The San Francisco 49ers offense has been coming alive as of late while the defense has taken a step back due to injuries and plain inability to get off the field in the second half. This has led to Jimmy Garoppolo and company showing why they are a force to be reckoned with in the league, it was no more apparent than Sunday night when the offense responded to the Seattle Seahawks many scores with touchdowns of their own. Now, the band is on Pro Football Focus’ Week 17 Team of the Week.
This week, the final week of the 2019, Jimmy Garoppolo, George Kittle, and Deebo Samuel all made the PFF Team of the Week, finishing out the regular season strong with an offense that is only going to get better as the years go by.
First up is George Kittle, who needs no introduction. He’s already the highest graded PFF player, like, ever. Not just tight end, ever. I said this in a comment, but my new slogan is “San Francisco 49ers: Drafting GOATs since 1979”
The tight end slot on PFF’s Team of the Week in 2019 has been basically owned by Kittle, who had one of the best seasons we have ever seen at his position. Kittle had a 94.1 grade on the night and was instrumental in the ‘Niners victory over Seattle, picking up four explosive plays and averaging 4.53 yards per route run.
If the 49ers can win it all this year they will be looking at the George Kittle play as the play that turned the tides for them.
Next up is Deebo Samuel. Here’s what PFF said:
Samuel’s 90.0 grade in Seattle was a career high for the young rookie. Samuel produced four explosive plays and broke four tackles on his five catches and racked up yards after the catch with 64, the most by a wide receiver in Week 17.
I’ve seen suggestions from fans that Samuel and Nick Bosa should be both considered for offensive rookie of the year and defensive rookie of the year. It’s not a bad consideration, but I doubt it happens for the sole reason that having two 49ers rookies winning awards on both sides of the ball would be insane. I also think other players like Kyler Murray may be under consideration given the position.
All that considered, Samuel has exceeded expectations for 2019. As a rookie, Samuel amassed 802 yards and three touchdowns. By comparison, Jerry Rice had 927 yards and three touchdowns his rookie season. Not a bad drop-off if you ask me.
The 49ers wide receiver group will be a strength and no longer a weakness from the Trent Baalke days going into 2020, especially when they get Jalen Hurd rolling and (maybe) Trent Taylor back. I often wonder if the 49ers are stuck picking in the first round (doubtful, very doubtful, but hear me out), they take another wide receiver (this scenario is also very, very doubtful). It won’t happen, as they have more than they know what to do with and will probably make some room clearing out what they have. I’m still just giddy at the possibilites of Samuel, Sanders, Kittle, and some big-bodied first round pick (unless if Hurd is that guy) running around the field getting open. I mean who would you cover? What happens in the endzone when you have captain catch Kendrick Bourne doing his redzone touchdowns and those guys are taking coverage off him?
It won’t ever happen. Samuel is going to be the No. 1 wide receiver and is the second coming of Anquan Boldin. But he, along with who the 49ers have already drafted can fly. I just wonder what one more could do.
But finally, the last person to make the team is none other than quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo:
49ers signal-caller Garoppolo came through in what was the biggest game of his NFL career by producing an elite 90.1 overall grade – securing the division title and first-round bye in the playoffs. Garoppolo led the offense with near-perfection, especially on his horizontal lead passing. When throwing to a receiver that leads the receiver across the field, Garoppolo completed 90.9% of his passes and averaged 15.6 yards per attempt.
Did I just see the words “elite” and “Garoppolo” in the same sentence? No, he’s not elite yet, so don’t get ideas. He’ll need another year before I start anointing him that honor, but damn. How many times have the 49ers late this season had to lean on him to carry the team and get the win? How many times has he shown up in the clutch. How many bad games has he had? He’s had bad moments, or bad stretches, but he’s shown up when it’s needed. Oh and I’d like to remind everyone he’s coming off an ACL injury and is still doing this. If you’re wanting someone to compare this to, look at Carson Wentz in 2018.
The 49ers offense has made a strong finish to 2019, now they need to keep it going in the playoffs.