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49ers-Rams film study: Looking at Brian Hoyer’s interceptions

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Hoyer had a big interception to start the game and another on a two-point conversion attempt in Week 3.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Hoyer had a good game against the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday. It was his best game as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, one where he opened one and finally made some big plays deep. He looked good throwing deep and he was generally decisive, a welcome change.

But he wasn’t perfect. Hoyer opened the Thursday Night Football matchup with an interception that set the Rams up for a quick touchdown in a game filled with them. He also was intercepted on a two-point conversion attempt that could have been huge in determining the final outcome of the game.

Hoyer was asked about the interception to start the game following the loss, and said it was just a good play from the cornerback.

“The guy made a good play,” Hoyer said. “He guessed right. We’re thinking with Marquise going over there, the speed that he has, the guy’s going to back way off. He just decided to sit on it so you chalk it up the guy making a good play. Making a good guess.”

I tend to disagree with Hoyer that Nickell Robey made a “good guess.” Hoyer never looked at anyone else on the play and it was glaringly obviously where the ball was going. That’s not an easy play to make for the defender, to be sure, but it’s not some miraculous thing that could have easily went the other direction.

It was a bad throw and a bad decision from Hoyer. Take a look at it below:

15:00 of 1st Quarter, 1st and 10 from SF 25: Hoyer pass short right intended for Marquise Goodwin intercepted by N. Robey at SF 28

Hoyer had good protection and other options on the play, but he went based on his own timing and that was something that a better quarterback would have been able to abort in the moment.

As for the two-point conversion, Trent Taylor was the target and he was well-covered. Its another ball that shouldn’t have been thrown. I’m not sure what the play design even was given Taylor had the outside free — it’s a ball that should have been dropped over the top. But instead Taylor broke inside toward the defender and all he could do was try and prevent the interception.

2:10 of 4th Quarter, 2-point conversion attempt: Hoyer pass short left intended for Trent Taylor intercepted by M. Brockers

Hoyer’s explanation was that Taylor had his man beat so well that he was hanging around by the time Taylor got turned around, which makes no sense to me. Taylor does have his guy beat ... if he continues outside. But he turns inside, negating all of that, and Hoyer throws the ball despite good protection and knowing he doesn’t have the window to get the ball through.