They won. They won. They won. They won. The world turned upside down.
Ok, I’m being dramatic, but the previously winless San Francisco 49ers won a game and looked good doing it, beating the New York Giants 31-21 to go to 1-9 heading into the bye week. Yes, they beat the Giants, and yes the Giants are bad. But a win is a win, and it was clear that between these teams, one of them is headed in the right direction, and that team is the 49ers.
The 49ers rookies continued to shine with Ahkello Witherspoon and Adrian Colbert showing a lot of promise in the secondary, Reuben Foster lead the team with 10 total tackles (six solo), C.J. Beathard’s awesome QB play (more on that below), and Matt Breida’s 33-yard touchdown run.
“I feel good,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan after getting his first win. “I feel very good. I didn’t know it’d take this long, but it was special with the guys. I was real happy for them. Those guys have been working so hard and we just keep coming in every Monday so disappointed. By the time I see them every Wednesday, it’s like the first game of the year. To have them still out there going like that with how many we’ve lost in a row, that’s what gave us a chance to win today and just real happy for them.”
As you can see below. Everyone was very, very happy, and understandably so.
Congrats on the first of many, Coach! pic.twitter.com/7CgSMpSOBX
— San Francisco 49ers (@49ers) November 13, 2017
C.J. Beathard’s Big Day
With Joe Staley back in his rightful place at left tackle, 49ers’ quarterback C.J. Beathard was not sacked, not even once, and was only hit twice. As a reminder, he was hit 16 times and sacked five times last week. Beathard finished an impressive day at 19-of-25 for 288 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also ran in a touchdown of his own. It’s amazing what a promising young QB can do with some O-line protection against a bad defense.
“There’s really nothing better,” said Beathard. “There’s not a better feeling. That’s why you play sports is that feeling in the locker room with your teammates celebrating a win. There’s nothing like it. At the same time, there’s nothing like, the feeling sucks when you lose, but the feeling when you win is incredible and that’s why you play.”
No matter who he was up against, Beathard played well. It definitely seemed as if things were going in the right direction when the rookie QB connected with wide receiver on an 83-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. And things did indeed go well.
“It was a great play call by Kyle,” Beathard said. “It was a perfect play call for that coverage that they had. [TE Garrett] Celek and [RB] Carlos [Hyde] did a great job picking up the pressure they brought, an all-out blitz. They did a great job stepping up there and taking it to those two guys that were blitzing. The O-Line gave me a bunch of time to get it up to Marquise, a speedster who we knew could get over the top of any coverage. He’s the fastest guy in the league. I just had to put it out there for him. He did a great job of breaking the tackle.”
A Man Without A QB Plan…For Now
With the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo, a change at quarterback is inevitable, but Shanahan said after the game that the 49ers now have “depth” at the position, and that is a good place to be for the future. Although there is speculation that the QB change comes in November 26 against the Seahawks, Shanahan says maybe, maybe not.
“I don’t have a plan yet,” the rookie head coach said after the game. “There’s no way anything you guys hear reported could be accurate because I just told you guys our plan, which is we’re going to evaluate when it gets to that time, so depends where Jimmy is at at that time. I know C.J. got banged up today also with his thumb again, so we’ll see where he’s at, but we’ll deal with that Monday when we come in here next week.”
Even at 0-9, this 49ers team has never seemed deflated. Discouraged, yes. Defeated, nine times. But, it’s always been clear on the field and in the locker room that this team is a team with fight. It’s something that came up multiple times after the win today, and something that many attribute to the tight knit feeling among the players.
“We have a really close locker room,” said Joe Staley. “Much, much closer than the last couple years, and much closer than [Jim] Harbaugh’s last year.”
“This team, this rookie to vet class…it’s different,” said linebacker Reuben Foster. “They don’t give up, no matter what.”
Like I said, fight.
“I’ve been a part of a lot of wins here over the 11 years,” said Staley. “This win felt as good as winning the NFC Championship game.”
At this point in this particular season, I have no doubt that that is true.
Hyde Your Defenses
Carlos Hyde continued his strong season with 17 carries for 98 yards rushing. According to Pro Football Focus, 84 of those 98 yards came after contact. Hyde has 592 yards on 141 carries and four touchdowns for the season. He’s averaging just over four yards a carry. Imagine what he could do with a solid and consistent offensive line. He’s in a contract year and he’s not making the decision easy on the 49ers.
Thoughts and Prayers Out to Marquise Goodwin and His Wife and Family
After the game, Marquise Goodwin shared via Instagram that he and his wife lost their son, who was born prematurely. The full post is below. Sending thoughts and prayers to the entire Goodwin family during this very difficult time.
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I just wanna thank those who’ve genuinely prayed for @morganakamomo & myself through out this pregnancy. Unfortunately we lost our baby boy due to some complications, and had to prematurely deliver him early this morning around 4am. Although we are hurt, I am grateful for the experience and grateful that God blessed me with a wife as courageous and resilient as Morgan. The pain (physically, mentally, & emotionally) that she has endured is unbelievable. Please Pray for the Goodwin family. 💙👣