It finally happened, the 49ers got a win under HC Kyle Shanahan. It took 10 weeks for this 49ers team to get its first win but they finally came away on top. The team is now going into their bye week and will face the Seahawks at home in week 12.
Normally in this article I would preview the weekend’s game for the 49ers. This week the team has no game, so you know what that means… The team is guaranteed to not lose this weekend, so celebrate everyone! So instead of looking ahead to a game this weekend, I’m going to look back and talk about the most important players so far this season. This has been an up and down (mostly down) season for this rebuilding team, but there are a lot of bright spots on both sides of the ball.
This is pretty easy for me, it has to be DT Deforest Buckner. Buckner has been the consistency on the defensive side of the ball. Week in and week out the 49ers coaches know what they are going to get out of Buckner, and that is elite play at 3T. Buckner in his 2nd year has turned into one of the elite players in the NFL at his position. He consistently gets pressure on the QB despite opposing offenses double teaming him on just about every snap.
This one was a little tougher, there are a few guys that come to mind when you think of the offensive MVP for this team. I’m going to give it to RB Carlos Hyde. Hyde has been the team’s best offensive weapon week in and week out. He has been the most consistent skill position player for this team all season. Hyde is exceptional at breaking tackles and has shown he fits well into HC Kyle Shanahan’s scheme. Big question is will Hyde be in a 49ers uniform in 2018. Hyde said he wouldn’t talk about a contract extension until the team got a win, well they got a W and the team is on a bye.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
This boils down to two players. WR Trent Taylor or TE George Kittle. As well as Kittle has played at times, I think this has to go to Taylor. Taylor has been such a constant player in his rookie year for the 49ers. Not only is he the teams full time slot receiver, he also takes on all the punt return duties. Taylor has been a great chain mover for the 49ers quarterbacks and also has been one of the better punt return men in the NFL this season. It looks as though GM John Lynch has found the slot receiver and punt return man of the future for this rebuilding team.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
LB Reuben Foster has probably been the best player on the field, when he’s been on the field. Problem is we haven’t seen a lot of Foster due to injury. This award is going to have to go to 1st round pick DT Solomon Thomas. Thomas has made the transition from college to the pros pretty well. He has been one of the better run blocking defensive tackles for the team this season. The future is bright for this talented young defensive lineman. It also helps that stud DT Deforest Buckner is your line mate demanding those double teams.
Best player to coastally get hurt and give us all a headache
Yes, I’m looking at you FS Jimmie Ward. Ward started the season hurt with a hamstring injury, which kept him out in week 1. Then in week 8 he broke his arm and is done for the season. Ward is a promising player and when healthy this season has looked good in the all-important single high free safety role. The issue with Ward is health. He seems to be hurt in one way or another every season and just can’t be trusted to be on the field. With SS Jaquiski Tartt and FS Adrian Colbert’s recent play, the future for Ward in San Francisco is in doubt. Ward has one more year on his deal before becoming a free agent in 2019.
Best player at dropping passes
Ok, this should go to everyone not named WR Pierre Garcon. This has been a real issue for this team this season. So many times have the 49ers QBs gotten the ball down field to an open receiver and the player just dropped it. Drops have killed this team at key points in this game. WR Marquise Goodwin was the leader for this award, but last week QB CJ Beathard connected with Goodwin for an 83 yard TD pass. So, this award is going to Rookie TE George Kittle. Kittle has all in all had a very good rookie season. Shanahan’s offense is not easy for a TE and Kittle has been the best TE this season. His only issue is dropped passes. Though this is something I’m confident he will clean up and won’t be an issue to much longer for him.
Happy bye week everyone, enjoy not having to tune in for 3 ½ hours of dropped 3rd down passes and punts. Next week is a big week for this team, rival Seattle is coming into town.s The 49ers haven’t beaten the Seahawks since 2013.