2018 Season Recap: San Francisco 49ers

2018 SEASON RECAP: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Quick note before we begin, I’ve written this with the help of u/duilio05 He’s a real bros bro. 🤝 thanks for the help hoss

Division: NFC West

Record: 4-12 (DIV: 1-5, 3rd)

Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator: Kyle “thug nasty” Shanahan

Defensive Coordinator: Robert Saleh

General Manager: John Lynch

Subreddit: /r/49ers

It was a sunny day in Los Angeles when the 49ers ended their 2017 season with a win against the Los Angeles Rams. John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan just finished season 1 of their 6 year contracts. The weather mirrored the hopes and dreams of 49er fans as we entered 2018. We finished the season with 5 straight wins, 4 of them against playoff bound teams. All thanks to the coming of our lord and savior Jimmy Garoppolo.

Despite repeatedly saying “let’s not get our hopes up, we are still just a 6-10 team, there’s still a lot of work to be done”, John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan couldn’t squash the hype that every talk show host and fan relishing. We all believed us to be dark horse playoff contenders for the 2018 season. Even the team review from last year https://www.reddit.com/comments/7x9xhl ended saying “2018 could see this storied franchise return to the playoffs for the first time since the departure of Jim Harbaugh.”

A good quarterback can hide a lot of flaws on a team, a great quarterback can go a step further and start to mitigate those flaws. And Jimmy Garoppolo turned a 1-10 team into a serious threat that was beating good teams in December. 49er fans learned the hard way what happens when you remove a band-aid on a severe flesh wound. To say the 2018 season didn’t go as planned is the understatement of the year. Our season wasn’t supposed to end after Week 3 But it did. That being said, it wasn’t all horrible. We learned a lot about our team this year, and I’m going to make the argument we weren’t as bad as our record would lead you to believe.

For casual nfl fans, they might look at the cardinals, the 49ers, or the jets and think “they must of been horrible to get that record” and to a certain extent they’d be right. You don’t go 4-12 because of your amazing play. But just like the cardinals had some good defensive play despite their record, the 49ers had a lot of positive attributes that got lost in the sea of L’s. Fans of the teams that faced us will be the first to tell you that each game with the niners was competitive, even with our unfortunate number of injuries. By the end of this review, I hope you’ll have a more nuanced understanding of why the 49ers went 4-12 besides “lol niners suck”. With that out of the way. Let’s go down into the trenches and figure out what went right and what went wrong for the San Francisco 49ers.

Team Statistics

  STATS 49ERS OTHER TEAMS
  1st Downs 344 337  
  Total yards 5769 5546  
  Passing yards 3867 3732  
  Rushing yards 1902 1814  
  Sacks 37 48  
  Field goals 33/34 24/27  
  Touchdowns 35 52  
  Starting field pos Own 26 Own 31  

RANKING
POINTS:
21.4 ranked 21st

YARDS:
360.6 ranked 16th

PASSING YARDS:
241.7 ranked 15th

RUSHING YARDS:
118.9 ranked 13th

Free Agency

FREE AGENCY

There’s a really stupid narrative in the 49er fan base and around the league that the 49ers weren’t aggressive enough in the FA market. people wanted Allen Robinson, donte montcrief, Ezekiel Ansah, Malcolm Butler, and Andrew Norwell all those big name flash in the pan folk for what it’s worth, I really wanted norwell too. But it’s hard to sign everyone in free agency. You have to accept you’ll over pay people, and their success is never a guarantee (more on that later). Let’s take a look at some of the positions and what we added. Note, I won’t be discussing how each signing preformed in the 2018 season here. Go down to the roster evaluation to see how they did this year.

OFFENSE

We didn’t sign a WR because we there wasn’t one that shanahan thought would be an upgrade over Garcon. We went into 2018 with 6 wide receivers, of those 6, 2 were drafted in 2018 and another 2 were drafted in 2017. Those 4 represent the WR core that shanny is trying to develop. Scrappy white slot receiver Trent Taylor, wacky route runner Pettis, backyard ball z playing Bourne, and y runner Richie James. Goodwin is a sort of gap player who was coming off a great season in 2017, and Garcon was a decent z receiver before his injure in 2017. Heading into 2018 our WR class looked set, so it made sense we didn’t go after Allen Robinson

Where we did add on offense was SIGNING THE PRETTIEST QUARTERBACK IN THE WORLD TO A FIVE YEAR DEAL (stil la FA SIGNING) and signing Center Weston Richburg so why did Shanny go after the top center on the market? I’ll let him explain it in his own words

“When you have a center of the level of Alex or Weston, it changes a lot of things, things that people don’t totally realize, Sometimes you have to get in certain personnel groupings to help someone have an angle to a MIKE linebacker so you can help your center out with the guard. Sometimes you go into a one-back and now the WILL has to walk outside the box and the angles to the MIKE aren’t as good, but you’ve got a center who can get there on his own and doesn’t need the help. It allows you to do a bunch of different stuff. It puts more pressure on the center. It puts versatility in everything you can do, not just with the center but what your guards and tackles can do. It helps solidify the entire o-line. That’s usually where it starts. There are a lot of good players, but when you have a difference maker at that position, I’ve found in my career that it’s been a lot easier to run an offense.”

So that’s why shanny made him the 3rd richest center in football. Another key piece the Shanalynch added was Running back Jerrick McKinnon. Of all the free agent RBs, without a doubt The Jet was the best fit for our offense. A dual threat pass catching back he hauled in 142 receptions on 192 targets for 984 yards in 4 years with the Vikings. That comes out to a decent 6.9 yards per reception, with his last two seasons it was 8.3 yards per reception. On the ground he rushed 1918 yards on 498 attempts over 4 years, that’s about 4.0 yards per attempt. For a back who was never given all down back duties, he looked to be ready for that role. That’s why shanahan gave him the 7th best contract for a RB in the nfl (4 years for 36.9 mil). People really blasted the Shanalynch for this contract, claiming it was way too much money for a RB who had never proven he could handle every down back responsibilities. What those armchair GMs didn’t realize is the 49ers got in a bidding war with the jets. And if you really want a player and you get in a bidding war, well, you gonna overpay. That’s just life. Am I happy with the contract? Yes. Because once the dust settle and you realize only 14.3 million is guaranteed. It was front loaded as hell and becomes much more manageable down the road

DEFENSE

For the most part we were pretty quiet in FA for defense. There was one big signing on defense. you know who CORNERBACK RICHARD SHERMAN is now a fucking niner. Hell hath no fury like a seahawk scorned (ay hmu earl Thomas). After getting unceremoniously cut by the Seahawks due to a torn Achilles, Sherman was looking for blood. Well he got his chance all right. He signed a very friendly prove it deal with the niners, no agents involved, and mainly incentives based. He had a lot to prove clming off a serious injury in his 30s. And he went to the one team that would give him the chance to get back at his team. Our other FA signings were negligible nobodies.

CONCLUSION

hindsight is 20/20, Shanalynch thought the roster was shored up enough, and maybe they should of gone harder in adding defensive play makers. An inability to close games would haunt the niners 2018 season, and adding pieces to compete with “guaranteed starters” would of been helpful for said starters to improve.

