After re-watching the game, Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t play as poorly as I thought. Also, it’s OK to give the opponent credit when they make plays. The Eagles' defensive line forced Kyle Shanahan to adjust. More on that later.
Mitchell was part of the Sunday theme for the 49ers: He seemed to get a little better as the game wore on. He averaged just 1.1 yards per carry in the first half and 3.4 yards per carry in the second.
An interesting note about Sermon: He also played just one special-teams snap. Typically, running backs who are far down the depth chart are heavily involved on special teams. Sermon isn’t, which suggests he’d been earmarked for a bigger role at running back than what he had in Weeks 1 (inactive) and 2.
JALEN HURTS THE THROWER
We all know it wasn’t all bad for Hurts. He hit Watkins on the money for the aforementioned 91-yard completion. He fit a ball in a very tight window to Dallas Goedert on the play right before he executed a QB sneak for Philly’s sole touchdown. He had an absolute dime to Jalen Reagor for a touchdown unfortunately wiped out by the receiver stepping out (more on that to come).
But Hurts finished the day completing just 52.2% of his passes for zero touchdowns and a 80.0 passer rating. Outside the Watkins play, he logged just 4.5 yards per attempt.
Hurts left a number of plays on the field. He was unable to connect with DeVonta Smith on a couple of deep shots. The first of those came on a play where Hurts rolled right and had an entirely clean pocket but ultimately threw short of the receiver, who had had a step on the defense.
One week after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers placed starting cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting on injured reserve, coach Bruce Arians said that general manager Jason Licht has reached out to veteran cornerback Richard Sherman to gauge his interest.
“We got to see,” Arians said Monday, one day after his team defeated the Atlanta Falcons 48-25 to improve to 2-0. “He’s got other things going on, too. Just a matter of, ‘I coach the ones that we got and let [Licht] handle the rest of that.’ We’ll kick the tires on some other guys, too. But it’s just a matter of, ‘No, we’ll talk and see, and if it’s the right fit, it’s the right fit and we’ll move on it.’”
Ryans had his hands full this week going up against an Eagles team that scored 32 points the week prior. What stood out most about Ryans’ play-calling was that he did a great job preparing for Hurts and minimizing the big play. Over the years, the 49ers have struggled against mobile quarterbacks (which most teams do), but it was a different story Sunday. The Eagles averaged 6 yards per play (328 total yards on 55 plays), but 91 of it came on a single hook-up between Hurts and Quez Watkins. Removing that play from the defensive stat sheet, the 49ers defense gave up 4.3 yards per play.
Ryans’ defensive coordinator career is off to a promising start.
Play Picks: Take the Packers with the points against the 49ers
Brian Sausa writes: “In a rematch from the NFC title game a couple of seasons ago, the Packers will visit the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium. Oddsmakers see this game as an even matchup on paper, as the Niners are three-point favorites across the board. San Francisco lost both coordinators from the coaching staff but still have Kyle Shanahan and a deep roster on both sides of the ball. Green Bay’s struggles along the offensive line could be exposed yet again, which would help mitigate the huge disadvantage that the Niners have at quarterback and on offense in general. I’ve sided with Rodgers and Green Bay in so many toss-up situations, including him going home to northern California to play the Niners, and have fallen flat. Have I learned my lesson? Nope. Take Green Bay and the points, or wait for this line to grow before you back the Packers to stay in this game just when everyone thinks they’re about to go downhill.”