Poor C.J. Beathard. Nobody can claim that he is getting the rawest deal that a quarterback has ever been on the receiving end of, but there are some pretty serious things that are well out of his control. Most don’t believe he should have been a third-round pick, and as he’s getting his shot with the San Francisco 49ers, he’s getting annihilated by one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL.
Jimmy Garoppolo is waiting in the wings. He’s the starter of the future, though nobody is quite sure how long until we actually see him throwing passes in a 49ers uniform. But what’s waiting for him on the field is a unit beaten down by bad teams, injured beyond repair and not that great to begin with.
Against the Arizona Cardinals, Beathard was sacked five times, and was hit several times on top of that. Some were his fault. Most were not. Relief was never in sight. He threw for nearly 300 yards in spite of just about everybody else playing like a winless team is expected to play.
Let’s take a look at the sacks. It’s not pretty.
6:15 of 1st Quarter, 3rd and 9 from ARI 47: Beathard sacked at SF 49 for -4 yards (Olsen Pierre, Haason Reddick)
Trent Brown doesn’t do the best job of stopping his guy, but he just gets him outside and likely out of the way. It’s Laken Tomlinson who struggles with his man, allowing the pressure that forced Beathard to try and step up and eventually take a huge hit. The other side of the line held up fine overall.
The man on the far left runs a shallow curl that could be a completed pass, but it’s short of the first down and Beathard is already under pressure by the time he turns around. Beathard did the right thing by trying to buy some time rather than force a pass short of the sticks.
2:52 of 1st Quarter, 3rd and 10 from SF 24: Beathard sacked at SF 18 for -6 yards (Corey Peters)
A lot of things go wrong here. Brown and Erik Magnuson are the only players to effectively hold theirm en, while Daniel Kilgore gets beaten pretty handily. Tomlinson also doesn’t do anything terribly wrong, but Beathard is under pressure from Kilgore’s guy almost immediately. Carlos Hyde puts forth a ridiculously strong effort in pass protection but ultimately, it’s still his guy that brings down Beathard, who runs right into him.
The 49ers’ underneath options are so well-covered it’s kind of laughable. There is a zero percent chance of a completion there. But Beathard is looking at his man at the top of the screen and he likes the matchup. But he needs some time, and he doesn’t get that time.
8:21 of 2nd Quarter, 2nd and 4 from SF 43: Beathard sacked at SF 37 for -6 yards (Rodney Gunter)
Brown and Hyde do a good job blocking, but both Kilgore and Tomlinson are pushed back. It’s Tomlinson primarily who gives up the pressure and the sack, as he’s not even close to winning his matchup. He’s backing up the entire play, unfortunately. Beathard is relatively immobile and is sacked by a guy he may or may not actually see.
Beathard has Goodwin open for the first down on a shallow route to his left, but he never looks in that direction. He makes like he’s going to throw to his right, but stops. Good quarterbacks are able to turn while they’re stopping that motion. Beathard isn’t there yet.
13:22 of 4th Quarter, 3rd and 10 from SF 18: Beathard sacked at SF 10 for 8 yards (Karlos Dansby)
Both Magnuson and Brown are just teetering on the edge of containing their men around the outside, and it’s Magnuson’s guy that has Beathard worried at first. But, once again, he should be more worried about Tomlinson barreling backward into him. Kilgore is also thoroughly dominated on the play, while Hyde makes another strong block.
At the moment Beathard finishes his dropback, he’s already making moves to try and avoid the sack. None of his receivers have even begun considering the possibility of being ready to catch a pass at this point. Can’t blame anything but the interior of the line on this play.
1:36 of 4th Quarter, 3rd and 10 from SF 13: Beathard sacked at SF 9 for -4 yards (Chandler Jones)
Everybody but Magnuson does their job on this play. Jones simply gets around Magnuson — and he makes it look real easy, too. Beathard thinks he’s away from the pressure and even looks like he might be going to throw it before he’s brought down from behind.
This is definitely a hard one to call. None of the 49ers’ receivers are open, per se, when Beathard is finishing his dropback, but the guy at the top of the screen is clearly in a good position to capitalize on a well-thrown ball. Beathard could throw that ball and take the hit like some quarterbacks would. Instead, he runs, and, unfortunately, never seriously threatens getting the ball away.