Make no mistake, the week 7 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys was ugly and hard to watch. It was basically the sports equivalent of “Blood on the asphalt”, except you didn’t get credit for watching this game. Despite HC Kyle Shanahans comments during his postgame press conference that there were no positives to take from the game, was there? Lets take a look and see.
The Return of Foster
The defense played laughably bad on Sunday. The pass rush was near non existent and the secondary was left to hang out to dry. All those things considered though, seeing LB Reuben Foster out there was still an incredibly welcome sight.
The run play where Foster singlehandedly blew up RB Ezekiel Elliott for a loss was the highlight of the game for me. If this is any indication of how the defense will play when he’s in, then the team will have a new attitude and swagger with him out there.
The Rise of Hyde
Hyde has not been as productive as you’d like to see. This has nothing to do with Hyde himself but rather that he just hasn’t been given the volume we expected to see out of Hyde. When Hyde is healthy (which is right now), he is one of the best backs in the league. Couple that with coaches Bobby Turner and Shanahan, we all figured he’d have a monster season, but he just hasn’t had the touches to make that happen.
Thankfully, the touches he is getting, he is certainly making the most of. Hyde ran 14 times for 68 yards, or 4.9 yards per carry. He also had 4 catches for 20 yards, or 5 yards per catch. Those numbers are great for what you want to see out of Hyde, and if given the volume he seems like he could carry the team on his back. With rookie QB CJ Beathard starting for the foreseeable future, Hyde should see more carries to ease the workload and nerves of Beathard.
As stated above, there weren’t many things to take away from the game against Dallas to consider as “positives”. Probably the most important one though, is experience. I truly feel bad that rookie CB Ahkello Witherspoon had to cover WR Dez Bryant a few times, but its that kind of experience on how to handle elite talent that helps you grow. Everyone was quick to write off DB Jimmie Ward after he got burned against the Bears years ago and ultimately it helped to make him a better player. Its that kind of experience that will help this young and immature team grow into the players they’re capable of being.
What positives (if any) did you see in this game? Let us know on twitter and stay tuned to 49ersHUB for more great content!