Week 12 recap: Jimmy Garoppolo throws first 49ers TD, San Francisco loses to Seattle, 24-13

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QB Jimmy Garoppolo came late into the game to lead his first drive and throw his first touchdown with the 49ers, but the team fell to Seattle, 24-13.

Post-Game Review
After winning their first game of the season before the bye week, this game felt like a fall back to reality for the San Francisco 49ers as they lost 24-13 to their division rival, the Seattle Seahawks.

The 49ers offense just couldn’t get the job done, scoring just 13 points on 280 yards, with their only touchdown coming with no time left on the clock in the 4th quarter. C.J. Beathard struggled on Sunday, completing 22/38 passes for only 201 yards and an interception, before leaving the game with an injury. Once again, Beathard got beat up against Seattle, being sacked 3 times and hit 13 more, an area that has marred the 49ers offense all season long.

In addition to a lackluster pass offense, Carlos Hyde and the ground game also struggled all game, with Hyde going for 47 yards on a paltry 2.9 yards per carry, and the team combining for 84 yards in total. Overall, the failure of the offense to put together drives against a battered Seattle defense was the reason they didn’t win the game. The game was close deep into the 3rd quarter (14-6 with over 6 minutes left), but the offense just couldn’t capitalize on anything.

An interesting turn of events was that once Beathard was out of the game, Jimmy Garoppolo was forced into action. The man many believe to be the 49ers QB of the future played only 3 snaps, but made the most of his time. After scrambling for a gain of 4 yards for a first down, Garoppolo completed two passes for 18 yards, including the 49ers only TD of the game.

The 49ers defense had no answers for Russell Wilson after he threw an interception on the first play of the game, the first time he did as such in his career. Tossing two touchdowns and adding another on the ground, Wilson may not have been his sharpest, but he did more than enough to secure the victory.

A familiar story about the 49ers pass rush made a return today, with the 49ers not sacking Wilson once. Much has been made about how the Seahawks offensive line is abysmal, and for good reason (Wilson has been sacked 231 times since coming into the league in 2012), but the 49ers still failed to bring him down. They had multiple chances to do so, but couldn’t finish the play and allowed Wilson to squeeze out and extend plays, and drives.

The 49ers were successful in keeping one of the NFL’s least dynamic rushing attacks from being a factor, allowing 90 yards on just 3 yards per carry, but they couldn’t keep the Seahawks passing attack out of the endzone.

MVP
Eric Reid looked like a younger version of himself against the Seahawks. Flying all around the field making plays, Reid finished the day with an interception and a pass defended, while also racking up 7 tackles. Reid is in a contract year, and more games like this may help to bring him back next season in a 49er uniform.

LVP
The 49ers pass rush was boring. The 49ers are tied for the 10th fewest sacks in the NFL, and today, they were awful. The front seven had a hard time getting after Wilson, despite Seattle having a subpar offensive line, and when they did get to him, they couldn’t finish.

Teams cannot expect to win if they do not get after opposing QBs. Giving them too much time in the pocket allows opposing teams to rack up yards through the air with ease, especially against teams that don’t have good secondaries.

Play of the Game
Jimmy Garoppolo came in with a little over a minute left in the game, and finished the drive that was initiated by C.J. Beathard. After a gain of 4 on the ground and an 8-yard pass to Aldrick Robinson, Garoppolo found Louis Murphy in the endzone for his first TD as a 49er. Garoppolo is supposed to be the QB of the future for the 49ers, and he made a solid first impression after taking over for the injured Beathard.

Next Up
The 49ers will fly to Chicago for their matchup with the 3-8 Bears. These teams have played each other a lot in the last 6 seasons, with 2013 being the only year they didn’t play one another. The teams have split these matchups evenly with two wins and two losses each. The 49ers and Bears also have a bit of offseason familiarity, as fans will remember that it was the 49ers that the Bears traded up with to take their current starting QB Mitchell Trubisky, while allowing the 49ers to take Solomon Thomas and trade for Reuben Foster.

The main story to look forward to is the starting QB situation. After trading for Garoppolo, I predicted that his first start would be the game against Chicago. After Beathard’s performance this week, I believe he will be benched for Garoppolo, regardless of his injury situation. Will the Jimmy G-era start against the Bears? I believe so, and it should be a fun ride.

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