Studs and Duds: Week 2
It’s the first Victory Monday of the season, as the 49ers took care of business against the Jets, beating them 31-13. There were a ton of positives in this game, but those positives are loomed over by an extremely dark cloud. That dark cloud being the injury bug, which has hit the team hard.
The Week 2 victory comes at the expense of Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas, who’ll both likely miss the remainder of the season with knee injuries. Additionally, Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert also suffered leg injuries, though their injuries figure to be more short term.
Injuries aside, the team as a whole played very well. I’ll highlight a few of the best individual performances, as well as some not so great ones.
1) Jimmy Garoppolo: Garoppolo was phenomenal throughout the entire 1st half of the game, and had a much needed bounce back performance. He was getting hit early and often, and as a result suffered a high ankle sprain around the 11 minute mark of the 1st quarter.
Garoppolo went full warrior mode and hung in the pocket like a champ, showing great toughness and fearlessness. He finished the 1st half, the only half he played, with a stat line of:
- 14 completions on 16 attempts
- 6 of 6 on 3rd down conversions
- 131 yards
- 2 touchdowns
Simply put, Garoppolo was tremendous - specifically in the second quarter, when he went 11 of 13, for 101 yards and threw both of his touchdown passes.
He also should’ve really ended the half 15 of 16, as Kendrick Bourne dropped a beautiful deep ball. It was one of the better deep balls I’ve seen Garoppolo throw, which was impressive because he got tattooed right as he released it.
Way to bounce back, Jim.
2) Jordan Reed: Reed filled in for George Kittle in a very admirable fashion. Throughout the entire game, Reed made plays for both Garoppolo and Mullens. He was huge on third down and in the red zone.
Four of his game-high seven receptions came on third down, and three of those receptions were good enough to move the sticks. Both of his touchdowns came inside the 20-yard line. The 49ers struggled on third down against the Cardinals, and Reed certainly did his part in making sure that changed against the Jets.
3) Raheem Mostert and Jerick McKinnon: I’m pairing Mostert and McKinnon here, because they are the only two plays to make the stud list in consecutive weeks. Without a doubt these are the 49ers’ top two running backs.
Mostert had an 80 yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. He’s the first player since Leonard Fournette in 2017 to have touchdowns of 75 yards or longer in back-to-back weeks. Throughout the first two weeks of the season, Mostert looks every bit the part of a Pro Bowl running back. His explosiveness is insane.
McKinnon has really impressed throughout the first two weeks of the season. With Richie James out, McKinnon returned kicks for the team. He looked pretty good doing that, and had a long return of 29 yards. At the running back position, he stood out even more.
He carried the ball three times for 77 yards, and dashed through the Jets’ defense on multiple occasions. McKinnon had a huge run on third and 30, which resulted in a 55 yard run. Later on, he found the end zone on a 16-yard run, making it the second straight week he has scored a touchdown.
If Mostert and McKinnon can stay healthy, they will both be major problems for defenses to deal with.
4) Fred Warner: Warner is a stud. He was flying around the field against the Jets, and had a game-high 12 tackles. As usual, Warner excelled in pass coverage and did his part against the run. In the first half, Warner had a huge stop on fourth down, which pretty much at that moment cemented the game for the 49ers. Warner is your prototype 2020 linebacker, and is playing at an extremely high level. It will be fun to watch him for the remainder of the season.
5) Kerry Hyder Jr.: Hyder was a very subtle free agent signing, yet he has had a major impact through the first two weeks. Like Warner, Hyder was all over the field against the Jets. More impressive though, because he's a defensive lineman -- it's clear he has a very high motor, as he was seemingly in on every single stop. Hyder finished the game with eight tackles and two quarterback hits.
6) Arik Armstead: Armstead was quiet against the Cardinals, and had a much louder performance against the Jets. He was active as a pass rusher and in run support, and sacked Darnold for what ended up being the team’s only sack of the game. He also made plays with his long arms, knocking down passes at the line of scrimmage. It was an encouraging game from Armstead, who played well as the focal point of the defensive line in the wake of Bosa’s injury.
1) Tevin Coleman: Coleman made a few nice catches, but was horrific running the football. Coleman received a team-high 14 carries, and was only able to rush for 12 yards. He averaged less than a yard per carry. That is flat out horrible.
This has been a growing theme for Coleman, as ever since his career day against the Panthers last year, he’s struggled mightily. Since Week 8 of the 2019 season, Coleman has rushed the ball 117 times, for 386 yards, which breaks down to 3.3 yards per carry.
Coleman is not very good, and is clearly the team’s third-best running back behind Mostert and McKinnon.
2) Laken Tomlinson: Tomlinson was getting man handled at various points throughout the game. Most notably he was beat one on one, and gave up the sack that Garoppolo got hurt on. No, I’m not blaming Tomlinson for Garoppolo’s injury. It’s football. It happens. But it’s not a good look when everyone is holding their own on a given play, and you get beat one on one, and to make matters even worse, the quarterback gets injured. Tomlinson was also beat a handful of times throughout the remainder of the game.
3) Mike McGlinchey: McGlinchey did two separate things that were worthy of him being on this list. First, Mostert had a second long touchdown run, which was called back because of a McGlichey holding call.
You could argue the long touchdown occurred because of the penalty, but you could also argue that Mostert could’ve easily beat McGlinchey’s defender to the edge. Bottom line is that a touchdown was called back because of McGlinchey.
Secondly, McGlinchey gave up the pressure and quarterback hit that resulted in a Mullens interception. McGlinchey had his moments last week in pass protection, including blocking Chandler Jones for five consecutive seconds. However, this week he was completely blown up by Tarrell Basham.
McGlinchey needs to become a better and more consistent pass blocker.
4) Metlife Field: Players were dropping like flies throughout this game, and many feel it was because of the turf at MetLife Stadium. There were an overwhelming amount of injuries and stoppages throughout this game, for both sides. The worst part about it is that the 49ers will be playing the Giants on that exact same field in less than a week. It’s safe to say, the team is not looking forward to it.
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