Anavarathan: 3 positives from 49ers-Cardinals
The sad part this season is that every week, the 49ersHub writers have to scrounge up positives from a loss the previous weekend. There hasn't been a game so far this season, where the writers can find three faults in a win -- because it hasn't happened yet.
So once again, the San Francisco 49ers dropped their 9th straight game and it's time to find the positives from a tough game.
3. LB Reuben Foster finished his first game of the season
So far this season, LB Reuben Foster has started two games, but was unable to complete either. In the season opener against the Carolina Panthers, Foster played less than a quarter and was carted off with an ankle injury. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, that injury is still bothering the 49ers' linebacker till date.
Then in his next start, Foster started against Cowboys, but was unable to finish that game due to another injury. But on Sunday, the ex-Alabama linebacker was able to go from start to finish, playing over 70 snaps on defense. He racked up 14 tackles and was all over the field in run defense. When Foster's on the field, he's an elite player, it's just going to be a matter of keeping him on the field.
2. QB C.J. Beathard is going to be a solid backup quarterback moving forward
In C.J. Beathard's starts this season, there hasn't been much talent around the signal caller, so it's been hard to have much success, but there's been a few traits that's glaring. Beathard is made of the toughest material because he's getting hit left and right, but he gets back up and is in the huddle for the next play.
Against the Cardinals, Beathard was hit 16 times. SIXTEEN. Yet, he got back up and continued to fight to give the 49ers a chance in that game. It's hard to judge the interceptions and missed throws, because his best receiver is Marquise Goodwin and his best lineman last week was RT Trent Brown.
His toughness and cheap contract should earn him the backup role with the 49ers moving forward. No more Matt Barkley's or Blaine Gabbert's. Time to roll with Jimmy Garappolo and C.J. Beathard in the QB room from 2018 onward.
1. RT Trent Brown and LT Erik Magnuson are trending upwards
The 49ers' offensive line has been an absolute mess for years now, ever since the departures of Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati. Every year, there seem to be veteran "upgrades" -- more like retreads, that don't really help San Francisco.
For the first time in a while, there may be some youth in the building, with tackles Trent Brown and Erik Magnuson playing well on Sunday. Per Pro Football Focus, Brown allowed only one hurry, while Magnuson allowed two. For as bad as the OL's been, that's something to build off of.
LT Joe Staley isn't going to be around forever, so it's refreshing to see the 49ers have a backup plan in place and hopefully to start to build some continuity along that offensive line. As far as the interior offensive line -- well, let's not talk about it.
Let's watch 49ers-Giants and see if the team can build on those three things and add more positives this upcoming Sunday.