It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. I take that back; it’s just the worst of times. On Jimmy Garoppolo’s first day in a San Francisco 49ers uniform, the red and gold lost 20-10 to the Cardinals and are now 0-9.
Here’s the reality. This roster is not great, and with the injuries piling up (more on that below), the season is only going to get more difficult. With seven games left, the Niners best chance at a win is next week against the 1-7 New York Giants. The 49ers are actually one point favorites in that game, which is a first this season.
I keep saying it’s a rebuild, and it is. Patience my Faithful friends. Patience. Let’s take a look back at today.
Quarterbacking is Hard
As expected, Garoppolo did not play, nor should he have. Quarterback C.J. Beathard was hit 16 times. 16. Times. Five of those 16 were sacks. He’s been sacked 14 times the last three weeks. It’s nothing short of a miracle that Beathard has made it through the last few weeks without an injury.
As Garoppolo said, “He is one tough dude.”
“He’s shown it to me every time he’s played,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan. “He showed it in college a lot. It was one of the things that I liked about him the most. He showed a ton of it last week and it didn’t get any easier this week…I thought C.J. did a lot of good things today, too. I think it could have looked a lot better for him if we caught a lot of those balls also.”
Shanahan brings up a good point. Catching passes does not seem to be high on the agenda of 49ers’ receivers. Marquise Goodwin dropped one today, as did Kendrick Bourne. You’re starting to see why Garoppolo didn’t play today. There is absolutely no reason to bring him in until Joe Staley is back in the lineup.
“I’m not afraid of getting hit,” said Beathard. “So, that won’t affect me. It never has. I’m tough and I’ve been able to take things. Obviously if I’m injured then I won’t force myself in there but as of now I haven’t been injured.”
One of the more eventful moments of the game came towards the end of the fourth quarter when former 49er and current Cardinals’ safety Antoine Beathea put a late hit on Beathard and a scuffle broke out. Carlos Hyde was ejected for the 49ers, and Hassan Reddick and Frostee Rucker were for the Cardinals.
“That’s awesome they had my back,” said Beathard. “I knew they would. Guys like Carlos. It stinks that he got ejected but it shows he’s got my back. I really appreciate that and so do all the other guys that went at them as well.”
So Many Injuries
Just as Jimmie Ward did last week, Jaquiski Tartt fractured his forearm and is out for the season. Overall the 49ers lost five players today due to injury: Tartt, Kyle Juszczyk (neck), Trent Taylor (ribs), Elijah Lee (knee), and Cole Hikutini (knee). It remains to be seen how serious the others are, but the 49ers injury list is getting longer and longer, and, as I’ve mentioned, there are still seven games left to play.
It was another day where the 49ers’ defense played well enough to keep the 49ers in the game, but the offense just couldn’t get anything going.
Despite coming out for a couple of plays in the third quarter, rookie linebacker Reuben Foster made it through his first full NFL game without an injury. He finished the day with 14 tackles, 13 of them solo.
“I feel great,” Foster said. “I feel blessed. I am not injured or hurting. I feel good. I just want to go out there and do it for the fellas.”
Cardinals’ running back Adrian Peterson did finish the afternoon with 37 carries for 159 yards, but he is Adrian Peterson, so it happens.
Overall, Arizona had 167 yards on the ground so we are seeing improvement in this area.
“You got to take it as a man, knowing that you’re 0-9,” said Foster. “…I’ll be danged if I let this team go down…We still got will. We still got fight.”
Bring on the Giants.Don’t forget to subscribe to my weekly podcast and YouTube channel. Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @49ersfangirl. Go Niners!