2018 Draft

1st round, pick 9

Mike McGlinchey, OT

Initial thoughts:

considering there were multiple talented defenders on the board when the Niners picked him at No. 9., the 49ers must view offensive tackle as a pressing need moving forward and believe McGlinchey was the best option in this draft. Protecting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo should be a priority, but this still feels a bit high for McGlinchey. That being said, this was a forward thinking pick. Not as sexy as Derwin James, but high quality tackles are rare to come by. This allowed them to move on from Trent Brown, getting a 3rd round pick.

Round 2, No. 44 overall:

Dante Pettis, WR, Washington

Initial reaction

After spending their first three picks on defense last year, the 49ers are going the other direction to start this year’s draft. Adding Pettis to offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey signals that the Niners are prioritizing adding pieces that can help maximize quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. In this case, the Niners traded pick Nos. 59 and 74 to move up to take Pettis and get pick No. 142. With so much need for impact players on defense, I’m not exactly sure if this was the wisest pick, especially if they could of moved up a little further to draft Harold Landry. But That being said, Pettis has shown explosiveness in college

Round 3, No. 70 overall:

Fred Warner, LB, BYU

The Niners’ first defensive pick of this draft comes as little surprise given the amount of interest the team showed in Warner in the pre-draft process. The 6-foot-3, 236-pound Warner is the same weight as Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith. At the time of the draft, the niners were still unsure of the future of Rueben foster (oh how times have changed). The mindset at the time is that Warner would be the premier pass defender, and Rueben the run defender.

Round 3, Pick No. 31 (95)

Tarvarius Moore, DB, Southern Miss

Tarvarius Moore was the quintessential “corner” build, who ran a blistering 4.32 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day and has firehose 33-inch arms to boot. He was snubbed from the combine but was considered a late riser when teams caught on to his testing numbers. He played safety in college and the niners planned to develop him as a corner (niners love to draft players out of position on defense...)

Later rounds

Kentavius street, 4th round. Torn ACL pick. Would play the 5t

DJ Reed, 5th round, low risk move. He’s a smol boi. Allowed a 53% completion rate when targeted. Not too shabby. But he lil

Marcell Harris, 6th round, Safety. Coming off an injury. Camp body pick

Jullian Taylor: 7th round DL. Coming off an injury

Richie James jr: WR. Only drafted to make rick James jokes

Weekly Game Recaps

Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 TD, 3 INTs, 327 total yards, 261 PY 90 RY on 25 att, 5.4 YPP

This game was the perfect microcosm for the 49er season. A dropped TD pass by Garcon in the end zone, 2 dropped passes by Kittle that looked to be sure fire TDs, 2 back to back fumbles ON THE GOAL LINE by alfred Morris, Solomon Thomas drew an offsides penalty on 4th&1, 2 injuries on the OL that forced Mike McGlinchey into an out of position OG role. This game was frustrating because there was so much potential left on the field. And yet, despite the 3 interceptions and a heartbreaking fumble on the goal line, the 49ers were never out of the fight. The defense held Kirk Cousins and the vikings to just 17 points when they were averaging 22.5 ppg. They forced 6 punts, held Cousins to 2 TD, got 3 sacks, and recovered a fumble, Without a doubt, this was a winnable game.

Best play of the game This play highlights the strength of Jimmy Garoppolo and Dante Pettis. Just look at that ball placement on an off scripted play, look at Dante Pettis and how he caught the ball, arms fully extended. It’s plays like this that give us fans hope. That being said, we lost the game, and there was a reason for it. Let’s break down those ints and fumbles that ultimately cost us the game

INT #1 whose fault? Not Jimmy Garoppolo’s, Kendrick Bourne slipped on a cutback and failed to catch a perfectly thrown ball. This was returned for a TD.

INT #2 Whose fault? Jimmy G, he threw it just outside Dante pettis’ outstretched hands.

INT #3 Whose fault? Jimmy G. Bone-headed throw into triple coverage. It appears like the ball trajectory was thrown off balance by a QB hit, but it was a throw he shouldn’t of made.

FUMBLE God damnit Alfred Morris…

In Conclusion: this game sums up the 49er season. Potential that gleamed at times, but was ultimately wasted because of boneheaded decisions and costly mistakes and horrible ball security.

Game MVP: Deforest Buckner. 7 TOT, 2.5 sacks, 3.5 TFL. All while being double teamed.

Jimmy Garoppolo: 18/26 2 TD 0 INT (1, but we’ll get to that later), 156 PY & 190 RY on 28 att, 5.8 YPP & 6 bloody sacks

In hindsight, a lot of people were underestimating the lions D, especially their ability to play man coverage. As a result people were shocked this game was as close as it was. If the Jets could drop 48 points on the lions the 49ers should be able to drop 50! The truth is, only 3 teams were able to score more than us against the lions all season. But I’ll let u/OwenSixteen explain the underrated Lions coverage defense and their ability to play man.

This was Matt Breida’s breakout game. And what a game he had. To the uninitiated, Matt Breida is the actual fastest player in the NFL according to nextgenstats (sorry chief fans but its the tru tru). A UDFA from Georgia Southern, Matt Breida is a shining example of why it’s absolutely necessary to draft a RB in the 1st round, and that you can’t just replace a RB if you have a good OL. Joking aside just (look at this play). He’s got speed, vision, and teammates that love to block for him (notice number 44 get a critical block on that play, more reasons Kyle JuiceCheck is the best Fullback in the league).

This was also the game we learned that as great as Kyle Shanahan is, if your guys can’t separate no scheme will help them get open. With that said, this is why Dante Pettis has a chance to be something special in this league. He has the ability to separate, but he was still too much of a rookie to be a difference maker in this game. The defense played a good game in the first half, but like many other games this season, completely ran out of gas in the 4th quarter, where with 11:00 left and the score at 13-30 they gave up 159 yards on 17 plays that led to 2 touchdowns. Giving up a lead in the 4th quarter is going to become a very common theme for the rest of this season. And this is where it’s frustrating as a fan, because the talent is there. Those first 3 quarters saw OK play from the defense, except for the fact that the entire defense forgot how to tackle. DeFo led the defense at the least (1 sack, 1 TFL). On the last drive Jimmy Garoppolo stared down his receiver and threw a boneheaded interception (why Shanny were you throwin plays with a lead when your running game was unstoppable and you only had like 2 minutes left in the game?) but it was called back on a holding call. Regardless, the Lions got the ball back with 1:50 left on the clock, but our defense finally snapped back to reality and got a stop that won us the game

best play of the game this will be Garcon’s swan song. He caught the injury bug with the 49ers (a common theme for many players that come to us), but he was one bad ass mother fucker. Absolutely loved watching him run with Breida and give him the lead block necessary to score a TD. Thank you for the good memories Garcon, We wish you well

Game MVP: without a doubt Matt Breida. Matt Breida is a talented RB, any fan of a team that faced us this year knows this. While he could never remain healthy enough to be an every down back, he is bloody dangerous when the ball gets in his hands and he proved it this game.

