The 49ers valiant comeback fell short when C.J. Beathard’s apparent TD pass to George Kittle was called back on a questionable O.P.I. call against Kyle Juszczyk. The play before that was undoubtedly the worst nightmare for 49ers’ fans. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo‘s left knee gave out on him as he was fighting to get closer to the end zone. In his postgame presser, Kyle Shanahan said it’s a “feared ACL” injury, fears that were confirmed earlier today. The Niners had plenty of chances to win this game, but just like in Minnesota, self-infected wounds killed us again. Let’s breakdown the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly from Sunday’s game.
Second Half Adjustments
Whatever Kyle Shanahan said to the team at halftime clearly worked. The Niners came out in the second half with an entirely different mindset. On the 49ers postgame show, George Kittle talked about how the team leaders spoke up at half time and said that the team would not play like that in the second half. After allowing the Chiefs to score on all five of their first half possessions, the Niners allowed only 3 points in the second half. Furthermore, after failing to anything going offensively in the first quarter and half, the Niners scored 20 second half points as they threatened to drag themselves back into the game. IMO Kyle Shanahan deserves big props for being able to make the adjustments necessary to bring us back into the game.
This one surprised me. I thought getting 5ava6e back would give our defense a big boost in the first half, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Foster clearly was rusty in the first half after not playing for the first two weeks in the season, missing multiple tackles. Foster played better in the second half and I expect him to continue to improve the more he plays this year.
When you lose your franchise quarterback to a serious injury that’s bad enough. But when you lose your best preforming corner for the entire second half and he then leaves the locker room after the game in a boot, things look even worse. Then you lose your main backup after that. The 49ers also lost Adrian Colbert, their starting free safety. That’s hard for most teams to endure. Hopefully a few guys get back healthy soon.
I don’t know what to say about Ahkello Witherspoon. I know he’s battling an ankle injury, but his poor play is more than that. When he’s playing in off coverage it’s an easy pitch and catch completion. When he’s playing press coverage he’s either beaten or getting flagged as happened at least twice on Sunday. Witherspoon is thought to be a big part of the present and future – right now he’s looking like a liability.
Armstead had a horrible game: He jumped offside twice, missed several tackles and failed to get any sacks. The offside penalties are what annoyed me the most – he was right over the center at nose tackle. I do not understand how you jump offside when your right over the football.
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