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Golden Nuggets: The 49ers have missed Mostert’s explosiveness

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Friday, October 9, 2020

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San Francisco 49ers v New York Jets Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images

It’s looking more and more as if the San Francisco 49ers will have starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Raheem Mostert on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

During his media availability on Thursday, Trent Williams was was somewhat upset about the public perception of him. Williams said that the 49ers coaches only charged him with a half-sack against the Eagles. We’ll talk about that more later today.

Javon Kinlaw shines in elevated role with San Francisco 49ers

Kinlaw has also been impressive. He has started to see more snaps in the wake of the 49ers defensive injuries. The 49ers lost standouts Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas earlier this season as both tore their ACL.

Kinlaw has done a lot that may not end up in the stat sheets. However, his presence in the passing game has been noticed. The 49ers love his ability to be explosive at the point of attack and get into the backfield.

In four games, Kinlaw has five quarterback pressures. This is indicative of his ability to cause an errant throw or force the quarterback to move off his spot in the pocket.

It is something he said this summer that he is looking forward to doing on a regular basis.

“The speed is the main thing,” Kinlaw said. “I have to play at a different speed the whole time. You can’t relax. I’m just trying to get better every day. That’s all I care about. How much better can I get from yesterday? How many days can I keep stacking and keep grinding? I’m getting feedback from all of my teammates because I’m seeking it out. I’m just trying to find my way.”

49ers’ offensive reinforcements can’t come soon enough

And while getting Garoppolo back should be a boon for the offense, Mostert’s impending return — he also was limited Wednesday though Shanahan isn’t as optimistic about him playing this week — is almost as important. Backups Jerick McKinnon and Jeff Wilson Jr. have done well in Mostert’s stead but the offense has undoubtedly missed Mostert’s explosiveness and willingness to hit the hole at top speed.

The 49ers rank 11th in rushing yards per game (128.5) and eighth in yards per carry (4.72). But those numbers don’t tell the full story for a run game that has hit on some big plays but has failed to consistently keep the Niners in favorable down-and-distances.

The Niners have gained 173 of their 514 rushing yards on three plays, Mostert’s 80-yard touchdown, McKinnon’s 55-yard scamper and receiver Brandon Aiyuk’s 38-yard touchdown. Aside from those big plays, Niners running backs have struggled to find room to run consistently, averaging 4.33 yards per carry on 95 attempts. Subtract Mostert’s 80-yard score and that average dips to 3.5 yards per carry.

NFL Week 5 picks: Dolphins-49ers, Game of Week and an unbeaten falls in a major upset | Opinion

The Niners should beat Miami no matter what, but the iffy status of QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) makes picking against the point spread a crapshoot, because it’s a big drop-off to Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard. The uncertainly whittled the bet line all the way from 13 to 8 1/2. San Fran also has mounting defensive injuries, but still will show better pass D that what Fins saw from Seattle last week. After surprise loss to Philly in Week 4, Niners are too good and too well coached to be surprised again. Still, a fat-looking point spread given SF’s injuries has us liking Miami plus-nine.

Line: SF by 9.

Cote’s pick: SF 27-20.

49ers making sure 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick doesn’t beat them with his legs

“He’s 38 years old,” Lynch, adding a year to Fitzgerald’s age (the quarterback’s birthday is next month), said on KNBR radio. “But he still moves incredibly well and he’s really adept at getting outside the pocket and making plays.”

Consider this statistic: The 49ers have given up 205 rushing yards to quarterbacks through four games but just 179 yards to opponents’ starting running backs. The problem was on display Sunday when the Eagles’ Carson Wentz faked a handoff at the 49ers’ 11-yard line, then bounced outside for an easy run into the end zone for Philadelphia’s first score.

The good news is he’s been out there through two days of practice,” Lynch said on KNBR. “I always think it’s a positive step when you practice Wednesday and come back feeling a little better on Thursday. … There’s been some good signs this week.”

Two straight practices suggest Garoppolo is on track to start Sunday. His top backup either will be C.J. Beathard or Nick Mullens. Running back Raheem Mostert (knee) also was limited but, like Garoppolo, he seemed to be moving well. Mostert wore a compression sleeve on his right leg.

What Kyle Shanahan can Learn From 49ers Defensive Coordinator Robert Saleh

Yes Shanahan, you need to make an adjustment to that. Do not just turn a blind eye to what is going on with your offensive line. Call more jet sweeps, get your quarterback on the move, use more max protect. Anything to improve the situation. He needs to adjust on the fly like how he is capable of.

That is something Shanahan can learn from 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.

The defensive side of the ball has been hit with more injuries than the offense. From Nick Bosa in the long-term, to Richard Sherman in the short-term. Saleh has been forced to adjust on the fly practically every week because he is always losing a key player. He is going to have to adjust once again this week and going forward with K’Waun Williams set to be placed on Injured Reserve.

Morning Report: PFF First-Quarter NFL All-Pro Team, Injury ...

Pro Football Focus writer Sam Monson released the analytics site’s first All-Pro team of the season, analyzing performances from Weeks 1-4. Arik Armstead and Fred Warner were named to the All-Pro Second Team.

Following an offseason where Armstead signed a 5-year contract extension, the defensive lineman has been a steady playmaker despite an injury plagued D-line. Through four games, Armstead has compiled eight solo tackles (tied for 18th among all NFL defensive linemen) and 2.0 sacks (tied for 22nd), well on his way to match his 2019 career-high 55 tackles and 10.0 sacks.

In his fourth season in San Francisco, Warner has continued to make an impact on the field. Through the first four weeks of the season, the linebacker as racked up 24 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles (tied for fifth among all NFL linebackers) and one interception (tied for first).