Carlos Hyde and the Defense came to play; Is Brian Hoyer a liability?

Niners Live had you in suspense leading up to the game when we kicked off division rivalry week with our: Pregame Marquee Match ups and Storylines vs. the Seattle Seahawks. And now we close with our post-game recap and another dose of reality: Carlos Hyde and the Defense came to play; Is Brian Hoyer a liability?

 

The 49ers went to battle the Seattle Seahawks and the 12th man on the road at Century Link Field with extreme violence from their defense and featured running back Carlos Hyde, but came up short losing a close one 9 to 12 Seattle. Let’s recap how it really went down, Niners Live style; raw, real and uncut.

Defense, the Highlights with Extreme Violence

  • Eric Reid accounted for seven total tackles; five of which were solo. Reid had his physical presence in this game known just ask TE Jimmy Graham who had one catch for one yard. Reid left twice with a knee injury and is scheduled for an MRI. Reid also continues to kneel down during the national anthem.
  • Aaron Lynch wow the clean inactive scratch in week one must have done something to light a fire because Lynch looked like that guy; accounting for one solo tackle, one tackle for loss, one sack, and two QB hits with violent thoughts on his mind as he applied pressure on Wilson early and often.
  • Jimmie Ward back from his hamstring injury he accounted for five tackles, three were solo and one pass defended. Ward was active and had his presence felt on the field.
  • Ray-Ray Armstrong filled in for an injured Reuben Foster for the second week. Armstrong increased his production this week and accounted for eight tackles total and four coming solo. However, he was called for a late hit out of bounds. 
  • Earl Mitchell accounted for two tackles and one being solo. Earl helped contain the Seahawks rushing attack and didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher. He also was active at the point of attack.
  • Arik Armstead, who Niners Live told you don’t sleep on Armstead as the Leo Pass-Rusher, showed you why by accounting for four tackles total, one being solo, a sack, tackle for loss and a QB hit while playing with passion and a high level of intensity.
  • K’Waun Williams had six tackles, four being solo, and two passes defended. He wasn’t perfect, but he competed for the whole game and was active in run support and more than held his own against the likes of WR Doug Baldwin and company.
  • D.J. Jones had two tackles, one being solo, and a pass defended.
  • Tank Carradine had three tackles, two being solo, a sack, tackle for loss and two QB hits.
  • Solomon Thomas, the prize #3 overall pick in the draft, recorded four solo tackles total, two tackles for losses and one QB hit.
  • NaVorro Bowman had ten total tackles, seven being solo and a tackle for loss. Bo had a much better game this week than last week and it showed production wise.
  • DeForest Buckner accounted for four tackles total, two coming solo and three QB hits. Buckner was very active and disruptive. 
  • Elvis Dumervil, the veteran pass-rusher, had recorded a QB hit and an offsides penalty. But he makes this list for helping set the tone on making Wilson uncomfortable in the pocket. 
  • Jaquiski Tartt finished with five total tackles, two being solo and one pass defended, and a jarring hit to dislodge the ball from Graham in the secondary. Tartt is getting better, the more he plays.  
  • Dontae Johnson was very solid in coverage against the Seahawks outside of his pass interference call and has not been a liability in coverage. He accounted for four tackles, two being solo. 
  • Rashard Robinson had five solo tackles total, and for the most part, was solid and help keep the WR’s of Seattle in check.
  • Dekoda Watson accounted for two tackles, one being solo. You just like his effort.

Defense, the Lowlights

  • Ahkello Witherspoon was inactive.
  • Eli Harold had one solo tackle total in the game and was splitting time with Brock Coyle, a sign that he’s close to being benched or having his playing time reduced significantly.
  • (stats courtesy of ESPN.com).

Defensive Summary Breakdown

The 49ers forced zero turnovers and lost that battle to the Seahawks 1-0. The defense allowed 312 yards of total offense on a whopping 79 plays. Seattle went 8 of 19 on third down, 1 for 1 on 4th down and tallied up (21) first downs in the game (10) passing, (9) rushing, (2) by way of penalties. The 49ers defense as a unit came to play with extreme violence sacking Russell Wilson three times and adding an eye-opening 10 QB hits on the slithering quarterback. Wilson completed 23 of 39 passing for 198 yards at 5.1 yards per pass play, one touchdown, and zero interceptions. Wilson still managed to generate a QB rating of 80.9 while keeping drives alive late in the 4th and overall with his 34 yards on the ground rushing (summary stats courtesy of ESPN.com).

Hope and optimism on the horizon: Niners Live called out the defense prior to the Carolina Panthers game for needing to play with Extreme Violence and this time the defense didn’t disappoint as aforementioned with the constant—violent/disruptive pressure and hits on Wilson. The 49ers gave up a rushing total of 131 yards at only 3.5 yards a carry and didn’t allow a 100-yard rusher. It should be also noted that a lot of those rushing yards came late in the second half while the defense had been on the field for an extended period of time. Robert Saleh deserves a lot of credit for turning this unit around through two games to be formidable and respectable at the same time against two great quarterbacks in Cam Newton and Wilson, respectively, in back-to-back weeks. 

Special Teams, the Highlights

  • Brad Pinion, the punter, accounted for seven punts for 307 yards for an average of 43.9 net, four pinned inside the 20 and his longest being 51 yards. He did have a shanked punt, but overall, he recovered and atoned for that mistake.  
  • Robbie Gould went 3 for 3 and his longest came on a 40-yard attempt, establishing a 100% conversion rate.
  • Adrian Colbert was solid on special teams with two tackles.
  • Raheem Mostert downed the ball inside the 5 to 10-yard line.
  • Asa Jackson downed the ball inside the 5-yard line.
  • Victor Bolden Jr. had three returns for 71 yards at a 23.7 average with a 34-yard return being his longest, and he got some snaps on offense.
  • Trent Taylor returned three punts for 40 yards at 13.3 yards per return; his longest was 21 yards.

