Wow, wow, and wow.
That was by far the best all round game the 49ers have been played during the Lynch and Shanahan era. The team cruised to an easy 41-17 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals. Jimmy Garoppolo was consistent so the offense was humming and singing; the defense was battering players left and right; it was a spectacular showing for this team as a whole. The team roled into Cincinnati and got the job done.
This two part piece will break down and provide thoughts on the 49ers’ offensive (part 1) and defensive (part 2) performances. So let’s dive in
- Jimmy Garoppolo was everything we hoped to see from him in week 2. Aside from an interception that could have been prevented, Garoppolo had an impressive all round game.
- He completed 17 of 25 passes, while throwing for 297 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Per PFF, Garoppolo finished with an offensive grade of 78.5.
- Throughout the game, Shanahan was working his magic, scheming players open with ease. However, it’s still on Garoppolo to make those throws, and as expected, he mostly did.
- One aspect of Garoppolo’s game was his effectiveness running play action passes. On those type of plays, he was 10 from 10 on his throws, two of which went for touchdowns. 213 of his 297 passing yards came on play action. Needless to say, play action is his strong suit, as it appears to be when he is most effective.
- One throw that stood out to me was a 39-yard completion to Deebo Samuel, where Garoppolo had pressure coming from his blind side and still stood tall in the pocket and made the throw. Again, the most important thing to take away from this game was consistency, and that’s what Jimmy was. If he can perform at this level throughout the season, then the 49ers will have a legitimate shot of making the playoffs.
- Tevin Coleman who? After some raised concerns on how the run game would perform without their top running back, Shanahan found a new 3-headed monster in Matt Breida, Raheem Mostert, and Jeff Wilson Jr. Every man in the backfield had their own success in some way. Much can be accredited to the offensive line opening up holes, however, each running bacl stepped in, found holes, and did everything they could to make the most of the opportunity.
- Matt Breida: 12 carries, 121 yards. 1 catch, 11 yards. Breida would average a whopping 10.1 yards/per carry. His effectiveness today firmly plants him as the top running bac in this offense. Even better, Breida is looking lethal now he’s fully healthy and looks to be a real threat for opposing teams. We saw glimpses of his talent last season when healthy. Breida is a stud in an offensive system that opens the door for any running back to step in and do well. Breida finished as the third highest graded 49er on offense according to PFF, finishing with a 85.4 grade overall.
- Raheem Mostert: 13 carries, 83 yards. 3 catches, 68 yards. Out of every player to step on the field, Mostert was by far the most impressive. Finishing with over 150 scrimmage yards, Mostert was used to his full ability yesterday afternoon. After coming into the season as likely a special teams player only, Mostert has been quickly elevated to second string status. His performance overall shocked many, as he was running with speed and hitting holes with power. He looked to be one of the most physical players on the field, and as a result, led to a career day for the young stud. Don’t be surprised if he finishes the season with more touches on the football than Breida. According to PFF, Mostert was the second highest graded 49er on offense, being graded out at an 85.6.
- Jeff Wilson Jr.: 10 carries, 34 yards, 2 rushing TD’s. Although he had the least carries, and most of those in garbage time, the ones that mattered were the two rushing TD’s. Jeff Wilson, a guy I’ll bang the drum for the remain on this team all season, filled a role that really fits him well: goal-to-go RB. He’s an absolute monster in short yardage situations, as his brutal and devastating physicality is a contrast to what Mostert and Breida bring. Even if he is a goal-line only RB, his effectiveness in those situations will be pivotal if the 49ers want to remain successful in the red zone.
- Although Garoppolo only completed 17 passes, the targets in the pass game were predominantly to Deebo Samuel, as he had the most targets (7) out of all of the WR’s. Richie James would receive the next most targets (4) followed by Marquise Goodwin (3).
- Deebo Samuel was by far the most physical, finishing with 5 catches for 87 yards, and his first career TD reception. He looks to be building some chemistry with Garoppolo, which at this point, is a must. Samuel is already separating himself from the rest of the pack, as he appears to be the complete package in terms of pass catching. He looks to be the next up-and-coming playmaker that this offense has been looking for ever since Shanahan stepped in as head coach. If the 49ers want to consistently produce a good offense, then it all starts with the playmakers, and one of those guys is Deebo Samuel.
- Aside from Samuel, Goodwin had a nice game, finishing with 3 catches for 77 yards and 1 touchdown. Goodwin’s play and usefulness this season will be heavily predicated based on his health. If he can stay healthy, then having that deep threat for Jimmy G will make the offense all the more potent and explosive.
- Although not targeted much in the pass game, George Kittle’s best plays came when run blocking. Arguably one of the best blockers in the league at the tight end position, Kittle found himself springing large gains for both Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert. Kittle, who would finish with 3 catches for 54 yards, had a quiet day in terms of productivity, but so be it, he helped others when it mattered most. According to PFF, not only was he the highest graded 49er on offense with an 87.3 grade, he would register a run blocking grade of 73.5, good for fourth best on the day.
- Levine Toilolo and Ross Dwelley may have been quiet on the day, though they were still efficient when asked to block. Toilolo finished with 72.6 pass block grade, and a 74.3 run block grade. Dwelley finished with a 66.8 run block grade. All the tight ends were used sparingly in the game, however, that did not stop each man from doing a job and opening lanes for the running backs to each have a career day.
- The real stars of the day? The offensive line.
- The OL played fantastic as a whole. If the unit keeps this up, it’ll become one of the more under rated offensive lines in the NFL.. Allowing only 1 sack on the day, the OL gave Garoppolo a clean pocket all afternoon, which resulted in solid completions for Jimmy and the crew. Aside from protecting theit QB, the OL as a unit had a monumental game run blocking, as each man went out and absolutely bullied the Bengals’ DL.
- Joe Staley: 73.5 grade. 82.2 pass block, 66.9 run block. It sucks that Staley suffered a broken fibula. Primed for another solid season, John Lynch will now be looking everywhere possible to fill Staley’s spot, if the team isn’t confident in rookie tackle Justin Skule. Staley will likely be out 6-8 weeks. On his passing down snaps, Staley did not allow a single pressure or QB hurry.
- Laken Tomlinson: 73.1 grade. 54.9 pass block, 72.2 run block. Tomlinson allowed 1 QB hit, and 1 QB pressure. PFF may not be completely accurate at times, however, and he certianly seemed to performed well enough as a pass blocker given his opposition on the day. His growth and development will be vital to keep Garoppolo upright when protecting him.
- Weston Richburg: 57.8 grade. 59.4 pass block, 57.1 run block. Richburg allowed 2 QB hurries and 2 pressures. Still getting his footing down, Richburg, like Tomlinson, had an average day overall. As he returns from an off season full of injuries, look for Weston to gradually improve overtime has he rebuilds rapport between himself, his quarterback and his fellow offensive linemen.
- Mike Person: 52. 8 grade. 54.9 pass block, 52.5 run block. The worst graded lineman on the day, Person would allow 1 QB hit, 2 pressures and 3 hurries. Person may not be the best offensive lineman, as I believe he is more of a capable backup rather than a starter. The 49ers could will be looking to upgrade somwhere when the trade deadline starts looming, and it could very well be at Person’s position. If he continues to perform poorly, Ben Garland would be able to fill in, as he’s previously played right guard before.
- Mike McGlinchey: 58.2 grade. 62.3 pass block, 61.0 run block. A pretty solid day for Mike, he wound up only allowing 1 QB pressure and 1 hurry. Even in Staley’s absence, I believe the coaching staff will continue to play Mike at right tackle, as that’s the position he’s performing best at.