Two words, "Marquise - Goodwin" changes the 49ers dynamic in a way that could spell a problem. The 49ers will be playing the Lions with a number of key players missing, but most believe that the 49ers should still be able to win this game.
For starters it would be hard to imagine the 49ers making as many mistakes as they did vs the Vikings for a second week in a row. Kyle Shanahan and his staff are better than that, and will be better prepared this week for sure.
Which brings me back to my initial point. Marquise Goodwin’s role can’t be overstated. Goodwin brings stress to an entire opposing defense for the 49ers. Goodwin’s expanded his talents to include most of, if not the entire route tree. Defenses are on alert all over the field as soon as Quise sets foot on the field. Opposition defenses have no idea where the lightening quick Goodwin is going to explode, whether its going to be a quick crossing pattern which is a Jimmy G favorite. Or is he going deep which he can do as well or better than over 90% of the wide receivers in the NFL. Goodwin’s current value to the offense has hit a high that most of us may have been taking for granted.
The missing Goodwin may have been key to why the 49ers had such a problem running for most of the game. The defense could play normally rather than brace, and cover for Goodwin. The Vikings focused on the midfield area, and sat in the box overpowering and flooding the right side of the offensive line crippling the 49ers game plan.
The aggravation comes from the fact that even with all that, all the 49ers had to do was execute on two plays on the day. Both included George Kittle. The missed TD to the wide open Kittle was one, and the overthrown high pass to George by Garoppolo was the second. If the 49ers aside from all the other fails just make those two plays it’s a win in Minnesota.
This week Richie James who will substitute as the fifth receiver may add some of the threatening skills of Goodwin who will not be available. The continued development of Dante Pettis will continue this week. That is a huge plus. Pettis is special with huge potential. The more snaps for hime the better. Hopefully Garcon brings a threatening presence to the 49ers offense this week.
One thing that can be said with confidence is that the Lions defense in no way resembles that of the Vikings.
Matt Stafford who has only thrown ten INT’s total in the past two seasons threw for four last Sunday against a Jets defense that was all over him the entire game. The 49ers could rout the Lions if they can bring similar pressure to Matt Stafford who by the way may have sustained a minor injury to his hand which could have had something to do with the errant passes.
This game has Richard Sherman’s name written all over it. Wide receiver Kenny Golladay, and the currently struggling Golden Tate who could snap out of it at any time are very capable receivers.
If Richard Sherman, as well as Ahkello Witherspoon can cover well enough to cause Stafford to hesitate, Deforest Buckner and the front line will be every bit as ferocious as the Jets were in week one versus the Lions.
The Lions run game is suspect which pretty much means the Lions are somewhat a one dimensional offense. That makes them prey for the front line predators.
It has’t been decided yet if the questionable status of edge rusher Ziggy Ansah will be available for this game.
My thinking this week is that Shanahan won’t be emergency planning for the Lions as he did last week for the Vikings after losing Jerick McKinnon early in the week.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Jimmy G bounces back after his first loss. The entire NFL community is waiting to see how he responds.