Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
Jean-Jacques Rousseau once wrote “Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.” After losing Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending injury last week, 49ers fans once again find themselves on the bitter end of patience while pondering what they hope will be a sweet future. The Niners battled through injuries, inconsistent play and self-inflicted wounds in the loss, and a couple of things stood out during the game.
At times, C.J. Beathard held on to the ball too long, starred down receivers and threw into coverage. Other times, Beathard made tremendous throws to Kendrick Bourne, Pierre Garçon and George Kittle. Beathard was far from perfect, but he put everything on the line in this game, sometimes to his own determent. Beathard’s final numbers were very respectable: 23-for-37 (62%) 298 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions, but his grit, determination and toughness is what really stood out.
George Kittle continues to make his case to be considered one of the top tight ends in the NFL. Kittle had an outstanding day, catching 6 passes for 125 yards and a touchdown. On his touchdown, Kittle took a pass from C.J. Beathard, in stride, and outraced the Chargers’ secondary to the endzone. The 82-yard score is the longest touchdown reception by a tight end in team history. Kittle is the go-to receiver on the 49ers so far this season, leading the team in receptions and yards and is the only tight end in the NFL currently leading his team in both categories; he is on pace for 72 catches and 1,264 yards this season.
Kickers are people too, and I wanted to show Robbie Gould some love for what he accomplished on Sunday. Gould went 2-for-2 on field goal attempts to extend his team record to 33 consecutive field goals made. Gould’s consistency is contrasted by the struggles that other teams have had this year, including the Chargers, with place kickers. With Garoppolo out, the 49ers figure to become more dependent on Gould.
Others Receiving Votes:
Another Iowa alum had a standout game against the Chargers. Mabin, a 6’1”, 200-pound cornerback, got some playing time in the second half on a rotational basis and wound making the Pro Football Focus Defense Team of the Week earning a grade 89.2. Perhaps Mabin will have earned more playing time next week.
Exum gets some recognition here for setting the tone by picking off a Phillip Rivers pass and returning it for a touchdown on the third play of the game.
Bourne did not establish his supremacy in this game but did make his identity known catching a touchdown pass and catching another for a big first down.
Foster had five solo tackles and two assists.
Warner had four solo tackles and six assists.
Missed tackles continue to be a problem for the 49ers, especially in the second half against the Chargers. The team came in to this game leading the NFL in missed tackles, per Pro Football Focus, and did nothing to give up their lead.
The 49ers saw Dante Pettis and Joe Staley go down with knee injuries and not return. Mike McGlinchey, Matt Breida, and Marquise Goodwin also were banged up in this game but would return. At this rate the 49ers will be giving away spots on punt coverage and field goal protection to season ticket holders.
Last and certainly not least, the faithful stood out on Sunday. The StubHub Center was full of red and gold and pro-49er chants.
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