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The San Francisco 49ers managed to escape the clutches of New Jersey without suffering too many more injury setbacks after trouncing the New York Giants. The 36-9 final score was the first time that had occurred in NFL history. Nothing else really to say about that; it is just a fun fact. And now that we have that awkwardness out of the way, let’s get into the stock watch!
Stock Up: Mullens Attempting to Create Controversy
Quarterback Nick Mullens went out and had himself a hell of a game against the Giants. He threw for 343 yards and a touchdown in an incredibly efficient performance. Mullens protected the ball and played within the script to make things seem easy on Sunday. This has sparked conversations among fans and media members as to whether there should be a quarterback controversy in the Bay. It is hard to envision QB Jimmy Garoppolo losing his starting role because of one good showing against a very poor team, but if Garoppolo struggles like he did in Week 1, the calls for Mullens will be louder than ever.
Stock Up: First-Round Rookies Shine
Defensive lineman Javon Kinlaw and wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk have been thrust into much bigger roles so early in their careers due to the injuries around them. Without a proper training camp or preseason, both are exceeding expectations so far. Kinlaw was a monster on the interior of the line and was consistently disrupting plays. His push on a fourth-down QB sneak attempt closed the door on any hope the Giants had of getting back into the game. On the other side of the ball, Aiyuk led the team with five catches for 70 yards while adding three carries for 31 yards. Nineteen of those rushing yards came on a reverse that saw him waltz into the end zone untouched for his first career touchdown. It is safe to say if the 49ers still aspire for a deep playoff run, they will continue to lean on these rookies.
Stock Down: Offensive Line Not Holding Up Their End of the Bargain
The weakest group of the 49ers has clearly been the offensive line. Week-in and week-out, they struggle to open holes for the running game and consistently give the quarterback time. When the unit manages to get it together, the offense hums with home run plays. The interior and right side has been particularly egregious so far and their mistakes are killing drives. With all the injuries on the defensive side of the ball, Kyle Shanahan is going to depend on the offense to carry this team more than expected. It all starts up front.
Stock Up: Wishnowsky’s Leg Takes a Breather
For the first time in his career, punter Mitch Wishnowsky did not punt the ball once during the game. The efficient offense limited the Aussie to just kick-holder duties and even though those were an adventure, he managed to keep kicker Robbie Gould on time. From the team’s perspective, this was the perfect game for Wisknowsky to play.
Stock Down: Long Snapper Yips
The best long snappers go down in history as completely anonymous. Typically, the only time you hear their name is when they mess up. And, oh boy, did Kyle Nelson have a rough game against the Giants. Snap after snap after snap was low, high, outside and everywhere except where it needed to be. Poor snaps cost Robbie Gould a 54-yard field goal attempt and an extra point. The botched extra point actually led to Wishnowsky having one more pass attempt than he did punts. Nelson, who Shanahan later described as having the “yips,” was replaced by swing tackle Justin Skule to finish the game. Special teams cannot cost this team a win and San Francisco should consider themselves lucky that Nelson had an off day in a blowout game.
Stock Up: Red Jet Redemption 3
Jet McKinnon had another touchdown this week. That is three in three weeks. This segment will continue until that streak is broken. Go, Jet, go!
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