We did it! We got our second win of the season, and more importantly won the very last Battle of the Bay before the Raiders leave for Las Vegas. On the surface there is a lot to get excited about, but let’s break down what exactly this win means for the team and organization as a whole.
"Everything I've dreamed of"
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 2, 2018
Let’s start small — with how this affects the team next week. The 49ers have a pretty long week to prepare for the Giants, ten days to be exact, as they’re slated to play in the Monday Night Football matchup.
First, of course team morale is definitely at it’s highest since Jimmy went down for the year. Realistically, San Francisco is in the discussion of the bottom three teams in the NFL right now. One of the other teams in that is the Raiders who they just beat, the other is their next opponent. Team morale should definitely help them to perform well in he primetime game.
Second, the question everyone is asking — does Nick Mullens keep his job as the starting quarterback? Kyle Shanahan has yet to officially label him the starter next week and there is a chance that he is not. Nick Mullens played a great game, while CJ Beathard on the other hand had not been doing so well lately. Kyle has a decision to make and I would not be surprised with either choice.
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 2, 2018
151.9 passer rating.
And… a WIN.
— NFL (@NFL) November 2, 2018
Finally, this team has a lot of time to heal over the long break and we should hopefully see as healthy and rested of a team as we can possibly get at the current state. We can hope this gives players like Tartt, Sherman, Foster, Richburg, Breida, Garçon, Taylor, and even Beathard plenty of time to heal up and have fresh legs.
Rest of the Season:
The loss of Raheem Mostert for the rest of the season is a big one. Mostert led the team in rushing last week with 86 yards and an astounding 12.3 yards per carry. He has recently been taking over the backup running back role from Alfred Morris and doing quite well at it. However, even more devastating is the hit the team could take on special teams. Mostert has been one of the best in the league at punt coverage over the past two seasons and without him in there our special teams could take a hit. On a brighter note though, the Niners recently brought in Aaron Burbridge who was making a case for himself to make the original 53-man roster with his standout special teams play.
Thursday, we saw the return of Dekoda Watson, and it was a remarkable sight to see. With 1.5 sacks and multiple pressures throughout the game, he started off strong and is already making his case for being on the defensive line as a starter.
.@49ers @dekodawatson57 first game back. Played 17 snaps and looked like the football version of a WMD. I think he just a whole lot more PT after last night. #BaldysBreakdowns pic.twitter.com/nFeqMUfpxo
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) November 2, 2018
Cassius Marsh had 2.5 sacks and Ronald Blair continued his notable performance streak with 1 sack. Now before we get too excited about these numbers, yes, the Raiders offensive line is literally that bad. Oakland cycled out mediocre rookie tackles on both sides of the line all night. We all have seen how bad the pass-rush has been this season. This likely won’t be a continued occurrence for 49ers front line but it is nice to see them take the opportunity when given.
Offseason and On:
Most of 49ers twitter has been more than enamored for what seemed like a sure thing — for us to be in the position to draft Nick Bosa. Sadly, that ship seems to have sailed. I see maybe one more opportunity for a win for the Raiders (11/18 vs Cardinals) and I still think they will lose that one. This leaves the Raiders and Giants the only candidates left to only have one win for the season. The Giants would have to be delusional to be planning on drafting anything other than a quarterback. However, the Raiders have a (self-made) glaring hole at pass-rusher. I think it is time to expect someone other than Bosa.
Luckily for us, this is a great draft year to need a pass-rusher. The list of projected first-round is unreal compared to last year. It includes Montez Sweat (Mississippi State), Clelin Ferrel (Clemson), Josh Allen (Kentucky), Jachai Polite (Florida), Brian Burns (Florida State), Zach Allen (Boston College). All of these players are surely upgrades to any pass-rush unit, and the 49ers certainly should have a choice of the crop.
Finally, regardless of what you may hear form some characters, Kyle Shanahan is not on the hot seat. This win proved he is capable of coaching a team well. He has been very unfortunate thus far but is still working on creating and molding his team. It will take time, but do not give up on this man. He has an incredible football mind and will bring this team back to the top as it should be.