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Golden Nuggets: Richie James could make a difference as a returner against the Rams

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Sunday, October 18, 2020

Los Angeles Rams v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

I know Richie James had some ball security issues in the Super Bowl as a returner, but it’s hard to imagine he can’t make a difference for the 49ers. This season, the Niners are around the middle of the pack in DVOA in both kick and punt returns, as well as average starting field position. Even that 17-yard punt return by Trent Taylor against the Dolphins felt like it could have been bigger. James has had success against the Rams as a 49er. He caught a receiving touchdown during Week 13 of 2018. He also had an 81-yard kick return on the Rams initial kickoff during Week 15 last season. He can flip the field for San Francisco.

49ers bolster WR depth in pair of moves before playing Rams

The 49ers now have six wide receivers on their 53-man roster, with White being the seventh wideout who is eligible to play against the Rams on “Sunday Night Football.” The club undoubtedly will deactivate a wide receiver, and Pettis appears to be the most likely candidate.

Coach Kyle Shanahan this week spoke about Pettis’ status on the team. The 49ers traded up to draft Pettis at No. 44 overall. He finished his rookie season strong before falling out of favor early in his second year.

“Obviously, we envisioned him, hope he could be a starter out there and hope he could be a returner for us,” Shanahan said.

Why the 49ers will Beat the Los Angeles Rams Sunday Night

This week, there’s just one reason they will beat the Rams — they can run the ball and the Rams can’t stop it. The 49ers average 5 yards per carry, and the Rams allow 4.7 yards per carry.

The 49ers absolutely will win if they commit to their run game.

But they haven’t committed to it yet this season. They’ve lost their identity. They were a run-first team in 2019, and this season they’re a pass first team even though their offensive line can’t pass protect, their wide receivers are young and their quarterback is injured. Go figure.

Maybe Kyle Shanahan doesn’t want to protect Jimmy Garoppolo anymore. Maybe Shanahan wants to expose him and move on. Who knows?

Steve Young: Lack of trust between Jimmy Garoppolo, Kyle Shanahan holding 49ers back

“Look we’ve all been there, it’s okay, but now fix it,” Young said during a Thursday KNBR appearance. “We’ve got to now slow everything down, because Kyle is going to call plays, and he can’t wonder if you’re going to be too quick and not catch the guy he knows is going to be open. So they need to get on the same page.”

“I’m sure Kyle at the half — Jimmy was hurt, I get that — but Kyle was also frustrated with Jimmy,” Yound said. “I’m sure Kyle is like, ‘Guys are coming open, you’re rushing through it, slow it down.’ I think that’s what’s got to happen quickly.”

Revisiting Rams star Jalen Ramsey’s spicy, maybe accurate Jimmy G analysis

“He has good potential, I think he’ll be a good player,” Ramsey said on the NFL Network. “But off my experience in playing him, it was a lot of scheme stuff. It wasn’t like he was just dicing us up.”

Ramsey was referencing Jimmy G’s December 2017 matchup against the Jaguars, when he threw for 242 yards, tossed two touchdowns and ran for one more in a 44-33 victory. That season, the 49ers were 5-1 when Garoppolo got the start, which propelled him into the NFL Network’s top 100 rankings and garnered the side-eye from Ramsey. In fact, when Ramsey was asked which player in the top 100 rankings didn’t deserve to be there, he immediately pointed to the 49ers quarterback.

Two years later, Ramsey is a member of the Los Angeles Rams and thus, a division rival of the man he once called overrated. The Rams and 49ers are set to face off on Sunday Night Football this weekend, and with San Francisco teetering on irrelevance at 2-3 overall (last place in the NFC West), Ramsey has a real shot at proving his spicy commentary accurate.

Cris Collinsworth explains why 49ers’ 2020 season has gone sideways

“I watched that game last week, and that was a total waste of time,” Collinsworth said. “They’re never going to play another game over the next five years that looks like that, that they approach like that, or that they have those players playing in those positions.”

“If you’re going to judge him based on that last game, you’d say no,” Collinsworth said of Garoppolo. “I have never seen the ball come out of his hand like that.

“Those two passes before the half, his back foot kicked up off the ground. You could tell that there were certain throws that were just killing him to be able to make.”

Jed York Bails on 49ers at Halftime of Loss to Miami Dolphins

49ers CEO Jed York stormed out of Levi’s Stadium at halftime of the 49ers’ humiliating 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. Multiple sources confirm this.

York did not respond when asked to confirm or deny the report.

The score was 30-7 when the first half ended. York bolted from the stadium, got in his car, drove the wrong way down a blocked off street and Police officers had to tell him to turn around. Which suggests York was furious with the 49ers, gave up on his team, at least during this game. Bad. Teams and owners should win together and lose together. They should have each other’s backs.

York has a history of separating himself from his team after bad home losses. In 2014, when the 49ers lost 19-3 to the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium on Thanksgiving, York sent out the following tweet: “Thank you #49ersfaithful for coming out strong tonight. This performance wasn’t acceptable. I apologize for that.”