Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
For the first time since the preseason, the San Francisco 49ers lost a game. The team suffered a gut-wrenching 27-24 overtime defeat at the hands of the rival Seattle Seahawks. They now stand at 8-1 and despite the mood, the season is not lost. How do the 49ers stack up as they look forward to Arizona?
Stock Down: The Hands Team
Depending on which football website you use for statistics, the number of dropped passes by the 49ers will vary. However, to everyone watching at home, the number was very clear: way too many. Wide receivers Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel and Kendrick Bourne all had at least one drop with Bourne popping a pass up into the air that lead to an interception. The worst part is that the drops occurred at critical points in the fourth quarter and overtime. Ultimately, blame for the loss can be spread around but the drops are the standout takeaway.
Stock Up: Fred Warner’s Emergence
When linebacker Kwon Alexander tore his pectoral muscle against the Arizona Cardinals on Halloween, many thought the 49ers’ defense would suffer a drastic step back. Fred Warner made it his mission to quell whatever doubt was out there with his performance against the Seahawks. He finished with 10 tackles, two tackles for a loss, two sacks and forced a fumble that was returned by defensive lineman DeForest Buckner for a touchdown. Warner was also stellar in coverage while keeping Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson as contained as you can keep Russell Wilson.
Stock Down: Injury Bug Bites Again
Defensive end Ronald Blair, who had been enjoying his most productive season as a professional, is out for the season with a torn ACL. Nose tackle D.J. Jones, who was excellent in his limited time before leaving with a groin injury, is out for at least a week. WR Emmanuel Sanders, who has been far and away the most productive receiver for QB Jimmy Garoppolo, is day-to-day heading into the matchup with Arizona. Left tackle Joe Staley has a broken finger that may require surgery that would sideline him for multiple games. No analysis here. Just listing the injuries to key players that occurred.
Stock Up: Deebo Samuel Has the Potential
If you can look past the drop, Deebo Samuel put together the best game of his young career Monday night. His 8 catches for 112 yards were season highs for both categories. Samuel displayed an attitude after the catch as he fought through arm tackles and often willed himself to a first down. If tight end George Kittle is a runaway freight train once he gets the ball, Samuel isn’t far behind. With the potential for Emmanuel Sanders to miss time, Samuel will need to step up to keep the offense moving.
Stock Down: Rusty Returning Tackles
Bookend offensive tackles Staley and Mike McGlinchey both made their not-so-triumphant returns to the starting lineups Monday. Both also looked extremely rusty against a Seattle pass rush that until this game had been anemic against even mediocre offensive lines. Garoppolo was under constant duress from the edge from the start of the game. The second half of the schedule for the 49ers is unforgiving and both Staley and McGlinchey will have to get back up to speed as fast as they can.
Stock Push: Live by the Rookie Kicker, Die by the Rookie Kicker
Kicker Robbie Gould, a mainstay in this weekly article, was sidelined with a quad injury. In his stead, the 49ers turned to undrafted rookie Chase McLaughlin to take over the kicking duties. While many will hold him responsible for missing the game-winning kick in overtime, the 49ers would not have even made it that far if he hadn’t been perfect during regulation. McLaughlin hit field goals of 43, 37 and the game-tying 47 yarder before letting the magnitude of the moment get the better of him on his 47-yard attempt in overtime. If Robbie Gould is out for another game, McLaughlin will have his chance at redemption in the next game.
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