Although the 49ers ultimately came up short in a hard-fought, Monday night matchup against the visiting Giants, there were plenty of things to be happy about. One major thing I’m very happy with is the consistency of how well Matt Breida is performing. Breida finished Monday night’s game with one rushing touchdown and one receiving touchdown, and added 101 yards on the ground on 17 carries. Although injuries have plagued Breida in his young career, he always manages to come back and continue to perform at an elite level. Although Nick Mullens threw two interceptions in his Monday night debut, he still managed to put up impressive numbers — and more importantly, almost led the 49ers to a comeback victory late in the fourth quarter. Mullens finished the day with 250 yards and one touchdown. Watching Mullens lead the offense with less than one minute left was truly epic. He remained calm and helped make two big time completions to George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin. Goodwin’s reception put the 49ers on the NYG 20-yard line with one second left. Although the 49ers ultimately didn’t score on the next play, that drive made me into a Nick Mullens believer. A lot of people are quick to forget that not too long ago, Nick Mullens was on the 49ers practice squad. WIthin a span of a few weeks, he became the starting quarterback for the 49ers, and was playing his first ever Monday night football game against a very hungry Giants team. For someone in their second career start, Mullens proved he is going to continue to get better with more experience. The connection between Mullens and Kittle is going to be something to look at for the rest of the season. George Kittle also showed why he is one of the best tight ends in the NFL right now. He finished the game leading the offense in receiving yards with 9 receptions and 83 yards. This new 49er offense looks promising, and when they iron out the little mistakes, they themselves look very promising.
The 49ers defense could not handle the Giants offense and what they were cooking up on Monday. Odell Beckham lit up the 49ers defense with 4 receptions for 73 yards for two touchdowns. Luckily for all of us, those numbers aren’t higher, as they easily could’ve been if the Giants had a QB more capable of reading the field than Eli Manning. Although the 49ers gave up 27 points to the Giants, there were some positives to take away from the defense from Monday night’s loss. Richard Sherman continues to impress with three tackles — one being a clutch tackle to stop Saquon Barkley from reaching a crucial first down. The 49ers defense seemed to fall apart towards the end of the game, giving up the game-winning touchdown to Sterling Shepard with less than one minute left. One interesting stat for the game was that the 49ers blitzed only twice, which ultimately lead to one successful sack and the other time resulted in the final score in the game for the Giants. I feel like the 49ers should have put more pressure on the struggling Eli Manning. I believe the failure to put pressure on Manning made it easier for him to find open receivers like Odell and Evan Engram. One thing I believe the 49ers are going to need in this upcoming offseason is much more defensive weapons to help Richard Sherman. After watching Monday’s game, the biggest needs for the 49ers secondary clearly are the two safety positions and another cornerback to help this struggling defense. One major thing I hope the 49ers defense can do with the rest of the schedule is adapt to different schemes the opposing offenses put against them. That falls ultimately on the hands of defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh. If he continues to show no big improvements to the defense, he could be in the hot seat come December.