Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
The San Francisco 49ers continued their long win streak to start the 2019 season with a 53-14 trouncing of the Carolina Panthers. Kyle Shanahan and Co. dominated the game in every aspect from the opening kickoff to the final whistle. How is the stock looking for the team after the 7-0 start?
Stock Up: Kyle Shanahan’s Offensive Wizardry
Head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense put the Panthers defense in a blender and kept the setting on high. This was put perfectly on display at the mid-point of the third quarter when wide receiver Deebo Samuel took a hand-off 20 yards into the end zone. Newly acquired WR Emmanuel Sanders came in motion and faked a jet sweep before quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo handed the ball to Samuel who went untouched for a touchdown. The Panthers defense had no idea who had the ball until it was far too late. The play was shades of a Wing-T offense that many of the Panthers defenders had probably not seen since high school. If there were any questions about who is the best playcaller in football, Shanahan put it to rest Sunday.
Stock Up: Nick Bosa’s Defense Rookie of the Year Chances
When the 49ers took defensive end Nick Bosa with the second overall pick in this year’s draft, the fanbase was divided. Many thought he was overhyped and would never live up to his draft position. Through seven games, Bosa has shown to be far and away the most talented rookie from the entire class. He added three sacks, three tackles for a loss and an incredibly athletic interception that he took back nearly for a touchdown. Bosa’s performance was so impressive, teammate Richard Sherman said he should be in the running for not only Defensive Rookie of the Year but also Defensive Player of the Year. Sherman may know a thing or two about taking home that hardware.
Stock Up: Tevin Coleman’s Breakout Game
Running back Tevin Coleman was signed as a free agent during the offseason in another move that left 49ers Faithful scratching their heads. The 49ers already had running backs Matt Breida, Jerick McKinnon and Raheem Mostert on the roster and many fans thought that Coleman was an unnecessary addition. His four-touchdown performance on Sunday showed his versatility in both the run and pass games. Coleman’s speed was directly responsible for two of the scores as he was in the secondary before anyone could blink and when the Carolina safeties took bad angles, no one had any chance of catching him.
Stock Down: Jimmy Garoppolo’s Tunnel Vision
QB Jimmy Garoppolo has now thrown one interception in each game this season and more often than not, it is directly due to staring down his receivers. On their second drive, Garoppolo focused in on tight end George Kittle and threw the ball directly into linebacker Luke Kuechly’s waiting arms. Kuechly is an incredible player in his own right so it was just a matter of time before he made an impact play but Garoppolo did not need to help him out so much. To be fair, Garoppolo also threw a pair of touchdowns to end his streak of games without a touchdown at two.
Stock Up: Emmanuel Sanders Makes an Immediate Impact
The 49ers beat the trade deadline when they made a deal to acquire Emmanuel Sanders from the Denver Broncos last Tuesday. With limited knowledge of the playbook and terminology, Sanders was able to snag a touchdown pass on the first possession of the game. He was helped along by former offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello who spent time as Shanahan’s quarterbacks coach. Sanders’ veteran presence could be exactly what this young receiving corps needs to continue their development moving forward.
Stock Down: Special Teams Woes Continue
Kicker Robbie Gould did not miss a field goal this week. I repeat, kicker Robbie Gould did not miss a field goal this week. However, the kicking unit was responsible for a flubbed extra point attempt after a botched snap from returning long snapper Kyle Nelson. Nelson had missed the previous ten games while serving a suspension for performance enhancing drugs. The 49ers were up by 24 points when the miscue happened and had no impact on the final score. That said, eventually the 49ers will play a close game and these mistakes cannot continue to happen.
Stock Up: 49ers Elite Pass Defense
For the fourth consecutive game, the 49ers defense held an opposing team to 100 yards or fewer net passing. Panthers QB Kyle Allen entered the game with nine touchdown passes and no interceptions and finished the game with nine touchdown passes and three interceptions. Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Emmanuel Moseley both added interceptions to Nick Bosa’s incredible play. Moseley has stepped in for injured CB Ahkello Witherspoon and blown away expectations. When Witherspoon returns from being hurt, the 49ers are going to have a good problem on their hands.
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