It’s definitely tough to find reasons for hope in a 23-3 loss, but on a team as young and raw as the San Francisco 49ers you have to look for those throughout the long season. Both the offense and the defense struggled to some extent and no particular positional unit performed to their level of talent – whatever that may be. So for this round, I will be highlighting three players who, for one reason or another, stood out to me and gave me something to look forward to going into next week.
- Jaquiski Tartt‘s Insane Interception
If you haven’t seen it, you need to. It wasn’t just the crazy catch that made me excited, Tartt also covered a ton of ground and made the decision he’ll need to in order to be a quality defensive back in the league. If Tartt reaches his full potential, the 49ers will have a talented and deep safety unit that will have flexibility for both the near and far future. Indeed, they might be strong enough to push one of them to slot cornerback to augment one of the more lacking position groups on the Niners.
2. Pierre Garcon Shows Up
The 49ers may actually have a competent receiver this season! Indeed, in his red and gold debut, the former Washington Redskin caught six passes for 81 yards from balls thrown by Brian Hoyer. If he continues to put up something around those numbers, his contract will certainly be money well spent by a team that desperately needed a vertical threat. Who knows, maybe with Kyle Shanahan and a potent Garcon in the fold, the team will be in good shape to land potential free agent QB Kirk Cousins next offseason.
3. A Strong but Limited Rushing Game
This one may be a stretch, but I feel like it needs some sort of recognition. Carlos Hyde ran for just 45 yards on 9 attempts, which would put him at a very respectable 5.0 yards per carry. Meanwhile, backup HB Matt Breida logged just 11 yards on 4 carries after a strong preseason. Why the lack of carries, Shanahan? There are two talented backs, one of whom was also the second best receiver on Sunday (Hyde), and running our offense through Brian Hoyer is hardly a long-term solution. See what the talented backs could give you and develop a strong running game early.
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