Turnovers, penalties, mistakes, and the 49ers yet again had a chance to win in the fourth quarter. It’ll take time for Trey Lance to build chemistry and get on the same page as Deebo Samuel, who entered Week 5 as the leading receiver in the NFL. Samuel had nine targets but only three receptions, with one being a screen.
Offense - 65 possible snaps
Dwelley playing 91% of the snaps tells you that the coaching staff trusts him. Kyle Shanahan didn’t have to get out of his comfort zone by running more 11 personnel than he wanted.
Speaking of tight ends, Tanner Hudson playing one fewer snap than Trey Sermon should raise eyebrows. I couldn’t tell whether Shanahan ditched his game script to throw the ball more because of the score; he felt he couldn’t run on Arizona or relied too much on Lance’s legs. Either way, the ground game will have to be more diverse moving forward.
For a good portion of the game, it felt like the offensive line held up well. J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones are great players. They’re going to make plays. If you were to tell the 49ers coaching staff that Lance would only be sacked twice, they’d take those results every day of the week. But, unfortunately, you can’t ignore the penalties.
Elijah Mitchell’s speed seemed to make a difference. He has a success rate of 40% and ran for three first downs.
I understand that Shanahan wanted to take advantage of Travis Benjamin’s speed, but four targets on 15 snaps is a bit much. Trent Sherfield was a training camp legend. He’s been AWOL.
Defense - 61 possible snaps
Bosa played 77% of the snaps during the last three games. Ford has been in the mid-20s. Depth along the defensive line has been crucial for success. It doesn’t count as depth if the players subbing in are liabilities.
Between Ebukam, Street, Key, and Hurst, the 49ers’ backup defensive line could give some starting units around the league a run for their money. The bye week comes at a good time for Ford. I’d like to see the team ramp his snap count up by about 15 snaps.
Dontae Johnson and Josh Norman failed to make plays in coverage. Murray challenged them, and each player came up empty. Johnson made up for it with a forced fumble in the second half, but DeAndre Hopkins seemed to make a play each time the Cardinals went to him.
You’re not going to bench Norman for giving up plays to arguably the best receiver in the NFL. The bye week allows the coaching staff to figure out who their three best cornerbacks are and if one of those should be Deommodore Lenoir.