(I’ll get to the score in a minute)

Jimmy Garoppolo: 20-30 2 TD 0 INT, 251 PY & 178 RY on 29 att, 6.4 YPP

At first glance, 27-38, you’d probably think the 49ers got their asses handed to them. And they had us in the first half, I’m not gonna lie. It was 10-35 at the half. Our defense got MAHOMED. We stalled out and had to punt on 4 drives. But, it wasn’t all kermit and the chiefs. Hey Let’s take a deeper look at the first half, because there was one drive in particular that showed the genius of Kyle Shanahan and the magic of Jimmy Garoppolo.

We were down 0-14. Two drives ended in punts and a meager 18 total yards. But Kyle Shanahan Shanahaned the fuck out of this next possession. Kyle JUICECHECK, the best fullback in football, wasn’t even defended!. Of course Mahomes answered back with a touchdown of his own, but before the half George “Stone Cold Austin” Kittle absolutely man handled the chiefs defense and did what he did best. Watch him just fucking TRUCK these defenders for that sweet, sweet YAC.

This is where things get interesting. 10-35 in the half, our defense managed to stop mahomes twice and force two punts and gave our offense the chance to put up 166 yards and 14 unanswered points, including a 2-point conversion after robbie gould missed a PAT. If you weren’t watching the games you wouldn’t have known, but the momentum shifted in that second half. I say this not to claim “we would of won if Jimmy didn’t go down” but rather to help everyone understand why he made that decision. We were on the goal line. We were only down 11 points. You could feel that the 49ers as a team believed they could make a comeback. Jimmy tried to do something that he’ll regret until his dying day. we all know what happened next For most nfl fans not the chiefs or the niners, you might not know what happened next. CJ Beathard takes up the mantle, and his first pass is a TD to kittle that TD was called back on the bullshitiest call to end all bullshit OPI calls. You think a call that costs you the game is bad? Try losing your franchise QB, then having the refs dad dick you in front of his corpse. I’ve never been so upset. THAT’S why I refuse to let the score be anything other than 34-38. Regardless of the outcome of that drive, we’d never see the ball again. The season got a lot darker after that. But not without it’s highlights.

Game MVP: Jimmy Garoppolo. Wanna know why Jimmy Garoppolo got paid the big bucks? Because in Arrowhead, down 10-35, instead of choking that gutsy ball slinging bad ass mother fucker led a come back in one of the most hostile stadiums to play in. He LIT. IT. UP. 276 yards, a passing TD, 2 field goals, a rushing TD by morris on the goal line, a total of 20 points. The Chiefs responded with 3 points. That’s damn impressive IMO.

CJ Beathard: 23-37 2 TD 2 INT, 288 PY & 76 RY on 21 att one sack

This was CJs chance to shine. After losing the starting job to the handsome one, he was gifted another shot to put on tape that he was qualified to be a starter. A lot was on his shoulders, but he stepped up big time against a chargers defense that head no joke. CJ and shanny had the Chargers 17-6 with 4:59 remaining in the second quarter then scored 20 straight points, including 11 in the final 47 seconds of the first half to tie it at 17 at halftime. This was doubly frustrating given how phenomenal our Defense had played in the 1st quarter. Safety Antone Exum jr got the teams first interception all season and returned that nasty boy for a touchdown. This was promptly followed up with a beautiful touchdown pass by beathard. He throws a dart between two defenders and over one into the hands of Kendrick Bourne. But then our defense remembered it was bad and gave up big play after big okay. Our run defense had been top 10 before this game and we had kept every runner against us under 100 yards on the ground. Unfortunately they slipped up against one of the most dangerous backfields in the league. Still, even though we gave up a lead in the first half, George kittle was doin George kittle things. This is why George kittle is the most dangerous player in football with shanahan as his HC. He’s schemed wide open, but kittle unleashes speed and trickery to outrun the remaining chargers secondary to take this bad boy 85 yards to paydirt. From there the niners and chargers switched leads 3 times. Beathard was going toe to toe with one of the best QBs in the league. Finally with 3 minutes on the clock, the 49ers are driving towards the end zone. But for some god awful reason Alfred Morris failed to pick up the blitz and a free defender unloaded on CJ right as he was throwing the ball, causing a game sealing interception.

INT #1 Was it CJ’s fault? No. It bounced off Celek’s chest and into the hands of the defender. CATCH THE BALL CELEK

INT #2 Was it CJ’s Fault? It’s everyone’s fault here. Failed to pick up the block. Got bashed in. either there was miscommunication or Morris just forgot to pick up the blitz. Either way, the fact CJ couldn’t sense the pressure at all is telling.

best play of the game I know I know, I didn’t choose the 85 yard TD pass to kittle. See though kittle gets a lot of love on this sub, and most people know what he can do. But in my opinion this is what made Shanahan draft CJ in the 3rd round. He might lack pocket presence but he’s a fantastic running ball. His vision for running lanes is spectacular for a QB, and his toughness to survive a collapsing pocket is laudable

Game’s MVP: antone Exume Jr. he had the niners only pick 6 all season and had 3 critical PBUs. Best game of his career no doubt. Honorable mentions is George kittle and Kendrick Bourne. KB does not get enough recognition for his clutch ness.

CJ Beathard: 34-54, 349 yards, 2 TD and 2 INT

Let me show you two teams, and you tell me which one you think won.

Team A. 447 yards. 10-17 3rd down conversion, 33 1st downs, 40:12 ToP Team B. 220 yards. 2-12 3rd down conversion, 10 1st downs, 19:48 ToP

Team A? The San Francisco 49ers. Team B was the Cardinals. See this is what happens when you turn the fucking ball over 5 god damn times. because of our teams horrendous ball security we just literally handed a win to the cardinals.We had eight drives resulting in one interception, two fumbles, one missed field goal and four punts. And yet they still draft ahead of us. Fucking end me.

5 fucking turnovers. We dominated this game. Double time of possession, double the first downs, double the total yards, but fucking turnovers killed us. Lets take a look at those turnovers. Despite those turnovers it wasn’t until the 4th turnover that the game was sealed, where with 4 minutes left in the game a fumble was recovered for a TD. We still could of won this dumb game after turning the ball over 3 god damn times. But we had bigger dreams than winning. The r/nfl roast is coming up, and they really wanted to make sure people had the best material to work with

Int #1 Whose Fault? Not CJ. Bounced off the hands of Garcon and into the hands of a defender. Only 7 minutes into the game off to a bloody great start

FUMBE #1 lmao there were so many turnovers NFL didn’t even bother showing the start of this play. That’s Raheem Mostert just giving the cardinals the ball. Thanks for that bro.

FUMBE #2 this is why CJ will never be a starter in this league. I love you, you redneck bastard, but you don’t have the pocket presence necessary. That Being said, JOE STALEY COME ON FUCKING DEFEND YOUR QB

FUMBLE #3 Poor CJ never stood a bloody chance. I can’t blame this one on him. Oh wait, I CAN. FUCKING PROTECT THE BALL DUDE. TAKE THE SACK.

