At the beginning of the season I suggested that young Patrick Mahomes was being overrated. I’m ready to withdraw that sentiment. In the 49ers vs Chiefs game him being a second year quarterback on the biggest stage of the game didn’t phase him. There were no rookie jitters, or nervousness about the way he went about his business of dealing with the 49ers defense.
Mahomes actually overthrew a couple of touch downs in this contest. The final score could have been worst for the 49ers. I can now admit to respect for Mahomes.
With that said I do question the heart, and passion of some of the 49ers defense which seemed suspect on too many occasions during the contest.
Fingers are no longer just pointing at the individual players on the defensive roster. Attention is now being focused towards Robert Saleh by many 49ers fans.
I’ve not made up my mind on the matter of who’s to blame for the 49ers constant struggles of tackling, positioning, and assignments as of yet.
My biggest concern for what appears to be evolving within the defensive ranks is the possibility of a loss of faith in the scheme. If players struggle to long with a system they may throw their hands up in the air and give up. I’m hoping to be wrong about that, and I’m not at all sure about the relationship that Robert Saleh has with the players on the 49ers defense.
The 49ers injuries took another toll versus the Chiefs that could impact the 2018 season to the degree that all aspirations of taking a step towards the next level could be stalled.
Jimmy Garoppolo going down to a serious injury to a knee that could sideline him for the rest of the 2018 season will be extremely missed. Garoppolo is not a talent that can be easily substituted for.
Garoppolo brings more to the table than just the ability to signal call, and throw the ball.
He is a team leader that brought many intangibles. Aside from his outstanding play from last season during a time when he stabilized the collective mindset of the entire 49ers locker room, Garoppolo has been that player that made players better on both sides of the ball in Santa Clara. There was a renewed belief by the team that success was possible.
I do realize that element of Jimmy G’s mystique did appear to take a hit this season. We’ve witnessed a defense that too often plays in a way that needs explaining.
We’ve also watched in horror mistakes made on offense that are unacceptable. The drops from last season at this exact same time have returned, and the suspect tackling on defense seems to be an established feature of the 49ers defense.
I have believed however, that as Garoppolo became more efficient in the system right along with the rest of the 49ers offense that winning was going to be the byproduct of a lot of hard work.
The 49ers run game appears to have recovered from the loss of Jerick McKinnon as Matt Breida has more than picked up that slack as far as offensive stats. He, and Alfred Morris are becoming a solid duo.
Now it appears the 49ers will pick up from here, and take on the NFL with backup C.J. Beathard depending upon what the results of Jimmy Garoppolo’s MRI reveals sometime Monday.