Jay's Friday Morning Huddle XI: Looking ahead to Arizona
The trade deadline in the NFL has come and gone, and the 49ers made a move. Yes the team moved on from CB Rashard Robinson, trading him to the New York Jets for a 5th round pick. Oh, and the team also traded a 2nd round pick to the Patriots for QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
Yes, the 49ers have a QB to build around, and the move was made in week 9 of the NFL season. Not during free agency or the NFL draft. The 49ers have a jump on the other QB needy teams now that they have their franchise guy in the building. The team can now focus on building around Garoppolo, get him some weapons on offense and keep him upright with a solid offensive line.
Obviously Garoppolo is the QB1 going into the 2018 season, but what about the rest of this season. Well, we really don’t have an answer for when the new QB will get to play. For this week he is going to be the backup to QB CJ Beathard, who had a rough week last week in Philadelphia. This week the Arizona Cardinals are in town, who are having a rough season as well. This is a winnable game for the 49ers, playing at home against a team who lost their starting running back and QB. Can they finally get their 1st win of the season this Sunday?
Give QB C.J. Beathard time
If last week was any indication on how the offensive line looks without LT Joe Staley and RT Trent Brown, Jimmy Garoppolo better get this playbook down quick, because C.J. Beathard may not make it through this game. Trent Brown is still questionable with his concussion, let’s hope for Beathard’s sake he comes back for this game. If this offense has any chance of moving the ball against this good Cardinals defense, the QB is going to need to have time in the pocket to make plays.
C.J. Beathard needs to be better
Beathard had a really bad game in week 8 in Philadelphia. He missed easy throws, especially to RB Carlos Hyde, multiple times. Most would have gone for 1st downs if thrown well. HC Kyle Shanahan was giving Beathard layups early on in this game, with easy throws to an open receiver outside the numbers. These are throws an NFL QB should make 10 out of 10 times. Beathard missed them more than once, forcing the 49ers defense back on the field. This 49ers offense needs to keep drives alive, and when asked to make the easy throw, Beathard needs to deliver.
Defensive line has to dominate
This 49ers defensive line has been the best unit on the team by far. With multiple 1st round picks invested it should be a great unit. Now with DL Arik Armstead on injured reserve and rookie DL Solomon Thomas out till after week 12, its DL Deforest Buckner’s show. Buckner has been the best player on the team this year and has looked the part of an elite 3T in this defense. Buckner is going to get a lot of attention from the Cardinals offensive line. Other guys along this defensive line are going to need to step up and make plays just as they did last week.
Defensive backs need to play sound football
With the Rashard Robinson trade, that puts CB Ahkello Witherspoon in the driver seat as the 49ers number 1 corner. Witherspoon had a great week in Philadelphia and will look to continue that this week. 49ers FS Jimmy Ward is hurt, again. Unfortunately for Ward, and the 49ers, this is another lost season for him. Now the free safety roll is a bit of a question mark. SS Jaquiski Tartt will most likely be moving to free safety with hybrid linebacker/SS Eric Reid moving back to strong safety. This young secondary is going to need to limit the mistakes, and stop the big plays that the Arizona offense is known for. Cardinals HC Bruce Arians has shown he isn’t afraid to have his backup QB Throw deep at any point in a game.
Obviously at 0-8 this is a lost season for the 49ers. They aren’t going to the playoffs, and the focus is really on development and looking to the future. Now that the 49ers have the future at QB in the building, learning this Kyle Shanahan offense, fans can now just focus on rooting for their team and forget about the QB position in the offseason. This team doesn’t need to draft a QB in the 1st round, they can focus on best player available.
As for this week, 49er fans can only hope to finally see this team get that allusive first win. No one ever said rebuilding an NFL team was easy, and fans knew they would need to be in for the long haul. A win and a new QB to build around is a good way to get the arrow pointing up.