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The Faithful sat around all day Sunday just to get disappointed by the stinker San Francisco played during Sunday Night Football. The 49ers dropped to 2-2 with a 25-20 loss against the Philadelphia Eagles. Let’s get this over with. Onto the Stock Watch.
Stock Down: Mullens Truthers Get the Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth
Without a question, the quarterback controversy talk is dead. QB Nick Mullens suited up to start for the second straight week in place of the injured Jimmy Garoppolo. However, unlike last week, this start left everyone rooting for the red and gold wanting. Mullens looked out of sync from the first drive and never got into any sort of rhythm in the offense. His three turnovers were incredibly costly: an interception in the red zone, a fumble that led to the Eagles scoring a touchdown and an interception returned for a touchdown. In a game that came down to a final score decided by only 5 points, its not difficult to lay blame at his feet. Mullens was pulled in the fourth quarter for the much maligned third-string QB C.J. Beathard. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has to be hoping that Garoppolo is good to go against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday.
Stock Up: Aiyuk Goes Airborne
Many people questioned the 49ers passing on the top wide receivers with the pick they spent on defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw. Even more questioned them when they traded up in the first round to select WR Brandon Aiyuk. Now that Aiyuk has flashed some serious talent with the ball in his hands in back-to-back weeks, not so many people are in the questioning move. Down 8-0 late in the first quarter, Aiyuk took a lateral pass from Mullens and high tailed it for the end zone. After breaking multiple tackles and some incredible downfield blocking, Aiyuk hurdled completely over a charging safety Marcus Epps into paydirt. Needless to say, this will be a highlight shown all season long.
Stock Down: The Offensive Line is Downright Offensive
Nick Mullens was bad. Nick Mullens was out of rhythm. Nick Mullens could not get his timing down. Part of all that came from the offensive line’s inability to contain the Eagles’ defensive line. Their run blocking was uncharacteristically poor as the 49ers running backs only averaged 3.52 yards per carry. The pass protection was even worse as right tackle Mike McGlinchey’s rough campaign continues. He was abused all night long including on the last two plays of the game, forcing Beathard to unload the ball before he was ready. This was also left tackle Trent Williams’s worse performance of the year. The whole group needs to take a breather and get their legs back under them moving forward.
Stock Up: Kittle and Deebo Back in the Game
WR Deebo Samuel made his first appearance of the year and put up 45 yards on four touches. Not bad for knocking the rust off, but the real star of the show was George Kittle. After missing the last two games with a knee injury, Kittle burst back onto the scene with 15 catches for 183 yards and a touchdown. Those 183 yards are the most by a tight end since Kittle caught 210 against the Denver Broncos in 2018. He is doing his best to prove he was worth every penny of that contract extension he received before the season and if he continues to post these numbers, it will be difficult to find anyone whowants to argue.
Stock Down: Cornerback Depth is Beyond Tested
Now that slot cornerback K’Waun Williams has landed on injured reserve following his second half exit against the Eagles, it is possible that moving forward, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh will be without his top four cornerbacks. Richard Sherman, Ahkello Witherspoon and Emmanuel Moseley all missed SNF with a variety of injuries and this allowed opposing QB Carson Wentz to get his groove back. CB Dontae Johnson was abused by WR Travis Fulgham for a 42-yard score as Johnson failed to get his head turned around. If you’re asking, “Who the hell is Travis Fulgham?” you are not alone. Carson Wentz was surely asking the same thing during practice this week. If the 49ers are unable to get healthy on the outside, this defense could be in for a long season.
Stock Up: Red Jet Redemption IV
“You know why I’m here.” -Marshawn Lynch
Another week, another touchdown for running back Jerick McKinnon. That makes four in four games. One of the few bright spots in an otherwise dreary start to the 2020 season.
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