INT #2 whose fault? Oh no CJ what is u doin

best play of the game. Thank you so much for existing kittle. Here he turns a nice little bubble screen pass into a 45 yard play. Watch this play develop and try and tell me this team doesn’t have potential. 4 defenders in a line right in front of kittle. But the whole offense works to block and make room for the bendy boi kittle to do what he does best, rack up som YAC

Game MVP: KYLE JUICECHECK. He went 6/7 for 75 yards, all on clutch drives. He also is a phenomenal blocker and he showed it off this game

CJ BEATHARD 16/23 245 yards 2 TD 1 int, 2 sacks

49ers rushed for 174 yards on 30 attempts

I don’t care what anybody says, this was a fucking fun ass game. And it just so happened to be CJs best game of his career. I can only imagine how exciting it must of been to go toe to toe with Aaron Rodgers, someone he’s watched since high school. He even got to experience what it’s like to get RODGERED, giving up a lead to Rodgers on a game sealing drive, where he marches downfield to set up a game winning field goal with no time left. What joy! Honestly though if you didn’t watch the game check out the highlights. This game had everything. The niners defense was playin EXCELLENT man that required the most accurate pin point throws, and Aaron made them on a consistent basis. It had CJ throwing beautiful deep ball after deep ball to Goodwin, who made his first game back coming off an injury. As a 49er fan, nothing is more beautiful than the connection between CJ and Goodwin. There’s something about these two, when they click it’s he most incredible plays. This play has it all. Pocket collapsing on Beathard. He steps up into it. Deep ball barely escapes. He soars through he bright lights of Lambeau Field on Monday Night Football. Goodwin in stride, defenders nipping on his trail. The ball falls so perfectly into Goodwin’s outstretched hands. Touchdown. It was one of those plays where the second it was snapped you just KNEW it was going to connect for a big play. If CJ ever becomes a starter in this league, it will be because of plays like this. Also, for every NFCN fan that hates the packers, this guys face is everything

I think his face sums up how most people felt about the niners performance that night. It was everything for us fans, which is why it was so heartbreaking to lose on a game winning come back drive by the boogie man. But it was our game to lose, and that’s exactly what Shanahan and CJ Beathard did. From questionable play calls in the 4th quarter to an interception by Beathard that gave the boogie man 3 minutes to carve up our horrid pass defense. Also, can we talk about Marquise Goodwin for a minute? This is what his ceiling is in my opibion6. 4 catches on 5 targets for 126 yards and 2 touchdowns. When healthy, this is the kind of threat Goodwin is. His best seasons are still in front of him, and I have full faith that with a full bodied threat that frees Goodwin up, he’ll have an unbelievable season.

bestplayofthegame. Come on, you already knew what it was gonna be

Game MVP: I’m giving out two because they equally deserved it. Ebony and Ivory, Fire and Ice, Redneck and Olympian, CJ “The lionheart” Beathard and marquise “literally the kindest person alive” Goodwin. I love them both forever and I don’t care who knows it

CJ Beathard 15/27 1 TD 2 INT 180 yards

The Beathard giveth, and the Beathard taketh away. After showing us what his ceiling is, Beathard returned to form with an abysmal showing against our divisional rival. Here’s how our first half went. Fumble, punt, fumble, safety, interception, touchdown. Yup. It would be one thing if it was just us beating ourselves like it was against the cards, but in this case it was us beating ourselves and the rams joining in on the fun. Those fuckers decided to dunk on us and score 5 TDs on us. Talk about rude we obviously would of given them the victory anyways. Our second half wasn’t an better, punt, interception, field goal, punt, punt, downs. Let’s take a look at those INTs and fumbles because why not, it happens so often I’m numb to it at this point

FUMBLE #1 lol this one is pretty funny. Like wtf was Beathard even doing? If you ever wondered what bad situational awareness looks like, THIS IS IT DAWG. he saw the defenders coming. He knew he was about to get sacked. It should of been ruled an interception, not that it matters anyways

FUMBLE #2 okay this one is also pretty funny not gonna lie. You need to slow down the game speed but a defender just straight takes the ball out of Breidas arms. Then Breida just nonchalantly gets up and has this bewildered look on his face.

INT #1 whose fault? Mainly just a great defensive play. That being said CJ doesn’t have a quick enough release where he can get away with staring down his target. So he gets some blame too

INT #2 whose fault? CJ BEATHARD LOGIC “hmmm a giant defender is in front of my target, that seems like a smart throw to me!”

best play of the game. George kittle cares about your fantasy team

Game MVP: George Kittle. When in doubt, you can always count on kittle to salvage a depressing game

CJ Beathard: 14/28 190 yards 1 TD 0 INT (!!!!)

We should of bloody won this game. I’m convinced Shanahan threw this game for a better draft pick. There’s just no explaining it. We finally had no turnovers when our opponent had 3. We had the lead the entire game save for a few minutes in the beginning. This was honestly just an embarrassing loss because it was so damn winnable. This game also had 8 punts. This was not enjoyable , though our defense played well against the leagues worst offense, so there’s that. We also got our second (and last!) interception!

best play of the game regardless of how bad the cardinals are, these are grown ass men trying to catch one of the fastest people in the nfl. He makes everyone around him look slow. He’s always had the speed, but this year his route running and footwork has been phenomenal. He’s a special player

Game MVP: Holy shit it’s Kendrick Bourne! 7/10 for 71 yards, Kendrick Bourne is a player to keep an eye on in deep fantasy leagues. Shout out to Fred warner who had 7 tackles and a recovered fumble

BATTLE OF THE BAY

NICK MULLENS BLEW THE FUCK OUT THE RAIDERS

BIG DICK NICK 2: NOW WITH BIGGER DICKS

NICK MULLENS: 16/22 262 yards 3 TD 0 INT 0 FUCKING SACKS

Thanks to an injured (because of course) CJ Beathard, Nick Mullens got his chance to shine. And he did not throw away his shot. Dude played so well he got verified on Twitter MID GAME. Absolute legend. The niners didn’t just beat the raiders, they murdered their parents. They dad dicked John gruden on fucking Thursday Night Football. If they were going to win any game this year, this was the one to do it. Proving once and for all there is only one Bay Area football team. I’d show you a highlight reel from that game but I’m not allowed to link to pornhub. It’s not an overstatement to claim this was the most important win for Kyle Shanahans young career with the niners. Because of this win a meme was born, but remember folks, a meme is no replacement for the real thing. Yes nick Mullens played incredibly well against the raiders, but don’t be fooled and think he’s anywhere near as talented as jimmy Garoppolo or even most starters in this league. Nick Mullens is blessed to have players on his team who excel at getting yards after the catch. He was bailed out by many good catches on bad throws but you wouldn’t know that from this game. For now. Let’s sit back and enjoy the man. The myth. The legend. The dick.

best play of the game this is the best catch from this season full stop. I’m tired of the best catches always being toe drag swag plays. Don’t get me wrong those are incredible. But this is the year of the tight end, and is there any catch more phenomenal that’s not a toe drag swagger? Fucking one handed, draped in 3 defenders. Then he goes off to the races and slips a tackle. This is the most George kittle catch by George Kittle

Game MVP: Nick Mullens without a doubt. Some honorable mentions are Cassius Marsh who played like a competent DE for once and George Kittle. You cannot stop George Kittle. You cannot even hope to contain him. You can only pray he is feeling merciful

Nick Mullens: 27-39 250 yards 1 TD 2 INT 0 sacks

The magic run out and shanahan sabotaged this game for dat sweet draft capital. Whether it was punting on 4th and short or the passing play calls when they had a lead with just minutes to go, my tinfoil hat is telling me something fishy is going on. This was a game we should of and could of won, but we lack the closers necessary to do so. So what does that even mean, you say? Well niners were one of the worst teams at 3rd down defense. On this play OBJ is well defended, causing him to be late to the ball by a hair. The next snap the defenders are tired and Eli has all day too throw. Connecting with OBJ for a touchdown on the exact same play. Better pressure on the QB and the defense would of gotten off the field with no points added to the board. While we’re on our flaws, Nick Mullens has that quick release like jimmy (no sacks two games in a row thank god) and he’s got quick processing, but his accuracy leaves something to be desired this is a pretty common throw by the Mullens. He tends to throw the ball too high or too short, but he gets bailed out a bit by good catches. Let’s take a look at the two interceptions that likely cost us the game

INT #1 Whose fault? I’d say 20/80 on nick and Kendrick Bourne. Nick should of thrown it more outside, but if the ball hits your hands as a receiver u better be catching it.

