I’d love to be in the film study session with the San Francisco 49ers after the Arizona Cardinals mess. Yes, I’m calling it a mess, not a game, or a loss. Just anb unnecessary mess. Unacceptable is one of the many words I could use to describe what was shown on Sunday. Pathetic could be another one. The 49ers are hurt by injuries, and are still a young team, but they are also in the second year of their rebuild. Teams like the Cardinals should be beat. In San Francisco no less.
There’s way too much we’ve learned watching this blunder, so this is more like I’ve put it all in a hat and drew three things we learned.
C.J. Beathard is one of the unluckiest quarterbacks to play the game
The 49ers backup quarterback has his own share of blame for how things ended on Sunday, but we can’t pile it all on him. Beathard isn’t taking the team to a Super Bowl, or the playoffs, or maybe even another win if he’s going to keep getting stripped like that. He at least can put together a drive or two, nothing more evident than the opening drive on Sunday. Marching down the field, punching it in, all one had to think was this was a sign of a great game by the 49ers.
Then his second drive he threw a ball to Pierre Garçon that was batted away. By Pierre Garçon. Of course it results in an interception and things get worse from there.
The NFL is a passing league. You aren’t going to go well if you can’t pass. To Beathard’s credit he’s thrown some decent passes, if only his pass-catchers could catch it. This isn’t cleaning Beathard of any blame. He had some very strange throws and held the ball far too long.
The 49ers defensive performance is a mirage to a bad Cardinals offense
The 49ers may be preaching violence. But it’s probably that cartoon violence you see on the crummy cartoons that came on weekday mornings just to get you to go to school. The 49ers defense had minor improvements against a putrid offense. Don’t let the Cardinals fool you—that is not a good offense at the moment. Just because the Cardinals couldn’t convert 3rd downs is more on them and less on the 49ers defense. Besides the opening play of the Cardinals which led to a monster touchdown, this game rests more on the lack of execution on the 49ers offense than anything they did on defense.
Raheem Mostert is a much better gunner than a runner
Mostert was one of the contestants playing “Cough it to the Cardinals” flipping a ball to the defense which led to the second Cardinals touchdown of the day. The fumble itself was a result of Matt Breida being injured. Had Breida been not been getting checked out for his ankle injury, he may have been the one in the game.
Mostert had a fumble in the preseason and also fumbled on one of his few carries in 2017. It all means one thing: Mostert can’t be trusted with the ball. He’s a much better gunner than a runner on special teams. His value on special teams cannot be overstated. As a piece on offense? The 49ers need a new third running back. Mostert isn’t it.
C.J. Beathard is a career backup, if that
I said that Beathard was the best chance for the team to run Kyle Shanahan’s offense. I still stand by that statement, but he also isn’t going to give the 49ers the best chance to win. Twice Beathard had the ball stripped from his hands and both times they are on him for holding the ball too long and not A) taking off or B) throwing it away.
That’s two of the five turnovers. I have nothing more to say on this than you aren’t going to win a game with five turnovers. Especially when half your team is on IR.
And we haven’t even gotten to the interceptions yet. One was not on him. The other was just bad.
At least he isn’t Nathan Peterman, but Beathard is not going to go Nick Foles and help emerge as a threatening quarterback. Not with performances like these.
49ers can’t catch
We’ll get more into this when the numbers get compiled and released, but the pass catchers had themselves a day, didn’t they? Goal line passes, two-point conversions, wide-open-between-the-numbers, you name it, the 49ers couldn’t catch it. I think catching a cold is easier than what they were trying to do.
Which makes one wonder. They can’t wrap up, they can’t catch. What are the 49ers practicing? Besides Kyle Shanahan’s hard offense. Some of these catches, like Cole Wick’s dropped touchdown catch, were so obvious and easy the foghorn (that goes off with every 49ers TD at home) went off for a brief moment until everyone realized it was a drop.
Week 1, it’s sloppy, Week 5, it’s disturbing. No other way to put it.
And here’s what I’m thinking about
Those Chevy commercials during the game need to go
I’m getting this off my chest. Chevrolet has a series of commercials highlighting how they are finalists or winners with J.D. Power (the absolute indicator it’s a Chevy commercial, when J.D. Power is name-dropped). It begins with a single car mentioned for an award, and ends. Then another commercial follows right after with more cars, and ends. Then there’s a third one with more cars and an end, teasing the end of what should be another lame car commercial only to extend it by, yep, another car commercial. The guy announcing everything says with this smug grin, “Well, third time’s a charm.”
I hope I can speak for most everyone when I say nobody likes commercials at face value. They are a necessary evil to a football game unless it’s the Super Bowl, beer, or a strutting pony. Car commercials are oftentimes the absolute worst. Teasing me the end of a commercial twice and then giving me some smug “not my fault” look on the third does the opposite of making me a customer.
Chevrolet trolled me hard during with this ‘series’ of commercials. It didn’t help that the 49ers were losing when they hit.