This off-season, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer signed as the unquestioned starter. Questions arose about Hoyer’s play and ability to lead this team once the team started the season 0-3, and failed to score a single touchdown in the first two games of the season, a first in team history. With a near comeback performance against the Los Angeles Rams, Niners Live asks, “Has Brian Hoyer done enough to silence his critics?”
Coming into the Rams contest, Hoyer had yet to lead a touchdown drive, pass for 200 yards in a game, complete a pass longer than 22 yards, or have a passer rating over 71, but that would change by the end of the game. During the game, Hoyer would not only check off all the above boxes, he would shatter them. Hoyer’s stat line from that matchup was 22-37, 332 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception, and a 98.0 passer rating. He also added a 9-yard touchdown scamper on his lone rushing attempt on the night. Looking at the numbers, one would think it’s possible he had a breakthrough performance, but don’t let these numbers fool you. The team still lost the game and Hoyer was still Hoyer.
Looking past the basic numbers of the Rams game, two major issues we find from Hoyer this season are still present.
The early game turnover that leads to easy points for the opposition. In the first two games of the season Hoyer threw first-quarter interceptions that set both the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks up in an excellent position to score. In the Rams game, Hoyer not only threw his interception in the first quarter, but this time he threw it on the first play of the first drive of the game for both teams. Yes, the first play from scrimmage. The interception was returned by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman to the 49ers three-yard line. In the next play, Todd Gurley punched in a touchdown and the Rams took a lead they would never give back.
The sack that hurts has plagued Hoyer and this offense, and once again, it showed its head. Hoyer was sacked four times in both the Panthers and the Rams games. While there were only two sacks given up against the Seahawks, the sacks Hoyer is taking seem to remain similar. They all come with disaster. Remember the game against the Seahawks? Hoyer was sacked once on third down to end one of the few drives the offense was moving the ball towards a score. And the next time was part of a three and out. Against the Rams, well, we watched Hoyer take his fourth sack to end the game. Disaster.
Has Brian Hoyer Done Enough To Silence His Critics?
Until Hoyer finds a way to correct these issues, we are not going to see him take breakthrough steps this season. And possibly, we may not see Hoyer win a game before being pulled to see what the team has in rookie quarterback C. J. Beathard. With the Cardinals next on the schedule followed by Indianapolis, Washington, and Dallas, the schedule is not getting any easier. How long can the team, and more specifically Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan, wait for Hoyer to become a quarterback that can give the team a chance to win, let alone the best chance to win? Hoyer is officially on the clock, hopefully, his play doesn’t put the 49ers there too early.
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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, Edward Erving Staff Writer @NinersLive.net and Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims