Game Day XVI – New Year, New Season, New QB

Let’s hope we don’t play like Betty White..

A true original. RIP, Betty.

And Dan (Mr uptight) Reeves died as well. The guy who shackled John Elway and lost a couple Super Bowls.

About unca_chuck

Lifelong SF 49ers, SF Giants, and Golden State Warriors fan
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54 Responses to Game Day XVI – New Year, New Season, New QB

  1. unca_chuck says:

    Mitchell may be back, but In other injury news, defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (calf) and linebackers Azeez Al-Shaair (knee) and Dre Greenlaw (groin) won’t play Sunday. Safety Talanoa Hufanga (knee) is doubtful.

  2. Irish Kevin says:

    Good article in the Athletic by Tim Kawakami, he wants to know if Lance starts will Kyle open up the play book or will it be like the October game Lance played in very few plays. My thinking is whether it is Lance or Jimmy this last two games are going to be run heavy, back to 40+ runs, and hope the Defense can hold off the Texans and the Rams. I am also predicting 2 lossses. Sad but true

  3. unca_chuck says:

    It isn’t gonna be Jimmy. They should pretty much use the same playbook, but like Berger said, we should run deeper routes to open up scrambling lanes.

    Going read option will get Lance killed and the team kicked from the playoffs.

  4. Winder says:

    You can bet Texas is gonna show up big time. It should be a fun game if we can protect Lance i am excited to see what he can do and hopefully Shanny will give him the chance.

  5. willedav says:

    Bottom line it’s still a team game. The guys around Lance have to pull together and do their jobs, and Ryans’ defense (with whomever is healthy enough to play) does too, along with maddeningly inefficient lately special teams.

  6. unca_chuck says:

    Texxans defense is 30th vs the run..

    Mitchell is back. He and Wilson should get somework.

    • willedav says:

      Have to adjust if their D is loading the box, and if they plan to get after Lance by bringing extra guys. Can’t believe any team at this stage is going to sit back and let Shanahan go ultra conservative and pound the run all day. They will crowd the line and force inexperienced Lance to beat them through the air and get in his grille.

    • Winder says:

      Since our Oline is healthy I think Texas will hold off bringing the house until Shanny shows his hand. Hopefully there are a few new wrinkles in our game plan. None of our RB’s are really healthy and keep to em somewhat safer we are just gonna have to pass more often.

  7. Irish Kevin says:

    Sorry NJ, I am not on here everyday.

  8. Irish Kevin says:

    Jimmy Garoppolo’s right thumb is still keeping him out of practice, Trey Lance is likely headed full speed toward starting Sunday’s game against the Texans, and suddenly I have an open-ended question to close out this incredibly open-ended 49ers quarterback calendar year (and to start off the next one with a bang):

    Could this be the preliminary unveiling of a potential 49ers QB playoff plan?

    Because for a few weeks now, I’ve thought about the possibility of Kyle Shanahan moving his pieces around just in time for a January Surprise — capitalizing on Garoppolo’s regular-season mojo and then springing a dazzling Lance package of plays on the world at large and on top of the 49ers’ late-season or postseason opponents, specifically.

    Wouldn’t this be just about the perfect creative way to top off this topsy-turvy QB adventure?

    A development like this also would be a bit similar to the way the Rams’ Sean McVay set up a ripe situation last winter for backup John Wolford to jump in for oft-criticized (and then-injured) starter Jared Goff late in the regular season and into the playoffs. Except Lance, obviously, is a far greater part of the 49ers’ future than Wolford (who got one regular-season and one playoff start and is currently Matthew Stafford’s backup with the Rams) ever was.

    The 49ers should’ve and might’ve been thinking for some time about ways to get Lance more playing time at the climax of this season. It would help him and also possibly increase San Francisco’s chances in the postseason. I understand why Shanahan went with Garoppolo for every significant snap in the previous 10 games, but he probably has pushed that about as far as it can go.

    To put it bluntly: How many playoff games are the 49ers likely to win if Garoppolo is taking 100 percent of the snaps? I think you know the answer. I think Shanahan can understand it, too. They’re more dangerous if Lance is firing away as a big part of their offense. That’s hard to argue.

    Now, other events seem to have sped this up. After a shaky performance in Tennessee in the 49ers’ last game, Garoppolo has a torn ligament in his thumb; after missing Wednesday’s practice, he was notably not a participant in practice on Thursday, which has given Lance two full days running with the first team. And that means Shanahan has put together this week’s game plan and installed it with Lance in mind.

    So maybe this is happening a little earlier in the month than originally scheduled. And maybe the 49ers are losing the element of surprise, but they’re gaining a game or two to see how it plays before taking it into the postseason. Or if it plays at all.

    It’s just a theory. I might be dead wrong about the 49ers’ plans for their QB multiverse. Shanahan could have zero intentions of playing Lance beyond this weekend, presuming Garoppolo can make it back for the regular-season finale against the Rams on Jan. 9 and the playoffs. Certainly, Shanahan keeps his strategies close to the vest and has run this QB situation with a rather determined commitment to playing Garoppolo, even through the 3-5 start. And Shanahan and Garoppolo have helped the 49ers get to this point, at 8-7 and odds-on to make the playoffs.

    But like everything surrounding Garoppolo, Lance and Shanahan this season, there’s always more going on under the surface. There’s a lot of psychology — what does Shanahan have to do and say to get the most out of Garoppolo while we all know Lance is on deck? There’s a lot of subtle strategy — when’s the right time to make the move to Lance? In the end, it’s all about judgment — after working with Lance for all these months, does Shanahan believe it’s worth it to get him and the team ready for some Lance moments in the playoffs?

    There’s no reason for Shanahan to give a definitive answer on any of this right now. Frankly, the key evidence will be impossible to miss on Sunday. Either Lance plays very well and the team responds to him, which would point to Lance taking over as QB1 permanently, or Lance will stumble, the 49ers will look bad against Houston, and Garoppolo will be ushered back onto the field the instant he’s healthy.

    The first practical question: Will Shanahan open up the offense for Lance? We all saw what happened when Lance was the replacement starter for an injured Garoppolo on Oct. 10 in Arizona: Shanahan reduced his offense to the bare bones, Lance ran it 16 times (and hurt his knee) and the 49ers lost 17-10. It wasn’t a terrible performance by Lance given the constraints, but the constraints themselves told us what Shanahan thought about Lance’s development.

    But George Kittle was out for that game, too, and he’s playing Sunday. And Lance has had all these weeks of practice since then. He should be better. He’s facing a bad Texans defense, which should encourage Shanahan to open things up for Lance.

    We know Shanahan wants a baseline ability from his QBs, who must read the defense, make quick and good decisions, help manage the running game and avoid screwing up the rhythm of what the 49ers want to do. Garoppolo has mostly been in tune with that. Matt Ryan won an MVP with the Falcons by maximizing the rhythm and dynamics of Shanahan’s offense in 2016. Kirk Cousins was the guy Shanahan wanted for the 49ers originally. Shanahan clearly loved Mac Jones in the last draft. There’s a commonality here: Quick-thinking pocket passers flourish in his scheme. If Lance can do this, he can run Shanahan’s offense. We’ll see how that goes Sunday.

    But Shanahan also drafted Lance because he wants to be able to attack the deep edges of the secondary, which rarely happens with Garoppolo. Shanahan wants to be able to roll the dice, betting on his QB with the clock running down and a chance to attack a defense, which he doesn’t do with Garoppolo. Shanahan wants a QB who threatens the defense in multiple ways every time he’s on the field, which Lance can do with his arm and legs.

    And Shanahan has seen all season that defenses don’t really respect the 49ers’ ability to throw it over the top; Arizona spent one game mostly playing six defensive linemen, determined to shut down the 49ers’ running game and daring Garoppolo to throw it. The 49ers have figured out a way to get to 8-7, anyway.

    There was always going to be a time, though, when the 49ers were going to ask for more out of their QB. It probably won’t be necessary this Sunday against the Texans, but Garoppolo’s injury scrambled up the timeline. And the 49ers can use the Houston game to test-drive Lance for the games ahead.

    Wouldn’t the 49ers’ playoff odds and the significance expand if Lance can make some plays in a first-round game in Tampa Bay or Dallas? Even if Lance isn’t great and the 49ers go one-and-done in the playoffs, won’t they learn something about themselves and Lance that can’t be experienced any other way?

    He waited his turn. He didn’t jump the line. He earned the respect of the locker room. And we’ll see what he can do on the field in a game the 49ers should and must win. Geez, it’s almost like the 49ers planned it this way. Or should’ve.

  9. Irish Kevin says:

    Why put a rookie in 3rd and long on the first plays? Stupid

  10. unca_chuck says:

    Already hating this offense.

  11. Irish Kevin says:

    Too much running

  12. unca_chuck says:

    This is exactly what i didn’t want to see.

  13. Irish Kevin says:

    If Texans are going to try to stop the ru, then Kyle needs to put in a passing play. First team to score will win

  14. Irish Kevin says:

    Where are the plays to Kittle, Deebo, Aiuke? Only two players, Lance and Mitchel

  15. Irish Kevin says:

    Wake me when one of these teams gets their offense going

  16. Irish Kevin says:

    That pass Jimmy could not make

  17. ODB says:

    This offense sucks balls.

  18. Irish Kevin says:

    I wish the Niners would blitz more

  19. Winder says:

    Well, that sucked.

  20. ODB says:

    Good lord, piss poor throw Lance.

  21. Irish Kevin says:

    Rookie mistake, no big deal.

  22. Lurker John says:

    That looked an awful lot like a Jimmy G pick to me.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      I stand by my comment, rookie mistake, growing pains whatever. JG has had 5 years to clean his act up, I will give Lance those mistakes early

  23. Irish Kevin says:

    This should be a blitz by the Niners.