INT #2 whose fault? GOODWIN YOU GOTTA CATCH THAT. but really it’s on shanahan for letting him back in. The play before he got a nasty hit and was woozy, after this play he was pulled from the game. Shanny my man if one of your best skill players is woozy don’t put him back in. Not just is it dangerous for him but it’s dangerous for your team’s chances at winning

best play of the game a great catch by BREIDA THE CHEETAH. this player is special, and he’s only gonna get better sharing duties with McKinnon. Keep in mind at this point in the season he has been in and out with a bad ankle injury, so all these highlights of him are gonna be with him battling through it. In fact he was pulled from the game after this drive

kendrick Bourne is a baller not the best play of the game, but really shows his strength as a player. Can take shots over the middle like a beast

Game MVP: Matt Breida the Cheetah. If we had won this game it would of been on. The strength of our versatile pass catching running back. He had 101 yards and a TD rushing on 17 carries and pulled in 3 receptions for 39 yards and a TD. All that while not playing the whole game and while battling through a nagging injury

Nick Mullens: 18/32 221 yards 1 TD 2 INT 4 sacks

By far the worst game of the season and the worst performance by Nick Mullens m. The only positives was the return (again) of Breida and the return of Dante Pettis, who had been out for 6 weeks on a groin injury. Matt breida is just fun to watch. I know NFL players are a bit full of themselves and like to claim their the best, the fastest, or the hardest. Matt breida is the kind whose quiet about his strengths and shows it off on the field. That play I just shared is the fastest recorded play of any player in the nfl. He had a recorded speed of 22.09 mph on a 33 yard rush. Just watching him makes him look faster than fast. For what it’s worth tyreek hill’s fastest burst was 21.78 mph.dante pettis is a bendy boi. This is one of the reasons to love Pettis. Watch him use his plastic body to get past his mark and his phenomenal footwork to weave his way past a diving defender. All this being said, it doesn’t matter if individual play is good or if you can really win on one snap if you can’t keep it up the whole game. Throughout this game the defense would make the stops necessary but them give up big plays. The buccaneers had a 3rd down efficiency of 7-13. A strong 3rd down defense is probably the most important aspect of a team’s D

best play of the game Winston just got DEFORESTED. deforest Buckner is a beast. he pushes his double team back into the Eater of Dubs, breaks free, and gets the sack. Just trying to raise awareness about one of the best DTs in the game. He had 2 QB hits. 2 tackles for loss, a sack, 5 solo tackles, and all while being double teamed

Game MVP: DeFo FoSho

Nick Mullens: 30/48 414 yards 2 TD 1 INT 3 sacks

Remember how I said the buccaneers game was the worst game all season? Yeah. I was wrong. Completely wrong. Blown out by the fucking hawks. Just end me. At least Wilson helped me win my fantasy game.. The one highlight is this was Dante Pettis’s breakout game. So I’m just gonna talk about him and completely ignore the niners “defense”. Because in the first half Wilson only had 4 completions, but 3 of them were fucking touchdown passes. Anyways, back to Pettis. This was his homecoming game as he went to college in Seattle. He hauled in 5 receptions on 7 targets for 129 bloody yards and 2 nasty touchdowns. Take a look at this one. This had NO RIGHT being a TD walk in. And yet that’s exactly what Pettis did. Even though a Seattle defender had his arms wrapped around him. Another covered the edge on the right, another had the edge on the left, and a fourth defender was coming in from the middle. But Pettis don’t care. He uses a stiff arm not to bull doze but to bounce off his opponent, going slightly backwards but bending forwards. He wraps himself around a teammate and is suddenly walking along the edge, having tricked every seahawk coming after him for an easy walk in touchdown. Seriously, watch this TD at half speed. You’ll hear people tell Pettis he needs to “bulk up” and there have been times where he’s been hit over the middle so hard he drops the pass. But I truly believe that’s not where his strength will ever lie. His strength will always be in how lithe he is, how intelligent he plays the game, his creativity, and his ability to contort his body into unusual angles.

let’s take a look at the interception and fumble

FUMBLE. Oh what a surprise, a 49er RB fumbling on the goal line. Sure haven’t seen this before...

INT whose fault? Dis on u nick. A phenomenal play by the best linebacker in the NFL, Nick shouldn’t of stated down his target. What’s worse than a goal line interception? A goal line interception returned for a touchdown

best play of the game that’s not Pettis Kendrick Bourne makes a great play and breaks like 3 tackles

Game MVP: Dante Lettuce

Nick Mullens: 20/33 332 yards 2 TD 1 INT

The return of Mullens Magic. People might of forgotten the broncos were SURGING at this point and were making a play off push. Their defense was no joke. The Chubbster and HOF bound Von Miller were eating quarterbacks ALIVE. But we had a trap card: and it wasn’t George Kittle. Call me a tinfoil conspiracy theorist but I believe this was Kyle Shanahans revenge game. See Shanahans first choice for HC was the Broncos, but Elway passed on him for Vance “LEADER OF MEN” Joseph. Shanahan schemed his best player open on nearly every play. LOOK AT HOW WIDE OPEN KITTLE IS. Okay joking aside, I can’t give Shanny the credit for wanting to get a revenge game against the VJ. because while shanahan came up with a great game plan, all the credit goes to kittle. Just look at this play. There’s a defender above him and one below him, he works the seam between the two like a master craftsman. He breaks 3 damn tackles and turns what was supposed to be a small pick up into a near grand slam. This was his game. He can turn a bad throw into a huge gain. This game should of been locked away for good, but the niners tried their damndest to choke in the 2nd half. Again. They had 5 drives in the 2nd half. 3 ended in a punt and one ended in an interception. The last ended in downs due to a miscount kneeling at the end of the game. THIS is why the 49ers need to add one more receiving threat, a serious one like AB. When the offense stalls, the defense starts to break more than it bends. The offense had the ball for 10 minutes in the second half while the broncos time of possession was nearly double that. As a result they dunked 14 unanswered points on us and 230 yards. so despite our best efforts, the 49ers won a game for George Kittle and the gang. Their prize is helping kittle be 5 yards short of breaking the all time record for most yards by a tight end in a game. Luckily Kittle broke another record, most yards by ANY position in a single half. Not too shabby of a consolation prize

