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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 5 Takeaways from Week 11

There should be multiple general managers regretting the decision to not trade for Jimmy Garoppolo.

The 49ers finally decided to show what their offense is capable of in Mexico City. Here are the five takeaways from the 38-10 demolition against the Arizona Cardinals.

1. Thanksgiving feast cooked by chef Garoppolo.

The evening was chilly and rainy in Aztec Stadium, but the 49er offense was too hot to handle for the designated home team. Garoppolo was slow to fire up the burners as the 49ers went three and out on the opening drive and another punt on their second drive. Soon, Garoppolo started to convert third downs with such a finesse that we had not seen from him before. The 49ers scored three touchdowns and a field goal during the next four drives. He threw four touchdown passes with 228 passing yards. There was not a single turnover-worthy play from the quarterback, who now has a three-game zero-turnover streak.

If Davante Adams had watched the game, he would have probably regretted why he did not try to force his way to San Francisco.

2. Was Elijah Mitchell the missing piece?

The 49ers drafted Trey Sermon and Ty Davis-Price in the third round in '21 and '22, respectively, but neither panned out as expected. Mitchell significantly impacted the running game after returning from the injury. He had less number of snaps compared to the week before against the Chargers but shifted the gears once he came on after the 49ers relied solely on Christian McCaffrey in the first half. McCaffrey alone did not fix the rushing attack when the 49ers got trashed by the Chiefs; now, the addition of Mitchell has helped the team.

3. DeAndre Hopkins versus Charvarius Ward

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Charvarius Ward switched sides to line up against DeAndre Hopkins. Still, Hopkins had a stellar first half catching seven passes for 77 yards. He won the battle against Ward one-on-one, which kept the Cardinals within reach. Then an overly emotional Hopkins was penalized for taunting on a sequence of events that ended up with an interception.

DeMeco Ryans sent in reinforcements in aid of Ward in the second half as multiple defenders covered Hopkins. The battle was brewing up nicely until the adjustments were made. Those two players will have another chance to go against each other, and Ward already fired shots after the game calling Hopkins a "steroid boy".

4. A+ for Shanahan

The Cardinals' defense has bigger holes than the ozone layer. They conceded 26.9 points per game and ranked 31st out of 32 teams. Shanahan used the opportunity to take revenge on the Cardinals, who swept the 49ers last year. He called a pass-oriented game in the first half and went on a rampage with a rushing attack later. It is too early to say that Shanahan has unlocked the monster we all have been waiting for, but this is a promising start.

He also pulled starters out when the game was beyond reach, which he has not routinely done in the past.

5. The NFC West is a two-way race

The Rams and Cardinals are almost certain to be eliminated from the playoffs leaving Seattle and San Francisco in a close race to grab the NFC West. Both teams have similar strength of schedules, making the Week 15 encounter a mouth-watering clash. The month of December will be the make-or-break stretch for the 49ers. After unexpected losses to the Bears and Falcons, the team is finally on track for the final stretch.