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Golden Nuggets: Playoffs, baby

Your daily San Francisco 49ers news for Tuesday, December 12th, 2023

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49ers minutia minute: Ji’Ayir Brown has his best game; team adds Jason Verrett (paywall)

“Feliciano had a far better outing than when he started at right guard in Seattle two weeks ago, when he allowed four quarterback pressures. Pressures allowed Sunday, per Pro Football Focus:

  • McKivitz 4
  • Brendel 2
  • Banks 2
  • Feliciano 2
  • Williams 0”

Thompson: Is Brock Purdy on an MVP track? Let Trent Williams convince you (paywall)

No doubt, Purdy will get off a deep throw or two. But it’s mostly short passes and the other stars do the work. That’s what happened last week in Philadelphia. Right?

“He rarely checks the ball down,” Williams said. “Everything is going upfield, getting the ball upfield. He even has the ability to buy extra time with his feet, and even when he does, his eyes stay down the field. Very seldom is he looking to run the ball past the line of scrimmage. He really wants to get it into his playmakers’ hands. I think he does the best job right now in the NFL, getting that ball into playmakers’ hands. Whether it’s 5 yards downfield or 55 yards downfield. He can make every throw. He literally can make every throw, and you can’t show a throw that he can’t make.”

49ers face D-tackle injury concerns for Sunday game vs. Cards

“The 49ers believe there is a good chance right guard Spencer Burford (knee), running back Elijah Mitchell (knee) and cornerback Darrell Luter (hamstring) are available to return to action this week.”

49ers’ NFC West win streak reaches 11, foes can only try to go down fighting (paywall)

“It’s typically a good sign when a team gains 72 yards on the game’s first play from scrimmage — on what was essentially a rare Shanahan audible at the start of his 24-play opening script.

“Brock came in the huddle and said, ‘All right, new play,’ ” Juszczyk said. “We went with a run that we hadn’t even practiced all week.”

The change to the script came because the 49ers, who’d expected the Seahawks to open the game in a nickel defense with four down linemen, noticed that Seattle instead came out playing its base package, but with five down linemen. The 49ers’ triple pin play — “transportation,” in Shanahan parlance — called for Purdy, under center, to pitch the ball left to McCaffrey, with Juszczyk as the lead blocker.

The Seahawks’ defenders, including future Hall of Fame linebacker Bobby Wagner and hard-hitting safety Jamal Adams, flowed sharply to the sideline. McCaffrey reacted by cutting back to the middle and then racing to his right before being tackled at the 3-yard line — setting up backup Jordan Mason’s touchdown run on the next play.”

Now first in the NFC, 49ers only dealing with first-world NFL problems (paywall)

“We were pretty sloppy today,” McCaffrey said. “I think there’s a lot of stuff we left out there. Obviously, the win’s the most important thing. And I know we’ve got the guys who can go out there and fix those.”

McCaffery’s critique sounded comically harsh, but it wasn’t without merit. And the fact that the 49ers produced video-game numbers despite issues that require fixing is among many signs that all is going exceedingly well for a team about six weeks removed from the final defeat of their three-game losing streak.

Shanahan lays out 49ers’ honest expectations for CB Verrett

“Coach Kyle Shanahan said the 49ers’ expectation for Verrett with the team is open-ended. First, Shanahan said, Verrett will have to prove himself on the practice field while working against the team’s starting offense.

“When you’re on the practice squad, you’re only a couple of plays away from possibly being a starter or just being out there on game days,” Shanahan said.

“He can try to show us he’s ready for the moment and, hopefully, give us some depth there once we get a chance to see him.”

Purdy shows he’s the reason 49ers’ playmakers can thrive

“Still, with all of the success he had Sunday, including a couple of well-thrown deep balls to Samuel and Kittle, the one that stood out for Shanahan was what looked like a routine toss.

“He just went to a check down, which was the right answer, and Deebo was the 5-yard check down and he got 30 on it,” Shanahan said. “So that happens on a lot of our stuff. Then the more they come up, then you can kind of get those easy big plays.”

Purdy quickly went through his progression and ended up going to one of his final options on the play. And, of course, putting the ball in Samuel’s hands never is a bad fall-back plan.

“We talked about that all week,” Purdy said. “If the defense gives us the longer, deeper throw, great. But we have to be disciplined and have to play with conviction to be able to go through my progressions and be willing to take check downs like that.”