best play of the game. Let’s just watch it one more time

Game MVP: GEORGE. FUCKING. KITTLE. LETS GOOOOOOOOOO

GAME 14

Nick Mullens: 20/29 275 yards 1 TD 0 INT 3 sacks

THE CURSE IS BROKEN. DANTE PETTIS. SOLOMON THOMAS. THE BIGGEST OF DICKUS NICKUS MULLENS. 5 years. We’ve waited for this moment for five years. Fuck the 1st round draft pick. This is so much more worth it. We didn’t just beat the Seahawks. We beat a playoff bound Russell Wilson lead Seahawks. The saltier of the fans will blame the refs. But the truth is, it’s hard to beat a team 11 times in a row. And on the 11th time this fateful day, we won fair and square. I think this victory helps cement my belief that this team is much better than its record implies. First though, richie James jr. That is all. 99 yard kick off return touch down. Elusive. Teamwork. Janikowski making a financial decision. All that is nice, but this win wasn’t as great as it could of been. We only scored one TD on offense, 4 field goals and the kick off return make up the rest of the points. Our red zone woes were way too apparent in this game. We also had a running back fumble the ball. These RBs are lucky this isn’t New England. That’s Jeff Wilson Jr, filling in for an injured Raheem Mostert and taking the starting role over an injured Matt Breida. Looots of injuries anyways. A win is a win, and our defense stepped up big this game. No one can take this win from us, and I think it’ll give the team confidence that they can compete with play off caliber teams.

best play of the game I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Kendrick. Bourne. Is. A. BALLER. He gets catapulted into the air and still manages to hold onto the ball. I’m so excited to watch him develop other best play of the game TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREEAAAMNM WORK! Solomon Thomas (94) absolutely destroys his target and flushes Wilson out of the pocket. Deforest Buckner, at 300 fucking pounds, chases him down like a hound dog and gets the sack. We face Wilson twice a year. Do you have any idea how hard it is to sack him?

Game MVP: Deforest Buckner. Absolute stud. 12 tackles, 2 sacks, 4 TFL, 3 QB hits. All on the most elusive QB in the league. Buckner tryna get paid

Nick Mullens: 22/38 241 yards 0 TD 1 INT 1 sack

Look out NFL, there’s a new rivalry in town. Ever since the shanalynch took over the niner empire and pace and Nagy took over the Bears, there’s been an unusual competition between the two fan bases. A lot of it has to do with a trade deal in the 2017 draft, where Pace gave Lynch the 3rd overall pick, a 3rd round pick, a 4th round pick, and a 2018 3rd round pick for Lynch’s 2nd overall pick. Now I’m not going to sit here and try and tell anyone that was a good or a bad trade, but I will tell you that bear fans and niner fans have hardly gotten along since. And into the mix we signed their old kicker Robbie Gould, whose been nothing short of amazing, and we have two quarterbacks who both became starters at the same time, and you got yourself a good old fashion competition

I’ll try to be as objective as I can with this game, but I’m going to come out and admit that I am one of those niner fans that just can’t stand the bears. I don’t like the titty kisser, I don’t like Nagy, and I have a sneaking suspicion the feeling is mutual among bear fans. Add on top of it the bullshit fight where the bears ganged up on one niner for a late QB hit (he tried to pull up but was already in it full throttle, there’s audio of the fight of him saying my bad my bad). Richard Sherman came in to step up for his teammate and try to stop this full on assault. The refs ended up throwing out 2 bear players and 1 niner (sherm)

With that out of the way, this game had very little good QB play for the first 3 quarters. The titty kisser had one good deep pass to Robinson in the 1st quarter, but our defense managed to smother any progress and forced s field goal that parkey missed. On our end, The bears defense completely smothered the offense, and the defensive line consistently beat our center and guards, reducing the depth of the pocket and allowing them to bat down multiple passes. The best part of this game, as a niner fan, was watching Khalil Mack do battle with Joe Staley and rookie tackle Mike Mcglinchey. They effectively neutralized Khalil Mack and did a good job protecting the edge, but that didn’t matter so much because our interior was consistently getting beaten. Regardless, not even Vic fangio and the bears could account for kittle.

Kittle came out of this game with 7 catches for 74 yards. Our defense came to play as well. We won the turnover battle, and the constant pressure from our dline caused 3 punts and 2 fumbles, and our horrendous secondary allowed two touchdowns. Though One of those touchdowns had been an interception on a previous play, but that INT was called back on a holding penalty. This game was incredibly close to going our way. Towards the end of the 4th quarter with the score at a manageable 9-14, Matt Nagy calls a passing play on 3rd and 3, despite the fact that they hold a lead with a minute and 50 seconds to go. The result is a catch but the ball is punched out of Allen Robinson’s hands.

The ball is loose. Recovered by the niners. They need a touchdown to win it. Mullens and Shanny unleash a little bit of magic and go down the field 31 yards in 6 plays. It’s 4th&4. Then Mullen reminds us how much of a rookie he is. He had nothing but green in front of him and no defenders near him, instead of getting the fresh set of downs he lobs it to Goodwin and overshoots him. A hell of a game that came down to the last play. In the end, despite our defense showing up big and Mitchell Trubisky making some pretty questionable plays (more on that in a second). Their defense kept us out of the end zone and that was enough to come out with a W. Our record now stands at 1-1 bears. Until next time

Let’s take a look at Nick Mullens one INT

INT whose fault? 100% on Goodwin. He just drops it right into the bears hands. Smh

best play of the game if we have a r/nfl weirdest/most huh? Plays from the 2018 season, I nominate this “trick” play that didn’t work quite like the trubs wanted. On 2nd and 1 Mitch fakes a hand off and starts to run it. He’s got an easy 1st down ahead of him, but he veers back away from the los and the first down and does a backward pass to Tarik Cohen who gets absolutely annihilated by 4 niners. The fumble is recovered by DeFo and it leads to a field goal

Game MVP: DeFo. 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 1 QB hit, and 1 fumble recovery

Nick Mullens: 23/33 282 yards 3 TD 3 INT 3 sacks

Well at least they didn’t drop 50 on us. What’s more is this was the game George Kittle broke Travis Kelce’s record for most yards in. Single season by a tight end. 1,377 yards. The best part? Kelce has just broken that day about 30 minutes before. And don’t let anyone fool you into thinking this came in “garbage time” and the rams didn’t really “try to stop them”. It was 24-48. There were 8 minutes left on the clock. the rams ran it down our throats over and over. When shanahan found out kittle was about 10 yards shy of breaking the record, he called a time out and told that defense to get a stop so we can get Kittle the record. It was all they had left to fight for. And holy fuck did it light s fire inside of them. Next play was a run tackled for loss. A short pass. A short run. It was 4th & 4. The rams could of punted. But they didn’t want to give kittle the chance to break that record. Not on their watch. So they went for it on fourth down with nothing to gain but being a petty rival. Antome exum Jr and Ronald Blair were there to greet the run with a tackle for loss. Nick Mullens got the ball back 2:37. The rams knew what was coming. They put everyone they had on kittle. It didn’t matter. Remember, you cannot hope to stop kittle, you cannot even hope to contain him. All you can do is pray he doesn’t feel like making you his bitch

THATS ALL THAT MATTERS ABOUT THIS GAME. It doesn’t matter that JUICECHECK fumbled on the first drive. It doesn’t matter that Mullens threw a pick six and two other interceptions. Or that our guard laken Tomlinson injured his MCL. What matters is the 49ers fought for their teammate to break the world record. They knew this season was lost. But they didn’t give up on their coach, they didn’t give up on each other.

