We had fun arguing about Thanksgiving foods last week. It’s time to get back to the San Francisco 49ers and your most unpopular opinions. As is the case most weeks, most of the answers surround the future at quarterback. Let’s get into it.
The season’s gonna get canceled, so none of it matters. - Tony
Tony is pessimistic that the season will not go on, and that’s understandable given the current COVID-19 spikes around the country. We still have a month left of football, and it’s possible there’s an outbreak that leads to games being canceled. If the NFL didn’t cancel the Ravens/Steelers game, then I have a hard time imagining they’ll cancel another game.
At one point, the teams had over 20 positive COVID-19 cases. If they weren’t willing to cancel the game for the reigning MVP, who would the NFL cancel a game for? We will see all of these games played because the TV deals are up at the end of this year, and the league and networks want their money. That’s why we saw the Broncos take the field with a practice squad receiver under center. The NFL doesn’t care about their product, so long as there are enough players to play.
It’s a huge loss make playoffs this year for the next years because we have bad QBs - Gold Rush
We had a good amount of answers that resembled this one, where they figured the 49ers should tank. This is a business, and we are dealing with professionals who believe they are the very best at what they do. They don’t have this losing mindset where they’re thinking about draft picks. The 49ers are going into each game with the mentality that they’ll win.
Every year in the NFL Draft proves that if a team wants a player, they’re going to make a move to get him. The 49ers traded up a few spots to select Brandon Aiyuk last year. If John Lynch wants a quarterback, he’s going to trade up for him. This front office has been arguably the most aggressive front office during Lynch’s tenure. If they want a QB, they’ll trade up ala how the Texans/Chiefs a couple of years ago.
If the team wants to go the veteran route in Matt Stafford or Dak Prescott, then they’ll trade for them. Making the playoffs will not prevent the 49ers from getting who they want in the draft or free agency.
CJ Beathard can totally run the offense - Don
If Beathard could run the offense, he’d be starting. Mullens has played well in spurts, but he’s played poorly enough this season to the point where he’s been benched. If you’re going to execute in Kyle Shanahan’s offense, you must process what the defense is doing. Beathard played well late against the Eagles, but his appearance against the Dolphins exposed how C.J. plays under pressure and how he processes what defenses are doing.
Mullens isn’t as physically talented as Beathard or Jimmy Garoppolo, but he’s superior to the former when it comes to going through his reads and knowing where to go with the football. C.J.’s biggest strength is his arm, and we saw how that worked out against the Saints on one throw. If Mullens can move around the way he did against the Rams and “play fast” as he did in the second half, the 49ers should be in good hands until Jimmy G returns.
Kerry Hyder has played nearly as well as what we would have expected from Nick Bosa. - Andre
Some metrics like PFF’s pass-rush productivity love Hyder, who is going to set a career-high in sacks, hurries, and QB hits, knockdowns, you name it. Hyder’s energy and effort have been outstanding this season, but some of his numbers are inflated. Hyder’s “pressures” against the Rams came when Goff either held onto the ball or scrambled right into Kerry. His second sack was a thing of beauty, but those high-quality sacks have been few and far between this season.
Stats need context, which is why I’m not as high on Hyder as most fans are. He’s been better than anyone could have hoped for, but Hyder falls under the “very good rotational” player for me. Hyder is getting pressure 14% of the time this season, which is really, really good. The reason the 49ers wanted to bring in Takk McKinley was that he’s getting pressure 19% of the time this year.
It’s not fair to compare either of those two to a player the caliber of Bosa, however. Bosa is a superstar. He won more times as a pass rusher Week 1 than anyone has all season. Bosa had three QB hits against Kyler Murray when Murray had the sixth-quickest time to attempt at 2.22 seconds. Hyder has played well, and I don’t want to take away from how he’s far exceeded his contract worth, but Bosa would have been the frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the Year.
I don’t think Trent Williams is what he used to be. - Ruben
What makes these exercises fun is that you will have someone say this about Williams, and if you keep scrolling, there was someone else who said, “Williams has played better than Joe Staley did at any point in 2019.” I agree with the latter. Williams is a dominant force that the 49ers should lock up this month or sometime before free agency.
Williams doesn’t miss blocks. We are past the early season miscommunications, and we’re at the part where the 49ers can slide their protection away from Williams because there’s nothing to worry about with Trent. Per Sports Info Solutions, Williams’s blown block percentage is 1.4%. Williams draws a penalty only 0.7% of the time. He’s also been healthy all year. I’m not sure what else he could do this year to prove he’s an All-Pro.
Don’t let one penalty or blown block every three to four games cloud your judgment. Williams is the real deal.