The San Francisco 49ers entered week four after a 10-day layoff, still searching for their first win of the season, on the road against the Arizona Cardinals. The team would end the week watching the Cardinals and their “49ers Killer,” Larry Fitzgerald, scoring a walk-off touchdown in overtime to win the game 18-15 (Click Here to read the Game Summary). With Niners Live bringing you a Pre-Game to kick off the week, we now go deep and break down the quarterback’s, running backs’ and offensive line’s performances.
For some of The Faithful, the five touchdown drives Brian Hoyer led the offense to last week against the Los Angeles Rams, was the beginning of his breakout for the 2017 season. This game would prove to be the opposite, as those five touchdown drives against the Rams turned into five field goals against the Cardinals. With decent pass protection and a solid running game, the offense looked like it was moving in the right direction. With the way this offense is being led by Hoyer, it looks like it needs a new director.
Hoyer’s night could be summed up perfectly by Head Coach Kyle Shanahan after the game.
“You have to throw and catch better. It’s as simple as that, or at least it was in this game. When guys are open and you have time, you have to hit them. When he does hit you, you have to catch it. I know nobody’s perfect, but there was way too much of that between both positions today.”
For the night, Hoyer posted a 19.8 QBR and 54.3 quarterback rating, compiled from his 24-49 (49.9%), for 234 yards, no touchdowns and one interception performance. Of his pick, former 49ers’ and current Arizona Cardinals safety Antione Bethea said, “Catch the ones they throw to you.” The one Hoyer threw to him was his fourth of the season and fourth in four consecutive games. The team is currently 0-4.
CJ. Beathard made his career debut in the third quarter when Hoyer was injured after being brought down hard, bending his knee under both his and the defender’s body weight. Beathard was given one play, a 15 – yard handoff to Carlos Hyde.
Carlos Hyde came into this game questionable with a hip injury, but started and helped this offense move the ball throughout the afternoon, to the tune of 68 yards on 16 carries. His hip injury opened the door for rookie backup Matt Breida to see action that amounted to 16 yards on no carries. Breida added another four yards through the air. What is not accounted for was the pass blocking plays Breida filled in for, taking undue stress off Hyde’s hip. Kyle Juszczyk was once again to pick up some gritty yards for a first down conversion. Getting his lone carry in overtime, he wound his way from a shotgun set until he found his shoulder into the defender after eight yards on third and four.
This was a true running back by committee with Breida and Juszczyk picking up the load for their fellow back, Hyde. All totaled, the group posted a 26 carry 92-yard stat line and added nine catches for 46 yards. Hyde, Juszczyk, and Matt Breida all had catches, led by Hyde (5-27), then the “Offensive Weapon” Kyle Juszczyk (3-15), and the “Young Pup” Breida (1-4).
Hyde did have a fumble, but it was recovered by Joe Staley. Long as it doesn’t become a pattern like Hoyer’s interceptions, we will let it pass for now.
As a unit, the group played well enough to win this game. Hoyer was sacked three times for 24 yards, but at least one of those sacks came from Hoyer holding the ball much too long. The running game was effective enough to set up the play action pass. When play-action plays were used, there were not any sacks given up.
Normally we break this column into two parts, Run Blocking and Pass Blocking, but this week we are going to be like this line and keep it to just one because we are solid.
What to Expect against the Colts:
Coming off this loss it is no longer about the other team. This team and this offense needs to focus on itself and make the necessary changes. If the Hoyer’s play doesn’t improve, he needs to be replaced. The offense line and running game are doing their part. Andrew Luck is still not back for the Colts, so hopefully that means this won’t be a shootout. But no matter who is at quarterback for the other team, this offense cannot have another game without a touchdown. So far, the team has gone three of four games without one.
49er updates, interviews and news:
Please join us again soon on Niners Live, the home of the faithful fan and analyst from an objective/analytical lens, of course.
Welcome to Lyftlive.com.
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