The age old saying in the NFL community of “any given Sunday” was given further justification for a phrase that has been proven too many times.
NFL fans should never assume that because a team is soundly beaten by another team that it will assure victory.
The Lions came into Levis stadium possibly feeling as if the 49ers were the inferior team. Matt Stafford, and company unleashed an aerial attack on the 49ers to the tune of 347 yards.
The good news is that the 49ers allowed for only 98 yards rushing.
What is becoming a growing issue is that for the second week in a row, Ahkello Witherspoon has now been established as the 49ers defender for opposing teams to target. The young second year Witherspoon will continue to be targeted due to Richard Sherman being on the opposite side of the field of play. No quarterback is going to bother with Richard Sherman when chances are better on the opposite side of the field.
Hopefully Sherman will provide the conversation needed for what may be a shattered Witherspoon who was under attack by Stafford all day long.
The even bigger question is how other than Richard Sherman are all the players playing south of Fred Warner seemingly the biggest part of the time out of position to make plays?
Is it Robert Saleh, and Jeff Hafley’s defensive scheme, or is there some ongoing misunderstanding of assignments? The reason the Lions lost this contest was mainly due to a combination of dropped passes and, Stafford’s inaccuracy in hitting wide open receivers headed for the goal line several times.
What was clearly evident in this game is that Jimmy Garoppolo is doubling down on learning kyle Shanhan’s offense. He seemed so focused in staying in the pocket and scanning the field for open receivers that he was no longer the same Garoppolo that we've come to know and love. Jimmy G is no longer extending plays very often, or improvising. He is being sacked at an alarming rate as a result of that discipline. The Lions took Jimmy G down 6 times in the contest and is on an scary pace regarding sacks totals. It’s hard to tell at this stage of his development if the effort is a favorable one. Garoppolo seemed to be more effective last season when play broke down going into his own improvisation.
There were plenty of 49ers positives in this game however.
Number one was the running of second year running back Matt Breida who tore off 138 yards on only a mind boggling 11 carries. He also added 21 yards receiving out of the backfield. If Breida can continue to contribute strong efforts consistently Shanahan will have just what he needs to get his particular brand of offense on track.
Alfred Morris added 48 yards as the 49ers netted 156 ground yards.
Also we can see the ongoing incorporation of Pierre Garcon is becoming more and more prevalent.
This second week game of the 2018 season for the 49ers did test their resiliency in the closing minutes of a game they could have ended up losing. They did indeed pass that test…