On a day that was marred by injuries, the San Francisco 49ers received great performances from two players who did not play during the 2019 season due to injury: Jordan Reed and Jerick McKinnon.
Reed had an underwhelming debut in Week 1 when he played only 10 snaps and hauled in two catches. He showed in Week 2 why adding him was a significant move for San Francisco. George Kittle was out with a knee injury and Reed turned in a seven-catch, 50-yard, two-touchdown performance to help buoy the 49ers’ passing attack. Sunday made it clear how dangerous Kittle and Reed will be if they get a chance to play together.
“I think the turf was pretty thick,” Armstead said. “Guys seemed to be getting stuck in the ground more regularly. A bunch of guys went down, wasn’t real fun to be a part of.”
The 49ers face the Giants next week at the same stadium, and Armstead said he’s not looking forward to it.
“Lot of anxiety,” Armstead said about going back to MetLife. “You see guys you love go down and get hurt and we have to come back here and play again on the same surface and that’s anxiety-provoking to know that you have to deal with that again.”
MetLife Stadium underwent some renovations during the offseason, including the installation of new turf.
Garoppolo gets high marks for staying in the game despite being in obvious pain with a high right ankle sprain from Quinnen Williams’ first-quarter sack. Garoppolo was on point, completing 14 of 16 passes for 131 yards and two touchdown tosses to tight end Jordan Reed.
One of Garoppolo’s incomplete passes came on a catchable downfield pass that Kendrick Bourne did not haul in. Bourne had a team-high 67 receiving yards on four receptions, while Reed had seven catches for 50 yards.
Mullens entered in the second half and complete eight of 11 passes for 71 yards and an interception.
“We have a good team,” Shanahan said in his postgame Zoom news conference. “We had a good team last year and we have a good team this year. I just told the guys that we do have a good team but there’s also so many guys in our place that can get a lot better — coaches and players.
“And when you do lose some good guys, like we did, and that’ll probably be for a while, we need guys to get better. And there’s a number of guys that can improve on our team, and that’s what we’ve gotta focus on doing.”
At this point for the 49ers, it’s about licking wounds, picking up slack and fighting to survive another day. Pedigreed players who are still healthy — yes, there are still a handful of those — will have to carry larger loads until the 49ers’ roster hits smoother waters.
Though it came against a hapless Jets team, Sunday’s performance spotlighted key parts of this blueprint.
According to an article published Sunday by CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, though, Vincent expanded on the memo saying “fines and other punishment will be forthcoming for those who do not comply with face masks and other measures on the sidelines.”
“It was troubling to see so many not adhere to the safety guidelines, and by doing so, risking health and the season,” Vincent said. “If we adhere to the guidelines, we play ball. The guidelines save lives. We must follow them. Accountability to follow.”
Will Shanahan get fined, and for how much? Feels like we’re about to find out.
Kyle Shanahan used the game plan he should have used last week against the Cardinals — lots of quick, short passes to running backs and tight ends. Jimmy Garoppolo executes this style of offense so well — it’s the old Patriots offense. Plus, the 49ers have excellent receivers at running back and tight end. They don’t need to force passes to their young, inconsistent wide receivers. Shanahan was able to create lots of explosive plays against the Jets (plays that gain at least 20 yards), while Robert Saleh limited the Jets offense to just two explosive plays, and both came in garbage time. Both Saleh and Shanahan will have big challenges in the coming weeks to win without some of their star players. But on Sunday, they did everything they had to do to win. Give them credit.