Yes, this was a short week. Yes, this was a trap game. Yes, we always have problems (0-8 in recent history) in the Big Cactus. But in only his 18th start, Jimmy G had a game that he needed to shine in, and he did. The run game was sputtering, and the defense was getting torched by big plays, and gouged by strong runs, but Jimmy G put together his best game as a pro with 317 yards on 28-37 attempts and 4 TDs against no picks (and no iffy passes) with a 137 QB rating. And as happens every game, a couple huge drops that would have made his numbers better. Deebo dropped a perfect pass in the end zone, and Coleman dropped an important screen pass that would have garnered a 1st down late in the game. A likely 15-20 yard play.
Turns out we overcame both of those mistakes, as good teams do, and we very recently didn’t, but as Richard Sherman noted, this wasn’t a championship effort. Especially by the defense. After stuffing the AZ passing game in the 1st half to the tune of 15 yards gained, AZ blew the game open with an 88 yard TD to pull the Cards with in 3 (after the 2 pt conversion). Numerous defenders misplayed that one pass, and this is one thing our defense has been very good at, and that is not giving up these huge plays.
In fact the game started with a 39 yard run to 3-day old guy, Kenyan Drake. A guy hiding in plain sight in Miami. He torched the Niner defense with 110 yards on 15 carries. A whopping 7.33 yards a carry. And Murray was able to buy time and get loose for an easy TD pass to KeeShaun (not Keyshon) Johnson. Murray ended up 17-24 for 241 and 2 TDs. Our first play saw George Kittle get his knee hyperextended, and he gutted through 2 more quarters, scoring on a 30 yard TC, and catching a couple key 3rd down passes for 1st downs. Dwelley did get the game-sealing catch with a 12 yard grab on 3rd and 9 very late in the game to allow us to run out the clock.
This our the first game without forcing a turnover, but we also didn’t give the ball away. The closest was a sure pick 6 dropped by Fred Warner. But for Kliff Kingsbury’s Kliff Klavin moment, allowing a TD with 0:02 seconds left in the 1st half after stuffing us on 4th and 1/2 a yard, this game could have ended differently.
As it is, we geet 11 days off go get healthy, and get Seattle here on Monday night. Trap game avoided, but the injuries could be significant with Kwon Alexander undergoing an MRI today to check his pec. Kittle should be OK, but no word on him.