The San Francisco 49ers got off to a fast start for the second week in a row as Raheem Mostert raced to an 80-yard touchdown. The wind quickly went out of the Niners sails after Jimmy Garoppolo limped off the field. That wouldn’t be the worst news in the first quarter for San Francisco, as Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas were both carted off the field. That was as deflating as a few minutes as it gets.
The 49ers allowed a field goal on the drive but answered with a touchdown to Jordan Reed in the second quarter. Reed looked impressive early, as did Garoppolo, who started the game 8-for-8 through the air. The Jets didn’t have issues moving the ball on the 49ers, but Fred Warner came up with a big-time stop on fourth down to stall a New York drive.
What stood out during the first half was Garoppolo getting hit on the play after play. It was promising that Garoppolo didn’t flinch in the face of pressure and kept getting up. A second touchdown to Jordan Reed gave the 49ers a 21-3 lead. Garoppolo went 14 of 16 during the first half for 131 yards and two touchdowns. Garoppolo looked much more decisive despite facing multiple dropbacks with pressure. Yes, it’s the Jets, but Jimmy can’t control his opponent.
There were five-leg injuries between both teams during the first half. The 49ers have to play at the same stadium next week against the Giants.
Kyle Shanahan said that Garoppolo had X-Rays on his ankle at halftime. Garoppolo did not play during the second half. Neither did Mostert. That meant the 49ers would start the half with Nick Mullens, and it went as well as you’d expect. Thankfully, Jerick McKinnon broke off a long, 55-yard run on 3rd & 31, and the offense turned that into points after Robbie Gould doinked a kick off the uprights that found it’s way through. The 49ers went up 24-3.
Mullens threw an interception that wasn’t fully on him as the edge rusher bowled over Mike McGlinchey. The pass was behind McKinnon, but I’m sure he’d want to catch that throw. The most notable part of that play was Trent Williams slamming the defender into the ground. On the same Jets drive, down 21 points at the end of the third quarter, Adam Gase decided to kick a field goal that made a three-score game a three-score game. He essentially waived the white flag with that decision.
McKinnon added a touchdown to give the 49ers a 31-6 lead. That was Jerick’s first rushing touchdown since October 2017. What a game for him.
The story was the injuries. In the fourth quarter, Laken Tomlinson and Dre Greenlaw both went down on the field, though Tomlinson didn’t miss a snap as the 49ers called a timeout. Greenlaw limped off the field after a collision on special teams. Midway through the fourth quarter, the 49ers have pulled some of their starters. Marcell Harris and Tarvarius Moore came in at safety. The offensive line had Justin Skule, Hronis Grasu, and Colton McKivitz in as well. Injuries were the name of this game, and we’ll wait for Shanahan to update us with injuries after the game.
Even though they were without plenty of top starters, the defense held Sam Darnold to 142 yards by the two-minute warning and 4.9 yards per attempt. The Jets averaged 3.6 yards on the ground. That was before the final garbage-time touchdown. Offensively, even with Mullens under center, the 49ers converted seven of their 13 third-down conversions and averaged 6.3 yards per play. The Niners also scored a touchdown on all three of their red-zone trips. Reed gets the game ball as he finished with seven receptions for 50 yards and two touchdowns.
The Niners are now 1-1, but it sure doesn’t feel like it.