Brian Hoyer wasn’t the best San Francisco 49ers player on the field against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, but he wasn’t the worst, either. Hoyer has never been labeled as the player to carry a team, and the 49ers shouldn’t expect that of him.
But when the game was still competitive, in the first half, Hoyer played well and the guys around him did not.
Zane Beadles, the team’s starting left guard, was beaten frequently, and the interior of the line as a whole suffered because of it. I thought the 49ers showcased actually good play design and the receivers were open more often than naught, but Hoyer was given precious little time to find those receivers.
He was sacked four times, and we’ll cover those sacks more in depth later on. There was also one staggeringly bad drop from wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.
It was a perfectly-thrown pass and should have resulted in a touchdown for the 49ers. That would have given them the lead, and being a young team, the all-important confidence against a tough Panthers team. Instead, the 49ers didn’t get any points out of it.
There was another drop, though for some reason I’m blanking on which receiver actually dropped it. I want to say Pierre Garcon, but ultimately, Garcon had a very good game and was consistently where he needed to be for the 49ers. He ran his routes well and was open while Hoyer was getting blasted by a Carolina linebacker play after play.
Ultimately, it’s the sacks and the hits that are the biggest problem. Goodwin will hopefully learn from that wretched drop and move on. Garcon will continue to build a rapport with Hoyer. Carlos Hyde will continue to be productive and Kyle Shanahan won’t be discouraged by one loss.
But the offensive line is a real problem, one that will be the primary reason that Hoyer doesn’t succeed this season.