Sports

8 takeaways from wild 49ers win in Detroit


d07a5e4786bbdd5248ef25ad2133d06f

The 49ers looked to be on track to an easy win to open their 2021 season. Then the wheels came off in the final two minutes and their cushy 41-17 lead quickly became a 41-33 lead. They’d ultimately hang on to win by that score, but the closing moments turned a snooze-fest into a nail-biter for San Francisco.

There was plenty to take away even before the late-game scare, but the last couple minutes offered even more to look at moving forward from Week 1.

Jimmy Garoppolo balls out

3da7688caaa30e652ee74fc1f7fbee9f

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

There weren’t many things Garoppolo could’ve done better in Detroit. He threw it 25 times and completed 17 of his throws for 314 yards and a touchdown. More important than anything though is that he eliminated the head-scratching plays. There weren’t any abysmal throws or indecisiveness that led to unnecessary sacks. He was as good as he’s looked in a long time for the 49ers.

Trey Lance debuts

07cb06857f72666636de961033a4ad6d

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

It wasn’t the quarterback-swap extravaganza we saw in the preseason finale, but Lance saw action on four snaps and threw one pass that went for a 5-yard touchdown. His other three snaps were all run plays that accounted for 2 yards. The runs were uninspiring, but the experience for Lance could prove valuable long-term and it’s easy to see the 49ers wanting to continue mixing him in to give defenses something to think about.

Rookies to the rescue

350efdaaf49da287cd66bbc045dceec1

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Two 49ers rookies stood out at Ford Field. Fifth-round cornerback Deommodore Lenoir allowed only one catch on four balls thrown his way after earning the start in place of the injured Emmanuel Moseley. Sixth-round running back Elijah Mitchell saw a ton of action with Raheem Mostert out and picked up 104 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries. Both of these late-round picks could play huge roles for San Francisco given the club’s injury situation after Sunday.

Brandon Aiyuk on a milk carton

c292bd59989c58866b1399dafa4ab74d

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Aiyuk was expected to be the 49ers’ No. 1 receiver going into this season. He was nowhere to be found on offense in the opener and was instead relegated to a couple punt returns. Head coach Kyle Shanahan was vague when explaining the lack of offensive looks for the 2020 first-round pick, but amid a slew of things that went right for the 49ers offensively, Aiyuk’s disappearance from the game plan was very apparent.

Cornerback depth exposed

f5d4a846e4f31ce227acaf72091f958b

(AP Photo/Lon Horwedel)

When Jason Verrett went down with a knee injury in the third quarter it opened the door to the 49ers’ nightmare scenario. Their shaky cornerback depth, already stretched by Moseley’s absence, needed to be relied upon late. Dontae Johnson and Ambry Thomas both struggled to come up with stops while the Lions posted 16 points in less than a minute in the fourth quarter. This will be the single greatest issue facing the 49ers moving forward.

Deebo Samuel punks Lions

f0f942057f296b201590363af9926770

David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

While Aiyuk was noticeably absent Sunday, Samuel was as present as he’s ever been. The third-year receiver snatched nine catches on 12 targets for 189 yards and a touchdown that went for 79 yards. Samuel’s talent was never in question, but the thing that jumped out Sunday was how much he was utilized down the field. There weren’t just jet sweeps and screens designed to get him into space. He was pushing his routes up the field into the second and third levels to help stress the Lions vertically in a way he hadn’t in the past.

Two of top three draft picks inactive

2fe4826ca53d48ad1df84dfaf92a0f56

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

While part of the 49ers’ 2021 draft class shined, another part of it couldn’t suit up. Second-round pick Aaron Banks was a healthy scratch after dealing with a shoulder injury during camp and missing a couple weeks. He’ll have to work his way onto the active roster. Third-round pick Trey Sermon was also a healthy scratch which came as a significant surprise. Sermon was supposed to play a big role for the 49ers and instead found himself in street clothes for the opener.

Injury woes begin

2beb0851c0ded36350ea10291fd31414

Junfu Han via Imagn Content Services, LLC

There were a slew of injuries for the 49ers coming out of Sunday, including Verrett’s knee and a knee injury for Raheem Mostert. Dre Greenlaw is dealing with a groin issue as well. That’s three starters that could all wind up missing time for San Francisco and Verrett’s is feared to be season-ending. The 49ers stayed mostly healthy through camp, but their regular season is off to a rough start.

1

1

Source link: https://sports.yahoo.com/8-takeaways-wild-49ers-win-055955546.html?src=rss
Back to top button