So there you have it. 344 1st downs. 5,769 total yards. 48 sacks taken. 35 Touchdowns. A turnover ratio of -25. All of it leading to the last play of the season, on a sunny December day in Los Angeles. Where one man has given us hope.

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Roster Evaluation: Offense

QUARTERBACK

QB - Jimmy Garoppolo, CJ Beathard, Nick Mullens Position Grade - C(A)

What to make of Jimmy Garoppolo three performances

Look, I get it r/nfl. There are a lot of people who are skeptical of Jimmy Garoppolo. Go to any “most overrated QB” thread in 2018 and Jimmy GQ is going to be the most upvoted person on the list. And it’s easy to see why. Casual fans who don’t see Jimmy Garoppolo play on a week to week basis don’t know what his skill sets are, and the skills that ARE there are able to written off as “well we don’t know if that’s who he is”. In my opinion though, just like it’s hard to teach pocket presence, release speed, and processing speed, it’s hard to lose those things as well. You either have them, or you don’t. And Jimmy Garoppolo has those things. Full stop. u/Barian_Fostate made a a great video going over Jimmy Garoppolo’s strength and his flaw, the dreaded deep ball and footwork. In 2017 Jimmy’s worst ability was his deep throw. In the small sample size we saw, he improved this tremendously. That being said, Jimmy Garoppolo would still be a great franchise quarterback even if he was still horrible at the deep ball. here are my thoughts on the dreamboat.

Jimmy Garoppolo had a very efficient 3 starts and suffered from many factors out of his control. His first game against The Vikings he threw 3 Interceptions. Of those 3, one was due to the receiver slipping and the other two were more his fault for making a risky throw, in my opinion. His following two games he threw no interceptions and was completing about 68% of his passes, up by about 20% in his Minnesota game. If you read my game summaries you’ll see that I note many of the missed throws by jimmy in that game were dropped passes by his receivers. In those two games against the lions and the chiefs, jimmy had a passer rating of 115. Also, if you read my Chiefs review, you’ll see I noted he was making a remarkable comeback in that game, leading the 49ers to score 20 points with the Chiefs only scoring 3. We tend to just remember the big incident of that game, but do remember that ACL tear came at the 15 yard line after driving over 50 yards on that play. In my opinion, we learned that the things we saw in 2017 weren’t a fluke. He’s got one of the best releases in football, a remarkable ability to process, and sometimes is overconfident in his abilities. While I recognize my bias, I’d argue I have yet to see anyone provide factual proof that he isnt a starter level quarterback. In 2019 he will be the 22nd most paid QB in the nfl.

There are now questions about “is he injury prone”. But can we just accept this statement has no basis in reality? Jimmy Garoppolo’s injury was non contact on a cut back where any human being would of suffered the same injury if they did what he did. Will he be the next aaron Rodgers? I have no idea. But I can say with full certainty that he will be a starter level QB in 2019 that will elevate the play of players around him. Without Jimmy Garoppolo, well, we saw pretty mediocre QB play from Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard. Both have their own flaws and strengths. CJ has a great arm and beautiful deep ball, Nick Mullens has quick processing speed and a fast release. That being said, both have enough flaws that will ultimately keep them from a starting role for the next few years. If they can develop and fix those flaws, they just might find themselves as starters in the league, just on another team.

TE: George “stone cold” Kittle, Garrett Celek, Cole Wick

Position Grade: A++++++++

Sorry Chief fans. Sorry Eagle fans. The best tight end in football ain’t on your teams. It’s George mother fucking Kittle. This beast is unstoppable. Y’all know what he can do when the ball gets in his hand. He had the 8th most yards (ahead of Theilen, Antonio Brown, and TY Hilton.) He had the MOST YARDS AFTER THE CATCH (30 more than Christian MacCaffrey, 100 more than Saquon Barkley, 300 more than Todd gurley). Thats 15.6 yards per reception (3rd in the NFL). All this as a bloody Tight End. These are Running back numbers. These are Wide Receiver numbers. These are unheard of for a Tight End. And don’t let people fool you by saying “no one knew what he was yet”. This dude ERUPTED his first week against the vikings. Teams knew that our only receiving threat was George Kittle. Teams tried to double team him like he was Aaron Donald. But it didn’t matter. Double teamed, triple teamed, it don’t matter. He is faster, stronger, and better than most defenders in this league. And every week he makes someone his bitch because of it. As for the other TEs, Garrett Celek suffered from a broken thumb since week 3, and apparently just got surgery done to fix it. That might explain why he was relegated to blocking duties and was a non factor in the passing game.

WR - Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Richie James,Trent Taylor, Dante Pettis. And Kendrick Bourne

Position Grade: C+

In my opinion, our Wide Receiver talent played mostly mediocre, with Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne showing the most potential. Dante Pettis has the potential to be game changing WR, and I’m excited to see how he develops in year two. Kendrick Bourne is that fucking old school, backyard football playing bad ass. He’s got some swagger too him that I just love, and while he isn’t necessarily a very good football player, he is a good one. I think, like Pettis, he’s got some potential. Marquise Goodwin was a non-factor this whole season. I never liked the term “injury prone”, but Goodwin just has the worst damn luck when it comes to injuries. He had a bad injury that took him out of a few games in the beginning of the season, and then he had a horrible, tragic loss when his pregnant wife lost the twins she was carrying. I am not a religious man, but I pray for Goodwin and his family. When healthy he is a dangerous deep threat. In the end, this group needs one full bodied Z receiver to catapult it into an A ranking. The pieces are set, they just need a spark to lift it up.

Draft pick reviews

Dante Pettis

. How’d he do? he’s got the footwork to be a dangerous receiver it’s this kind of instant separation that will make him a viable threat

richie James jr

While he wasn’t involved a ton in the offense, when he showed all the traits shanahan prioritizes.

OL - Joe Staley, Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Mike Person, Mike McGlinchey, Joshua Garnett, Erik Magnuson, Garry Gilliam and Shon Coleman

Overall Grade: B-

The level of play for our Oline was all over the place. I’m going to break it down piece by piece to help provide a better understanding

OT: Joe Staley (LT) Mike McGlinchey (RT) Shon Coleman (inactive T)

Overall grade: A

These two are real pro pros. A real guys guy. Mike McGlinchey looks like he’s 45 years old and just took out a mortgage on the house to help pay for his kids tuition. Joe Staley has been in the league since before Barack Obama was elected president. Against the bears they mad Khalil Mack a non factor, winning almost every match up against the best DE in football and giving us this amazing photograph. In the end, Mike McGlinchey is bound to start getting the recognition he deserves, he held his own against all-pro HOF bound Von friggin Miller, and he kept Mack from getting a single sack. And he’s incredibly athletic, much more so than Trent Brown. Let’s take a look at this play Mike McGlinchey, a 315 pound fully grown man, runs downfield with Raheem Mostert, acting like a human snow plow, obliterating anyone that dares get between Mostert and pay dirt. Trent Brown ain’t ever gonna do this. According to PFF, Mike McGlinchey was the highest graded run blocker among rookie offensive linemen (take that Quentin), and we was the second highest graded rookie linemen right behind Quentin. Unfortunately, you don’t get recognition when you’re part of a losing team, and neither Joe Staley nor Mike McGlinchey got enough accolades for their phenomenal work this year

OG: Laken Tomlinson, Mike Person, Garry Gilliam, Joshua Garnett

Overall Grade: B-

Laken Tomlinson is a name to look out for. He is reliable, sturdy, and good at what he does. Mike Person also had an OK year, Gary Gilliam and Garnett were non factors. NGL I don’t know too much about the guard position so I’m not going to make any bold claims.

C: Weston Richburg

Overall Grade: D

Weston was terrible. There’s no other way to say it. He had a PFF grade of 51.9 and was ranked 33rd out of all Centers in the nfl. We found out in the off season that he had apparently been playing through a knee injury all season. He went and got reconstructive surgery on both his knee and Quads, so the hope is that his play was affected tremendously by that. It wasn’t that long ago that richburg was playing as one of the best centers in football in 2014, and it was that ceiling that earned him a great contract with the 49ers. His play with the giants was at a very high level, so my money is on him returning to that level of play and this season being the outlier for his career.

RB: Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida, Alfred Morris, Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson Jr and Kyle Juszczyk

Positional Grade: B

Without a doubt, our strongest constant throughout a lost season was our run game. Even though we lost our starting RB before the season, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert, both UDFAs, played exceptionally well. Alfred Morris was a tad disappointing, and Kyle JUICECHECK was, as always, phenomenal. That being said this running back group was pathetic at ball security. As a group, they fumbled the ball 13 times. Thirteen. Times. So no, it wasn’t all our QBs fault for turning the ball over, our running backs also pitched in for a historic turnover season! That being said, this group was also great at big plays. We were tied for 3rd in 40+ yard plays and tied for 8th in 20+ yard plays. The biggest issue with this group was durability. Matt Breida suffered an ankle injury against the chiefs that he never recovered from. Raheem mostert broke his arm in a horrific play. Practice squadder Jeff Wilson jr had to step up to the plate, luckily without incident. If McKinnon was around to split responsibilities the Cheetah might of been able to rest. But sadly the Jet was out all season, and the Cheetah is such a workaholic that he kept going back into games even though he wasn’t at 100%, and as a result he kept re injuring his ankle. Next year our backfield will be our strongest position, and seeing a healthy Breida be able to share the load is going to be phenomenal

Roster Evaluation: Defense

THE DEFENSIVE LINE

NOTE: my knowledge of defense and what constitutes good defense play is lacking, so I’m just going to talk about Deforest Buckner and why he’s a rock star.

DL: DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, D.J. Jones, Earl Mitchell, Solomon Thomas, Cassius Marsh, Ronald Blair, Sheldon Day and Jullian Taylor

You should know about Deforest Buckner. He’s really good. Only Aaron Donald had more sacks from the interior. He had the most tackles from the interior as a DT. He was ranked 10th in Tackles for Loss with 17. He was SNUBBED from PFFs top 101, but that’s nothing new for DeFo. He’s constantly been overlooked in a stacked position. But that’s okay. Because he got me here spreading the word of his good deeds

Secondary (CB&S) - Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon, K'Waun Williams, Jaquiski Tartt, Adrian Colbert, D.J. Reed, Tarvarius Moore, Marcell Harris, Jimmie Ward and Greg Mabin.

Overall Grade: F

Sorry Sherman. You were great, don’t get me wrong, but One excellent player in a secondary filled with garbage ain’t gonna do much good. We allowed a passer rating of 112. Eleven other players besides Sherman received at least 100 snaps in the secondary, and none graded higher than 66.7 overall, according to PFF. We had by far the worst secondary in the league. The good news is that this is a fixable problem. Ahkello Witherspoon was playing pretty well towards the end of the season before his injury, and I still have faith that Adrian Colbert can make a come back. Add in an Earl Thomas and another CB to comepete with Ahkello, and we might be in business again very soon Richard Sherman: he’s no longer the Richard of old, had 0 picks, dealt with a calf injury unrelated to his Achilles injury. Still a great player and excellent presence just not a game changer and not an all pro.

Dyar: I disagree, Sherman is definitely still a game changer and opposing teams know that. In the first 5 games of the season he was in coverage on 198 plays, opposing QBs only threw 10 passes in his direction. Only 2 of those 10 passes were caught. Only Russell Wilson completed a TD pass against Sherman during the entire season. His ability to lock an area of the field and force qbs to throw elsewhere is great, but it caused a lot of headache for our other DBs who aren’t as experienced or talented. On the entire season he played the third most snaps for the defense and he allowed only 1 reception for every 20 snaps in pass coverage he payed.

LB - Fred Warner, Malcolm Smith, Brock Coyle, Elijah Lee, Mark Nzeocha and Dekoda Watson

Overall Grade: C

I really like Fred Warner. no matter who is next to him, he always looks like the better player. He’s more composed, reads plays faster, and is rarely out of position. Warner jumped off the tape week one leading the 49ers with over 10 solo tackles against the Minnesota Vikings. Among the 55 off-ball linebackers with at least 150 defensive snaps played in Weeks 8-12, Warner ranks third in overall grade (85.1) and, more impressively, first in coverage grade (88.6) This is HUGE for the niners, because, as mentioned above, our coverage is kind of trash. Fred Warner can help fix that. With Reuben Foster now out of the picture, we really do need another constant to play next to him. Malcolm smith and Brock Coyle aint it. Elijah Lee had an okay season, as did Dekoda Watson. But damn if the niners aren’t missin a hard hitting LB like Foster was.

Looking Ahead

Just as we should of had a healthy dose of skepticism going into 2018, fans of the 49ers and the nfl should have a healthy dose of optimism about the 49ers. Despite a historically bad year in turnovers where we gifted opponents absurd numbers of points, we were able to stay competitive in almost all of our games. Just as sack numbers vary from year to year, so to does the number of turn overs. In the end, it’s an oblong ball that bounces funny, and there’s going to be a certain amount of luck in any turn over. With that in mind, I could imagine a 49er season without Jimmy Garoppolo that had closer to 7 or 8 wins. WITH Jimmy Garoppolo, I truly believe the 49ers can make a legitimate play off push next year. Off course, I think that way with EVERY team because there’s such a big amount a parity in football. Sadly the path to the super bowl is much more difficult for 49ers this year. Our 2019 schedule is looking very tough

NFCW

AFCN

NFCS

These are some of the toughest divisions in the league, and it’s going to require an aggressive off season, a healthy quarterback, and a bit of oblong luck

Biggest Needs

EDGE and lockdown coverage players. I’m talking EARL THOMAS kind of lock down. Our coverage was ABYSMAL last year, and we are wasting one of our generations greatest CB talents (SHERMAN) by not pairing him with at least average talent

BIG BODIED Z RECEIVER - Garcon was a bit of a disappointment, and we’ll be looking for a veteran type z player to help develop our younger talent (kendrick Bourne, Richie James Jr, Steven Dunbar jr). Antonio Brown is the obvious choice, but someone like Emmanuel Sanders would work as well