Well, there one way to beat the heat at the newly minted Levi’s Oven Stadium (the big LOS), and that’s to go in November. Again I’d like to thank 12th Man for the tickets. My wife and I had fun walking around, and checking shit out. The weather was crisp and clear and it was nice to sit in the sun.
The game? Oh yeah. So much for victories. This team that came out of the gate this year actually looked fairly decent and made a bunch of games close, but in the end they were losses. As the injuries have mounted up, absurdly so I might add (14 players on IR, 3 listed as out, and another 8 listed as questionable), it is getting harder and harder to maintain any kind of consistency on either side of the ball. The usual suspects raised their ugly heads to thwart any momentum. The game started with a long AZ drive that stalled on the 19. Former Niner Richard Dawson doinked the kick and suddenly the 49ers were on the march. they made it pretty far into AZ territory when our expensive fullback Kyle Juszczyk coughed up the ball for a 60-something return to the Niner 2.
So, 5 minutes after kickoff, I figured the game was over. It turned out to be true, but for what it’s worth, the team is still playing its collective ass off. Especially on defense. Even after the trades and injuries. But again, the team was undone on a few big plays. The defense kept AP under control but for 3 long runs that tipped the balance. Eric Reid had a nice pick in the end zone off of Drew (Who) Stanton, Niner killer that he is to close out the half. The Niners even got it to 14-10 and had the ball, but the usual tipped pass/ineffective run/incomplete pass followed, and the rest was a slow grind to the loss.
The only excitement came when CJ was cheap-shotted by ex-Niner Antoine Bethea on a scramble/slide, and Carlos Hyde got into a scuffle with Frostee Rucker* (best name in football) after the play, and both were thrown out, along with Haasen Reddick. In the end it didn’t matter as CJ then bounced a pass off Trent Brown’s helmet and the drive was stopped short of the end zone. Woulda been 20-17 but as usual, day late, and a buck short.
All in all, the Niners are a team in disarray. CJ was a mess out there, and this was my worry bringing him in. The line is banged up, and CJ was wildly inconsistent. He missed some wide open guys, and lacked the strength to get balls to their targets on a lot of passes. He also held the ball way too long on 3 of the 5 sacks given up. Jimmy G is here to save the season I guess, but we will see if he even gets in after this last debacle. They may be better served waiting until after the bye and hopefully getting healthier. Not a bad strategy. Thing is we all knew the team had little depth and with so many players hurt it is hard to do serious evaluation of talent when they are literally signing guys off the street. This very much reminds me of the 1978 49ers that were signing defensive backs off the street as well.
The latest injuries include Jaquiski Tartt suffering a season-ending broken arm, and Juszczyk suffering a neck injury. So, as with previous weeks, the team finds a new and different culprit to make a mistake and seal their fate.