The San Francisco 49ers have lost countless talent this season, yet remain competitive. There is currently over $55.5 million against the salary cap on the injured reserved for the 49ers this season. Kyle Shanahan is the Coach of the Year.
Carlos Hyde did play pretty well in week 7 against the Cardinals, but he is now suffering my hamstring tightness and as that could flare up at any point trying to count on Hyde to be ready to play a full game may be asking too much. But even if Hyde does play, the Seahawks running back room will be Hyde and Dallas and then maybe Nick Bellore?
Starter Chris Carson sprained his foot and is going to be out. Rashaad Penny still is trying to work his way back from an ACL tear last year. Travis Homer has a bruised knee and is very unlikely to play.
The running back injury problem has many levels. Sure, one is who is going to carry the ball for the Seahawks. The second is can Seattle scheme the same kind of pass plays to backs running out of the backfield. But the third part, and this is important, is who is going to know the blocking schemes well enough to pick up blitzes and keep Russell Wilson clean. Homer did this well and his absence was felt after he left the game against Arizona.
So the 49ers didn’t follow my advice and start JaMycal Hasty against the Patriots.
Instead, they started Jeff Wilson Jr. And you can’t knock the decision. Wilson ran like Jim Freaking Brown in this game before he left with a high-ankle sprain.
But when Hasty got a chance to play, he showed how impossible it will be to keep on the bench going forward.
3:32 Second Quarter. First and 20 at SF 21.
This is Hasty’s first touch of the game. It’s a catch in the flat, but it’s basically an extended handoff. He catches the ball at his knees, runs around one defender, runs past free safety Devin McCourty, runs into Brandon Aiyuk, throws him into the Patriots sideline and gains 20 yards on first and 20. Welcome to the game, JaMycal.
Here’s another play Moore made against New England. This time, he plays underneath zone coverage while the cornerbacks and linebackers cover man to man. Patriots wide receiver N’Keal Harry runs a crossing route directly into Moore’s zone, and Moore knocks Harry out of the game. Good night, N’Keal. We haven’t seen a 49ers safety hit this hard since Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner.
There were many standout players for the 49ers, from linebacker Fred Warner, who is becoming one of the best defenders in the league to running back Jeffery Wilson, who was a force for the 49ers before coming up injured with what looked to be a knee injury. But if you were head coach Kyle Shanahan, you’re probably sending a game ball Kyle Juszczyk’s way. San Francisco’s ability to get to the edges in both the run and the pass game was due in large part to what the fullback was doing in space. From lead blocks to crack blocks and even some cut blocks out of the slot, Juszczyk was a force, and created space for his teammates all night long. He was rewarded with a touchdown run of his own in the contest, nabbing his second touchdown of the year. It was well-deserved.
Why SF Loses: Pardon my lack of impartiality, but it ain’t happening. The Seahawks scammed their way to 5-0, and Arizona exposed that in Week 7. Let us not forget that this is a team that was on the brink of losing to the 1-5 Vikings, and would have lost the game if not for a bad 4th down call by Mike Zimmer with less 2 minutes to go. Seattle is much more of a 4-3 team than it is a 5-1 team and the 49ers will put this on full display on Sunday.
Prediction: As confident I am the 49ers will win, it will still be a hard fought battle to get the W. In the end, Jimmy Garoppolo will play the hero and put up a gaudy stat line while leading San Francisco to its biggest win of the season so far. 49ers 41 - Seahawks 27
For context, the 49ers have had 21 players on the reserve/injured list through seven weeks of the 2020 season. At the end of last season, that number was 22.
The quantity of 49ers currently on IR is staggering, but the quality is, too. The reigning Defensive Rookie of the Year (Nick Bosa) is out for the season, and another Pro Bowl edge rusher (Dee Ford) has missed all but one game. An All-Pro cornerback (Richard Sherman) has, too, and the 49ers’ leading rusher from a year ago (Raheem Mostert) is out for at least another two games.