UPDATE: The 49ers have signed free agent CB Dre Kirkpatrick, recently of the AZ Cardinals where he had 56 tackles, 7 passes defensed, and 3 picks last season.
A bad thing happened on they way to a laugher win in Detroit. With the game seemingly in hand at 38-10, and the starting D line getting a rest, Jason Verrett blew out his ACL backpedaling on a fairly routine pass play to his side. it was a huge blow to the team as Verrett was disconsolate on the sidelines. The defense rallied around him as he then struggled to get to the locker room amid the tears of frustration and pain.
His loss took the wind out of the sails of a team that was cruising through an easy romp. Detroit stormed back with 2 quick TD scores in the 4th and were threatening for the tying score amongst the botched onsides kick recovery and a fumble on what would have been a game-sealing 1st down for Deebo Samuel as the game wound down.
A win is a win, especially on the road, but this was the hapless Detroit Lions and Jared Goff. A team that thought they would get better by getting a lousier quarterback. The Niners took care of business for the most part through the first 3 quarters, minus some big runs early, a fumble on the first offensive snap, and the loss of Raheem Mostert on the 2nd offensive snap. Good thing we drafted a couple running backs. Trey Selmon didn’t even dress for the game. I guess they figured they could get Mostert through a game, but alas . . .
The offensive stars were plenty. Gimmy passed for 314 yards on 17-25 passing, Deebo Samuel caught 9 passes for a whopping 189 yards, including a solid single-coverage read by Jimmy that resulted in a 78 yard TD catch and run, Eli Mitchell ran 19 times for 104 yards, including a 38 yard scamper that saw George Kittle take out two Lions, and Trey Lance went 1-1 for 5 yards and a score to super preseason standout Trent Sherfield, a guy who passed up Brandon Aiyuk on the WR depth chart.
The defense played well enough, including a 4th and 1 stop, decent pressure most of the game (when Bosa and Ford were in), a pick 6 by Dre Greenlaw after consistent pressure from Dee Ford, who had a sack as well, K Street’s first sack as a Niner, and a sack by Nick Bosa.
As devastating as the injury was, Kyle Shanahan issued a pretty strong mea culpa to the press after the game saying he went too conservative and took out his starters (mainly Ford and Bosa) too early. Unfortunately it didn’t work out with Verrett, and Shanahan noted it really shook up the team to see Verrett, a guy who has worked his ass off for 3 years now, lose his season in the 1st game.
As much as I want to get down on the new DC DeMeco Ryans for the failure in the 4th quarter, it is safe to say the team was crushed by the Verrett injury and lost their focus. Add in the fact that the defense had gone to the 2nd string midway through the 3rd quarter, a bad bounce on the Preston Riley-esque onsides kick, and the Samuel fumble, it turned out a lot worse that it should have. Although still a win. Wash this off, and move on to Philly. Thankfully a grass field.
At some point the NFL needs to mandate grass fields. In yet another disastrous opening game for the 49ers, the team lost two starters to non-contact injuries. Word is we may bring back Richard Sherman. Mostert’s loss will be mitigated by Trey Sermon.