The San Francisco 49ers have now lost to the Arizona Cardinals twice this season. They have been competitive in some games against much tougher competition, but the Cardinals have made them look foolish twice, even with a narrow victory. Sunday’s game was so bad that it was hard to go back through for any film breakdown, let alone the film of C.J. Beathard constantly being sacked.
Against the Cardinals, Beathard generally had time to throw, but consistently lacked the quick decision-making you need out of a quarterback. He seemed to be gunshy, and his pocket presence isn’t great to begin with. Those two things, combined with an offensive line that is beset by injury and probably not that good to begin with, meant four sacks.
Let’s just dive right into the film, show we?
13:33 of 1st Q, 3rd-and-6 from SF 24: Beathard sacked for -8 yards (Markus Golden)
This one is pretty disastrous right out of the gate. Joe Staley is beaten badly, and Mike McGlinchey is also pushed back pretty far, by a safety. Then Staley sends his man into McGlinchey, who falls and allows his man to get to Beathard. Laken Tomlinson holds his block just fine, while Mike Person and Erik Magnuson double-team their man.
While both tackles got annihilated, this looks like a timing route on the seam post, but Beathard seems to hesitate, and that lost time is enough for the pressure to get to him. What I don’t like is the three players all running short of the first-down marker.
6:03 of 1st Q, 1st-and-10 from ARZ 37: Beathard sacked for -9 yards (Antoine Bethea)
Magnuson is supposed to break off from this play-action fake, and if he doesn’t get completely lost behind Garrett Celek, he might have seen Bethea coming in. Instead, he completely takes himself out of the play and leaves Beathard wide open for a sack.
Looking downfield, again I’m feeling like Beathard should be able to get the ball off to someone. He has a man open down the right sideline well before Bethea is in his face, and he’s even looking in that direction, but he doesn’t throw it. He even has time to launch a bomb downfield and lead his receiver, but only great quarterbacks make that throw.
2:40 of 1st Q, 3rd-and-2 from ARZ 49: Beathard sacked for -5 yards (Zach Moore)
This one is just sad, and very poor decision-making and pocket awareness from Beathard. Both McGlinchey and Person get annihilated, and Staley does what he needs to do by pushing his man inside, giving Beathard a chance to escape outside. Except Beathard tries to squeeze himself through a hole he had absolutely no chance of making it through.
So what did he see downfield? Again, as there was most of the game, the shallow post routes get open, and Beathard certainly has time to make a throw, but defenders are close enough that any throw would be dangerous. Given they only need 2 yards to get the first, however, he really should just get it to George Kittle and be done with it.
2:33 of 4th Q, 3rd-and-6 from SF 42: Beathard sacked for -8 yards (Rodney Gunter, Budda Baker)
There isn’t a whole lot to say about this one, is there? Staley holds up, but Tomlinson and Magnuson are pretty thoroughly beaten by the exotic blitz. It’s unclear if Kyle Juszczyk is meant to get right in for the man in the middle, or if Kittle was expected to chip his man. 49ers simply got fooled and beaten here, or there was a significant offensive line miscommunication. I’m not showing the angles downfield because Beathard really has no time for anything.