  24. Irish Kevin says:

    Should still be a blitz

  25. Irish Kevin says:

    No pressure on the QB, this is on the DC play calling

  26. ODB says:

    I was thinking the D would have to score for Niners to win.

  27. Lurker John says:

    Wow. A pathetic performance all the way around so far. I thought they’d come out with way more fire.

  28. barleyfreak says:

    Game looks too fast for TL right now. Telegraphing, looking down receivers. Only wat to learn is by playing. Gonna be some tough lumps en route. Hopefully he can settle in the 2nd half and get a better feel for the pace.

  29. ODB says:

    Lance looks like a slower version of Kapernick.

    • barleyfreak says:

      True that. The one thing I DO like is he keeps his eyes down field. Kap would just bail. Sure hope they change this around and come out with fire.

  30. Irish Kevin says:

    JG would not have made that pass, that is why they drafted Lance

  31. ODB says:

    Lance needs to develop some kind of finesse on his throws. Right now, receiver needs to be 10 yards open to have a chance at catching the balls without getting creamed. I’m not seeing giving up 3 first rounders for him, but hope I’m wrong.

    • Irish Kevin says:

      2nd game and you are complaining about his throws, wow. You should go back and look at Joe Montanas first few games or Jerry Rices dripped passes during his first few games. Rookies need seasoning.

  32. Irish Kevin says:

    Let’s not go with just the run, Kyle needs to know he needs to score so there is not a tie

  33. Irish Kevin says:

    That was a nice throw

  34. ODB says:

    Not a great comparison, but I hope Lance improves.

  35. Irish Kevin says:

    I would not leave Mitchell in, let someone else run out the clock

  36. Winder says:

    It wasn’t all that pretty but we got it done. Hopefully we will be able to play a full 60 minutes of good ball soon.

  37. unca_chuck says:

    I think Lance learned a lot from this game. He is greener than green, but he was reading progressions and doing OK by the end. Mitchell had a nice tough day running inside.

  38. unca_chuck says:

    DeMeco did dial up the pressure in the 2nd half as well. Minus the obligatory PI calls, they did alright. Ambry Thomas had a good game. Norman continues to be a penalty magnet.

  39. unca_chuck says:

    The pick was underthrown, but the bigger thing was Deebo was open on a go route down the right sideline. He’s got to see that when it is there.

    Again, though, he’s green. He needs a LOT of reps.

  40. Lurker John says:

    Thomas damn near had a pick six. He’s definitely shown some flashes. Hopefully that continues. And Lance is green. It’s live game reps he needs. He’s probably done all he can do in terms of practice. He needs to be on games.

    • willedav says:

      Agreed. And even though that Archuleta guy on TV call was awful, I think he was right that Shanahan was still feeling his way for what he could do. And as others have said, it’s gonna take a lot better performance to beat Rams next week. Still, not bad at all and he did run some good scoring drives. And showed up Mills in process.

  41. Berger says:

    Rover looked fairly average except when one considers it was his 2nd start. Considering that, he actually looked pretty good.

    The bad: He is a one read QB and locks on. He missed two wide open receivers on his interception but all QBs do that. He took hits he did not need to take but stepped out of bounds when if he took a hit would have had a first down. He needs better instincts. The instincts are the one thing that worries me going forward. You either have them or you don’t. It is often called the ‘it factor’.

    The good: He avoided some pressure and made plays where I think Jimmy would’ve been sacked. He made some impressive throws the JG can’t make. You could see the game slowing down and the play calling getting better from the first to the second half. I think Shanahan is still learning how to call plays for him.

    All in all, I liked what I saw. I’d like to see better instincts but that that should come as he the game slows down for him. After what we just saw I think it is definitely time for Jimmy to move over and let Rover take over.

    BTW, I think Rover is a good nickname for him because he is a good scrambler.

  42. alleykat69 says:

    When you need to win to get in scenario, the bottom line Shanny’s going with Jimmy G if he’s healthy enough.Trey is just too green with not enough snaps and reps for the season,and even though he looked better in the 2nd half,it’s the Texans he was playing not the Rams!
    And even though the 49ers are definitely in the Rams psyche with 5 straight wins, Trey would struggle more against that defense with Ramsey,Darnold,Miller etc.It’s Trey’s team next year but it’s Jimmy’s team that gives them they’re best chance to get in the playoffs..

  43. unca_chuck says:

    What was encouraging to me was Shanny stopped with the fucking read option runs. They are slow developing and worthless. We CAN straight run the ball so why fuck around with that?

    The pick was a bad read, and Kittle wasn;t the designed guy to get the ball. The game did slow down for him as it went on, and I think Shanny even got into a bit of a roll with him.

    Good to see going forward because Jimmy isn’t coming back.

  44. Irish Kevin says:

    Dante Witner on KNBR this morning predicts that if JG is ready to go he will be the QB for the Rams and the playoffs

  45. unca_chuck says:

    Wel, that’s exactly what Shanny said. Shanny immediately after that said Jimmy won’t be ready.

    Here’s a grain of salt . . .

    New thread is up.

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