Niners Live previously made the case as to why C.J. Beathard should start sooner rather than later. That opportunity came in week 6 against the Washington Redskins. We will show why this change in quarterback has brought better play from the offense as a whole and what this means for the future.
What’s Done is Done
In all fairness, we cannot blame Brian Hoyer for all of the failures of the San Francisco 49ers Offense. After all: he doesn’t block; he doesn’t run through holes; he doesn’t drop passes and while a few of his passes have fallen short or have been intercepted by a defender he failed to spot in the pre-snap read, he is not the sole reason for the 0-6 record. The 49ers Offense has been consistently inconsistent all season long and was at death’s door in the 1st quarter of the game against the Washington Redskins. Enter C.J. Beathard.
The C.J. Beathard Era Begins Now
There is always a tendency to protect the shiny new toy from getting scuffed up. This was the philosophy of Coach Shanahan in regards to C.J Beathard. For the past few weeks ,we heard, “Brian Hoyer gives us the best chance to win”, which has been met with sarcasm from the 49er Faithful. Whether the rumors of Brian Hoyer losing confidence in the locker room were true or not, it certainly appeared that way during the 1st half of Sunday’s game. Trailing 17-0 and awaiting the knockout blow, the decision was made to put the kid in. As always, every pass, every call, every play will be scrutinized from here on out and while three-quarters of football cannot predict the future of an NFL quarterback, let us look at what impact that has had on the offense thus far.
The Players seem to be Buying In
Understand, this is not a rah-rah article. There are still some skeptics among the Faithful who believe Beathard is being put in too soon and that he should be held until later on this season. However, one could not help but see a spring in every offensive starter’s step after the change was made. The rhythm and flow of the offense was much more consistent. Moving down the field on the defense didn’t seem to be an issue. Although Beathard was sacked twice, you could see that he wasn’t afraid to leave the pocket and actually run for a first down. The play action was more potent with Beathard under center. Carlos Hyde seemed to run with more purpose after being stopped regularly for losses in the 1st quarter. We saw a better effort from the receivers as a whole. Even the offensive line, which has had more than a few lapses in the scheme, seemed to make a more concerted effort to protect Beathard.
The Bottom Line Is
This is by no means a celebration, because you simply cannot celebrate anything when you are 0-6. A 19-36 for 245-yard performance with a 57.6 QBR is a good start, but can be improved upon. Beathard still has to get his timing down, as more than once, there were passes thrown behind the receiver. Yet, now is the time to open up the playbook and design around Beathard strengths. For his first time, he was actually more impressive than the presumed 2018 49ers starter Kirk Cousins. If this development is successful, then the San Francisco 49ers can spend less time worrying about drafting a quarterback in the 1st round; less time working to shell out untold millions to an unproven veteran quarterback and concentrate on getting Beathard some much-needed protection and talent around him to make Shanahan’s offense come alive and become just as potent as it was during his time in Atlanta. C.J Beathard, may become a Key brick in the 49ers foundation of the future.
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author and new Staff Writer @NinersLive.net, David Edmondson. Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims