Jimmy G and the TDs

After a bit of a shakey start, and a hiccup trying to cover DeAndre Hopkins, the 49ers won their second game in a row. Jimmy G himself had a bad start as he threw an early pick that led to a Houston field goal. But he settled down and threw for 334 yards and a TD to go along with the early mistake. He took shots all day and stood tall in the pocket. His ability to throw flat-footed is pretty amazing given the accuracy he possesses. The hope is that he doesn’t take this kind of abuse week in and week out, but Houston’s defense, even without JJ Watt is pretty tough.

Hyde had a good game running, but inexplicably alligatored a sure TD by slowing down and missing a sure TD. Goodwin looked a lot more comfortable with Garoppolo as his thrower, and had 6 for 106. Juschzckycldk made a spectacular catch on the sideline on a that went for  30, and Garrett Celek had himself a game as well with some nice catches and a short TD. For all the action Nuke Hopkins got, The D had a 4th and 1 stop, a lot of early pressure, and a forced fumble by Adrian Colbert on a great hit to Nuke. The game got a little dicey when Tom Savage was knocked out of the game, and TJ Yates came in and led a quick TD drive early in the 2nd half to give Houston a 16-13 lead, but the 49ers behind Garoppolo scored 13 unanswered point to put the game away.

Garoppolo was only sacked twice, but took around 10 hard shots during the game, if not more. The line play was spotty at best, if not awful at times as Beadles struggled his way through playing RT in place of Trent Brown, and Tomlinson had a couple holds and a false start to add to the miasma of flags called against the team. Dontae Johnson had the unenviable task of trying to cover Hopkins, and was benched for his efforts in favor of rookie Greg Mabin.

All in all, a strong effort against a decent team. A road win is a road win in a road win. A tough accomplishment for any team. Just ask the Raiders . . .

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Heaven, Hell, or Houston

The Niners are back on the road, looking for that elusive 2 game winning streak. Something not accomplished since the stagger down the stretch that was the Harbaugh exit back in 2014. That 7-4 mark was followed by a) Brady Hoke being fired from Michigan; and b) the 49ers losing their next 4 games to fall out of the playoff race. Coincidence? Who knows? And that is a whole other story.

The story now is the Jimmy Garoppolo era. And whether he can win 2 road games to kick off his 49ers career. No mean feat, as the Bears defense isn’t bad, and neither is Houston’s, although they have been hit with the injury bug as well. In a big way. DeShaun Watson was having a stellar offensive start to his career when he tore his ACL in practice leading up to game 5. Then J.J. Watt broke his leg in that week 5 against KC.But they do still have Jadaveon Clowney, so he’s always a threat. But their promising start was derailed and they are now relying on ex-porn star Tom Savage to salvage their season. 2-6 ain’t getting it done however.

That leaves Jimmy G and the slowly healthying up 49ers. Trent Brown is back, as well as Joe Staley and Eric Reid. The D line is gradually getting more and more pressure, and rattling Savage shouldn’t be too difficult. That leaves it to our offense getting into the end zone.  2 in a row!

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Down the Stretch They Come . . .

The playoff picture is pretty muddy, but hey, we’re getting close so, double-you tee eff.

The haves in both conferences are pretty cut-and-dried in Pittsburgh and NE in the AFC and the Vikes and Eagles in the NFC. Color me blown away that the Vikes are smoking hot under Case Keenum, but no one saw this coming. Sam Bradford went down quickly in game 1 with a knee injury, and then a setback trying to come back in game 5. Case got off to a slow start, but after a 1-2 start, the Vikings have reeled off 8 straight wins. Sure, Case is only 14th, but most thought Minn was doomed without him.

Philly on the other hand is flying high under Carson Wentz. A guy who I thought was a reach, but hey, I don’t get paid for being right or wrong.

In the AFC it’s (surprise) New England and Pittsburgh. No surprise there. NE is riding Tom Terrific through the express-lane to the playoffs that is the AFC East. Pittsburgh usually has a tougher slog to the playoffs, what with Baltimore and Cincinnati in their division (witnessed by the ultra-violent game that was last night’s).

All these teams are 10-2. The AFC however has a lot of tier II teams beating the shit out of each other, including the entire AFC West. KC, the Raiders, and the LA Clippers are neck and neck in quicksand at 6-6. KC of course being the team going in the wrong direction. Poor Alex Smith had the team at 5-1 and have gone 1-5 for various different reasons. The Sacksonville Jags are the biggest surprise with Blake Bortles leading the charge. The Titans are another mirage destined for their one and done.

The NFC? Well, they have a whole set is strong talent in the mix for WC with the Rams as surprise West winners, and the resurgent Panthers and Saints. And of course the always-dangerous Seahawks. Looks like a great playoff run this year.

Us? Well, we have a fairly good shot of winning 3 of 4 down the stretch for a stellar 5-11 record. No mean feat based on where we started. Why not? Might as well hit the offseason with some confidence. Jimmy G needs to build on his nice game last week and get into the end zone. For a guy who has llimited playbook knowledge, he looks pretty good.

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Jimmy G FTW!

Yes, it was a game that looked like a lot of games this year. Too many penalties (waaay too much Ed Hochuli), too many mental mistakes, and not enough touchdowns. But, a funny thing happened on the way to the loss. The once and future quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, engineered a game winning drive, starting from their own 8, to lead the Robbie (red and ex-Bear) Goulds to a 15-12 win.  In Chi-town no less.

No mean feat, as the Bears and their QB savior Mitch Trubiski came up short as the 49er defense had a good day in holding Chicago to one TD. These two teams will be forever tied together by the draft-day trade that John Lynch made with the Bears. The one that gave SF Solomon Thomas AND Reuben Foster, AND a 2nd round pick next year.

Thing is, this would have been a hard loss to swallow as the 49ers dominated the game statistically. In numbers not seen hardly ever, the Niners held the ball for nearly 39 minutes to a paltry 21 and change for Chicago. We crushed them in yards (388 to 147), 1st downs (23 to 8), passing (278 to 85), rushing (110 to 62), and unfortunately, penalties (8-53 to 4-29).

The penalties were the issue keeping the 49ers out of the end zone, and drive after drive stalled in the red zone. Flexin’ Ed missed an illegal block in the back on Chicago’s improbable punt return for a TD, as that looked like the game-winning play, and made seemingly random calls to stall drives late in the game. But still and all, a nice road win for a team that is trying to find their identity.

Jimmy Go certainly looks the part of being the franchise QB as he threw the ball well, had a commanding presence in the pocket, and had a contested pass that was actually a completion wrestled away from Louis Murphy for a pick and his only blemish. And the defense kept Chicago out of the red zone most of the day. A solid day for an upstart team.

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A New Dawn

Bleacher Report is, uh, reporting that Jimmy Garoppolo has been named the starting quarterbacker for the upcoming Chicago Bears game. Time to show the world if the braintrust knows what they are up to. So it looks like barring yet another injury, Jimmy G will be the starter for the rest of the season, as in the next 4 games.

Huzzah.

Thing is, this is the part of the schedule that I thought the team would be coalescing around their young buck coach and  gaining momentum as we head off into the sunset and the bright future with our new QB. Instead,  the team is in tattered rags around him. The latest to hit the bricks is back up RT Erik Magnuson, who is out with a foot sprain, and Trent Brown is still day-to-day with his shoulder injury. The backup to the backup is rookie Darrell Williams Jr, or (gulp) Zane Beadles. Magnuson kinda sucked at center, and the rest of the line has been shakey as fuck, so . . . I hope Jimmy G has a quick trigger finger. He may have a very short run.

In other news, ST star gunner, Raheem Mostert is heading to the IR with a knee injury, and free safety Adrian Colbert, who looked great against the Giants, is questionable for the Bears game.  Woof!

 

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A New Era? Or Just a Tease?

With 58:53 of the 49ers/Seattle game in the books, the Jimmy Garoppolo era started. CJ BeatHard, who was again beaten hard, suffered a leg injury, and in that last 1:07, Jimmy Garoppolo ran for 4 yards and a 1st down, and completed 2 passes for 18 yards, including a 10 yard TD as the game ended, for his first action as a San Francisco 49er.  Wonderful to say the least, but really, you can’t ascribe too much to that performance, but hey, at least he didn’t throw a pick or puke on his cleats.

So, what now? Of course, Kyle Shanahan is cagey about his decision for next weekend’s game vs the Bears, but for all intents and purposes, I’m about 98% sure that this will be Jimmy G’s first start. Shanny has the excuse of saying CJ is hurt and Garoppolo is next man up. And when he shines, the decision will be made to stick with Garoppolo. Something along those lines anyway. They need to give him a lot of reps, even with a banged-up line, to see what he brings to the table. They are basing their future on whether or not he’s the horse to back in the immediate and long-term future of the QB position. BeatHard may or may not be the backup, but he’s a lesser concern than Jimmy G.

Let’s hope Garoppolo’s debut is similar to Colin Kaepernick’s first start, also against Chicago, when Kappy went 16-23 for 243, 2 TDs, and a QB rating of 133.1 waaaaay back in 2012.

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No Jimmy G. For Now

Well, either Jimmy G hasn’t fully grasped the new system, or the brain trust is being overly cautious, but BeatHard gets to play after his stunning (hah) victory over the resurgent New York Giants. CJ put Alex Smith to shame with his vulgar display of power over the vaunted Giants defense.

I kid of course, just my little shout out for Dimebag Darrell and Pantera.

Anyhow, it would be a late Thanksgiving treat to beat the Seahawks. Certainly possible what with the rash of injuries suffered by the Hawks defensive backfield. We are kind of getting healthy and we picked up a couple D linemen to boot.

Hope y’all had a great Thanksgiving with you and yours . . .

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