What a game! The previous pair of victories that marked the beginning of the Jimmy Garoppolo era in San Francisco were nice, but ultimately against lowly competition - but today the team pulled off a victory against a solid, playoff-bound team. With this victory, the 49ers have put together a 3-game winning streak, and an undefeated record under our new QB. While much of the season has been spent shvitzing over our 2018 draft positioning, I think it’s safe, at this point, to abandon our secretly-harbored desires to tank. That alone is worth whatever we end up paying Jimmy G.Q.
For a third game in a row, the 49ers have controlled the time of possession, which in itself shouldn’t necessarily mean much. However, it is representative of the offensive transformation that has occurred with the QB switch, namely the large increase in first down plays and third down conversions. Furthermore, it begins to help explain the modest progress that the defense has made, mostly by virtue of decreasing the time that the unit spends on the field.
Interestingly enough, the success that Jimmy Garoppolo has had through three games has not yet translated into progress for RB Carlos Hyde. In fact, it seems as though he’s been shut down more often than not, as teams have apparently dared Kyle Shanahan to beat them through the air. Thankfully, our QB has proven to be more than competent, despite still learning the system. Over his three starts, he’s put together over 1,000 passing yards at over a 68% completion rate. While the touchdown and interception numbers are still well below where they need to be, it’s apparent that the 49ers are now more than capable of moving the chains through the air, as they’ve continued to do, week after week.
Perhaps the most important beneficiaries of the QB switch have been WR Marquise Goodwin, TE Garrett Celek, FB Kyle Juszczyk, and K Robbie Gould. Over the past three games, these players have quietly put together career best numbers. Marquise Goodwin has caught 24 balls for 319 yards, which is roughly equivalent to his first three years in the league combined, and about one game shy of matching his best year with the Buffalo Bills. Garrett Celek has caught 7 balls for 160 yards and 2 TD’s, which is equivalent to his first three years in the NFL, and by far the most productive he’s ever been over a 3-game stretch. Kyle Juszczyk has 100 yards on 7 receptions over the last three games from the FB position, which further cements his status as the best player in the league at his position. Finally, there’s Robbie Gould. Dude has been playing out of his mind this year, and especially over the 3 games of the Garoppolo era. He’s been 15 for 15 during that period, and his 48 points (including PATs) alone is roughly equivalent to the scoring output of our past three
victims opponents (53 points).
It’s an exciting time to be a 49ers fan again! On to the good stuff.
[TRANSCRIPT] Kyle Shanahan speaks after the game | Biderman, Ninerswire
On Shanahan’s willingness to stick with the run game | Lynch, KNBR