Who says Thursday Night Football sucks? The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams put on one of the best primetime games I have ever seen in their 41-39 shootout in Santa Clara, and it showed some promising improvements in the 49ers offense.
Entering the game with zero touchdowns and averaging only 6 points per game and 232.5 total yards (ranking 31st and 32nd respectively), the offense exploded for 39 points and 421 yards of total offense to go with 4 touchdowns. The passing game, specifically, exploded as Hoyer threw for 332 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Ultimately, the game was decided by penalties on the 49ers offense. After the Rams muffed a punt in the 2nd quarter, the drive started with a false start on Joe Staley. On second down and eight on the Rams 10-yardline, Kyle Juszczyk was called for a holding penalty.
These plays killed the Niners momentum and essentially ended the drive, resulting in a field goal. Later, on the Niners final drive, Trent Taylor had the 1st down reception on 3rd and 10. However, Taylor was called for offensive pass interference (questionably) and backed the 49ers into 3rd and 20. The drive ended in a sack on 4th and 20, ending the game. The defense also had its fair share in committing penalties that extended drives. In total, the 49ers totaled 10 penalties for 55 yards.
I don’t like the idea of co-MVPs, but tonight’s game warrants its usage. Brian Hoyer and Pierre Garçon were definitely on the same page tonight, connecting 7 times for 142 yards. Hoyer looked like a completely different player Thursday night than he had in his first 2 games in San Francisco. After an interception on the games first play, Hoyer threw for 332 yards with 2 touchdowns, adding another on the ground. Garçon made some of the game’s biggest plays and looked like the number one receiver the 49ers hoped he would be when he was signed.
Second year cornerback Rashard Robinson did not have a good game. He was beaten multiple times tonight and committed three penalties. He committed a pass interference penalty against Robert Woods that negated an illegal shift penalty. He was beaten in the endzone by Sammy Watkins, but shoved him on the ground resulting in another pass interference call. The final penalty he committed was a hands to the face against Josh Reynolds that didn’t exactly hurt the defense because the pass went for longer than 5 yards.
Play of the game
Brian Hoyer looked like a magician by avoiding a sack then hitting Pierre Garcon in stride for a first down on the drive that rejuvenated the 49ers 2nd half momentum and put them into striking distance.
This was the most impressive play tonight from the Niners. Hoyer and Garçon were on the same page all night. pic.twitter.com/sArdDAjdMN
— Ryan Dunbar (@RyanDunbar_) September 22, 2017
With the long break, the 49ers couldn’t be happier, as they are nursing numerous injuries to some key players. Starting linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Eric Reid didn’t play tonight and they were sorely missed. Two more starters, safety Jaquiski Tartt and fullback Kyle Juszczyk, left the game. The 49ers will look to regroup and use this extra time to heal up before heading to Arizona to face the Cardinals.
Should the Pats/Raiders game in Mexico be moved?