Well, that sucked.
The curb-stomping that Carolina gave the 49ers on Sunday was at best disappointing and at worst appalling. It showed that, for all the hopes we have for this team and its new coaching staff and general manager, we have a long, long way to go before we can be taken seriously as an NFL franchise.
I’m not going to dig for silver linings here; I know there were a few, and I know that one game does not a turnaround make. I’m going to give a (too) short analysis of our running game, because a) it deserves some attention and b) the Fox announcers yesterday couldn’t stop talking about it when they actually had something positive to say about the Niners.
It’s too short an analysis, because only two of our running backs were given the ball, along with our fullback. It’s also too short because the run game was only marginally effective, like the rest of the team on Sunday.
So, let’s hit it.
Carlos Hyde: El Guapo carried the ball 9 times and got 45 yards total (that leaves 955 to go for the season). And considering the stunningly uneven offensive line performance during that game, he did well to get those yards. He showed a burst and patience that seemed to me missing in preseason and bodes reasonably well going forward. As this author predicted, Hyde caught 6 passes out of the backfield as well, with nary a drop. It’s fair to say he was the only bright spot on the 49ers offense last Sunday. (Okay, Robbie Gould scored our only points, but let’s not pick nits here.) Hyde got a not terribly impressive PFF grade of 50.0, but that was the kind of week it was — not terribly impressive.
Matt Breida: I kind of wish Shanahan had utilized the kid more on Sunday. Breida rushed four times for 11 yards, and wasn’t ever targeted for a pass. He was essentially a non-factor amongst non-factors. I don’t recall him picking up any first downs, and he certainly didn’t do any breaking away. (See above reference re: stunningly uneven offensive line.) Chalk it up to paying your dues, I guess.
Raheem Mostert: He got no touches at all, and wasn’t even allowed to return any kicks. Not saying it would have made any difference, but give the guy a chance, can’t ya? See you in Seattle, kid.
Kyle Juszczyk: Our “offensive weapon” was shooting blanks on Sunday. Juszczyk got one carry and gained no yards, and that was The End. Why PFF graded him higher than Carlos Hyde this week (53.9) I cannot understand…blocking, maybe? He certainly did better than four out of five offensive linemen, notably Zane “The Revolving Door” Beadles. (There’s the stunningly uneven offensive line again.)
Well, at least the three runners I mentioned didn’t get injured, and Hyde made the game mildly watchable.
And there are still 15 games left in the season.
That’s a good thing…right?
Image courtesy of Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group