Offense, the Highlights

  • Carlos Hyde had 15 carries for 124 yards at 8.3 yards a pop with a 61 yarder being his longest. Hyde also chipped in three catches for 19 yards on six targets at 6.3 yards per catch. 
  • Matt Breida had four rushes for 35 yards at 8.8 yards per rush and one catch for three yards. Breida showed he’s a great change of pace back and came on strong down the stretch in the second half.
  • The entire offensive line makes this list: The 49ers’ O-line gave up only two sacks and four QB hits and gave Hoyer more time than expected. But this unit makes this list for leading the way for Hyde’s 124 yards rushing and 159 total yards rushing at 8.4 yards a pop. Laken Tomlinson only allowed two pressures in the game.
  • The tight ends make this list purely off their contributions in the running game only.

Offense, the Lowlights

  • Marquise Goodwin – what deep threat? Goodwin had three catches on six targets for 26 yards at 8.7 yards a catch and no touchdowns or impact plays in the game. Sounds just like last week’s stats, doesn’t it? Goodwin dropped a ball that could have been easily a first down or a big gain; this is the second time in two games that when the lights are bright, Goodwin is missing in action or has dropped off the face of the earth, no pun attended.
  • Brian Hoyer went 15 of 27 for 99 yards at 3.7 yards per pass play, zero touchdowns, one interception while generating a total QBR of 7.8, and a passer rating of 48.2. His numbers are getting worse at the passing of each start. 
  • Trent Taylor had two catches for six yards on four targets (averaging three yards a catch).
  • Aldrick Robinson is nowhere to be found; his number was never called, which is interesting seeing how he knows the offense, or is that now being overstated? or overrated? You be the judge. 
  • Pierre Garcon had three catches on five targets for 26 yards at 8.7 yards a catch and no touchdowns or impact plays in the game.
  • George Kittle had two catches for 13 yards on two targets at 6.5 yards a catch. 
  • Garrett Celek had one catch for six yards.
  • Kyle Juszczyk, the $20 million fullback, had no catches or rushing yards or touchdowns scored. He did help out in the running game somewhat as far as blocking wise. But Hyde made a lot happen on his own without his presence. 

Offensive Summary Breakdown

The 49ers had an again much to be desired (11) first downs (4) rushing, (5) passing (2) penalties; converting on third down 2 out of 12 times almost identical as week one. The 49ers only accounted for 48 plays for 248 yards – 143 combined yards of that were rushing and catching that came from Hyde alone.  

The time of possession was lopsided yet again, SF 23:02 and Sea 36:58. The 49ers’ offense didn’t help their defense stay off the field. And, as aforementioned, after the newly acquired Laken Tomlinson was inserted into the starting lineup this week at left guard, the offensive line only gave up two sacks and four QB hits as a unit and paved the way for 159 yards total rushing at 8.4 yards a pop featured by Hyde’s 124 yards of physical dominance and highlighted a 61-yard burst and run by Hyde. Hoyer was given more time in the pocket this week to make plays, but simply couldn’t deliver. The 49ers were better in the penalty department and illegal formations, etc., going 6 for 66 yards.

However, what must be called out is the inability to put points on the board. By my count, the 49ers are averaging six points a game and haven’t scored a touchdown through two games; first time that’s happened under head coach Kyle Shanahan’s watch.

Niners Live thoughts: The 49ers’ defense was on the field for 20 minutes and 47 seconds in the first half alone. Hoyer was 8/14 for 47 yards at 3.4 yards per pass play and one int and a QB rating of 33.9 at halftime. Goodwin’s (weekly) back-to-back drops are already getting old and costing the offense a chance to sustain drives and put points on the board. The 49ers margin for error isn’t high; all plays matter. The 49ers made a change at left guard, benching Zane Beadles in favor of Tomlinson. So I ask you, the Faithful, is it too soon to bench Goodwin? Or Hoyer? Do the 49ers need to shake things up on offense once more?

I’ll leave you with this yet again

Jeremy Kerley, who the 49ers released recently; accounted for 141 first downs on 246 receptions while averaging 11.8 yards per catch in his career. In 2016, out of 64 catches, 33 of them went for first downs for an astonishing 51.6 percent (Espn.com). Not to mention he played in 90 games over his six-year career (see Goodwin, Taylor, and Robinson for production comparison). Kerley was credited with only one drop pass to his name in 2016. 

Carlos Hyde and the Defense came to play; Is Brian Hoyer a liability?

Hyde was a one-man gang and wrecking crew as he imposed his physical will on the Seahawks defense early and often with extreme violence. The defense, who also came to play, didn’t disappoint either. They made a conscious effort to get after Wilson as repeated violent disruptors with intense passion in their hearts as they played inspired 49er football the whole game while giving their offense a chance to win. The same can’t be said for the starting quarterback Brian Hoyer, who’s accuracy issues and turnover prone self along with a lack of repetitive arm strength and mobility is becoming a liability, not a reliability.

Are Hoyer’s deficiencies part of the problem on offense? To be continued….

49er updates, interviews and news:

Post game quotes,  Hoyer recaps his playfull highlights, and here’s what head coach Kyle Shanahan had to say about Sunday’s performance (via the team’s website).

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.comPro Football Focus49ers.comESPN.comNFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author, Content Creator, EditorSequoia Sims .