Mercury | Brown, Mercury | Maiocco, CSN Bay Area | Maiocco again, CSN Bay Area | Barrows, Sac Bee | Barrows again, Sac Bee | Barrows again, Sac Bee | Wagoner, ESPN | Biderman, Ninerswire | Biderman again, Ninerswire | Biderman again, Ninerswire | Lowder, Ninerswire | Lowder again, Ninerswire

Protests | Branch, SF Gate | Inman, Mercury | Maiocco, CSN Bay Area | Hustis, KNBR | Barrows, Sac Bee | Wagoner, ESPN | Biderman, Ninerswire | Biderman again, Ninerswire