The 49ers suffered another heart breaker in Indianapolis. It was a practically a blueprint of the game in Arizona a week before. There were a few things however, that were different. Here’s what we learned:
Brian Hoyer looks worse than his statistics suggest
Hoyer finished the day 29/46 and 353 yards. He threw for two touchdowns and ended the day with a 101.1 rating. He did get lucky that he wasn’t get intercepted when one of his errant passes was dropped by a Colts defensive back. Also one of his “touchdown throws” was a shovel pass to Kyle Juszczyk. I still think that you don’t see C.J. Beathard yet.
Kyle Shanahan has instigated rotations
Both Carlos Hyde and NaVorro Bowman were held out of the game while their counterparts played. Both players remarked that they were not injured. Bowman was clearly upset about being taken out of the game.
The Hot Hand
Not only did we see a more Matt Breida than Hyde, we saw more George Kittle than Trent Taylor in this game. Kittle who has been somewhat held back with injuries, flashed today, especially in the final drive. It’s something that Bill Belichick is known for. You use what’s working.
The secondary needs to improve
The 49ers secondary allowed 314 yards in passing. Jacoby Brissett spread the ball around to eight different receivers. While Rashard Robinson did get his head around for a nice PBU towards the end of the game (he had two total), that should be the norm, not the exception. Ahkello Witherspoon had just started to get a few snaps in when he left the game with a concussion.
The team has to get better about finishing
This is the 49ers’ third game in a row where the score was 6-6 at the half. Their inability to punch it into the end zone has become problematic. It has caused them to lose games. While the offense has been productive at times, it has a tendency to stall out at the end of drives which is not ideal.
Roadtober is going to take it’s toll
The trip to Indianapolis is the second of a 4/5 game road stretch, three games of which are East of the Mississippi. There were no plans to stay on the east coast between games so the team is just going to rack up the airline mileage.
Reinforcements are needed
Reuben Foster and Eric Reid are very much needed on the field. They will hopefully return to practice on Wednesday but there are no guarantees that they will play in Washington.