Photo Credit – PFF (Pro Football Focus)

49ers Get Blown Out at Home

The San Francisco 49ers took on the Miami Dolphins at home Sunday afternoon. This was supposed to be a “reset” game for the 49ers after losing at home last Sunday night to the Eagles. Multiple starters were making their return to the lineup. Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Raheem Mostert missed the last two weeks with injuries. Miami came to town with a 1-3 record and somehow pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the weekend, beating San Fran 43-17.

There weren’t a lot of bright spots on either side of the ball for the 49ers. Miami jumped out to a 14-0 lead and never looked back. San Francisco had to play from behind which isn’t how their offense is built. Head coach Kyle Shanahan prides himself with being able to control the clock with a strong run game. This offense isn’t necessarily built to start throwing the ball down field and score quickly like some other teams.

Offensive Struggles

Offensively, Jimmy Garoppolo really struggled in his first game back. He started the game and put up a 7/17 with 77 yards and 2 INTs stat line. Not ideal for the $137.5 million franchise quarterback. He was eventually replaced by back up, CJ Beathard who wasn’t much better. Beathard completed 9/18 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown. The biggest difference is the turnover numbers. Garoppolo never looked comfortable and credit needs to be given to that Miami defense and coaching staff. All the reports leading up to Sunday were that Jimmy G was ready to play and healthy, but maybe he needed another week to recover.

All the blame can’t be placed on Garoppolo alone. He was sacked 3 times and was hit 4 other times in the first half. Kyle Shanahan was asked about the switch to Beathard to start the second half and this is what he had to say.

“Just the way the whole game was going,” Shanahan said. “Just kind of watching how we were playing as a whole, how he was playing. You could tell he was affected by his ankle. … But I know he doesn’t normally throw the ball that way, and I think he was struggling a little bit because of it and the way the game was going, that I wasn’t going to keep putting him in those positions knowing we were going to have to throw it a lot to come back.”

Obviously Garoppolo seemed to be still nursing the ankle injury that forced him to miss the last two weeks. Shanahan knew the 49ers would have to keep throwing and he thought Beathard was the better option for the second half.

Fitzpatrick Throws for 350 and 3 TDs

During last year’s Super Bowl run, the 49ers defense was ruthless. The defensive line was arguably the best in the league, the linebackers were fantastic and the secondary included All Pro Richard Sherman. This year with all the injuries suffered, a bunch of new guys have had to step in and play significant roles. Whether it be a lack of playing together, less talent, or just Miami being prepared, this group really struggled on Sunday.

Miami quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick posted a 22 for 28 with 350 yards and 3 TD stat line that surprised everyone. To travel across the country with all the Covid-19 protocols, putting up these numbers in the NFL against anyone is impressive. Most NFL analysts predicted this to be a game where the 49ers got back on track. Ryan “FitzMagic” had other ideas.

What’s Next?

This season San Francisco has won more games in New York than they have at home. The two game road trip in weeks 2 and 3 are the lone wins, while losses at home against Arizona, Philadelphia and now Miami have the 49ers looking for answers. Kyle Shanahan and staff are going to need to make some adjustments moving forward if they want to make another run at the Super Bowl. At this point, they need to be worried about making the playoffs first.

The 49ers take on the 4-1 Rams at home on Sunday night. Los Angeles has looked really good this year with their only loss coming on the road at undefeated Buffalo. This week of practice will be something to watch and pay close attention to. Will Jimmy G get another start or will Shanahan move on to Beathard? We will look for practice updates throughout the week and monitor the rest of the injuries as well. This week could be the absolute turning point for this team. Coming out victorious will be pivotal for the rest of the year.

Stats & Notes from Week 5
  • Jimmy G struggles in return to starting lineup, gets benched in second half
  • CJ Beathard gets playing time in second straight game
  • Mostert returns from injury, 11 carries for 90 yards and 3 catches for 29 yards
  • Defense allows Fitzpatrick to throw for 350 yards and 3 TDs
  • SF drops to 2-3 on the year (0-3 at home) (2-0 in New York)
  • SF takes on LA Rams (4-1) Sunday night at home

 

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