For starting quarterback Brian Hoyer, the game against the Broncos was a test. In an extended run of action (compared to last week), it was to see if Hoyer could get this offense going.
And that test was failed. Four drives equated to one punt and three turnovers. Not good. Of course that’s not all on Hoyer, but the quarterback was largely ineffective in the time he was on the field:
- 8-11, 89 yards, 1 interception, 58.5 rating
The most impressive of the bunch was the rookie C.J. Beathard. After being named the No. 2 quarterback earlier this week, Beathard came out and showed why that switch was made.
To open the second half, Beathard connected first with Aldrick Robinson on a play-action pass for a 39-yard gain. That was followed by another play-action, this one to tight end George Kittle that ended with a 29-yard touchdown:
Beathard finished the game 7-12 for 112 yards and a touchdown, good enough for a 116.7 rating. It’s becoming obvious — Beathard is eclipsing Matt Barkley.
Easily one of the more superb units from last week, the 49ers running backs failed to do anything all game. San Francisco finished with 37 rushing yards on 19 carries. Nobody had a carry longer than seven yards. That’s putrid.
Conceded, the offensive line provided little room to run the ball. But there were mistakes with the running backs as well. Tim Hightower fumbled the ball in the second quarter, killing a solid drive the 49ers had going at the time. It was just an all-around ugly affair for the running game.
Wide receiver/Tight End
While yes wide receiver Marquise Goodwin’s jumbling of a pass led to an interception, he was one of the better players in the game for the 49ers. Goodwin notched 3 receptions for 44 yards, and he was just about the only person Hoyer could complete a pass to.
The 49ers were ridiculed when they signed fullback Kyle Juszczyk to a $21 million deal in the offseason. Now, that ridicule may have to be directed elsewhere.
Juszczyk had one of the plays of the game when he showed off some elusiveness on a reception. Remember this is the fullback (who you know, also lines up at tight end and wide receiver):
It was a wildly inconsistent game for the offensive line. The 49ers absolutely could not run the ball, due to running holes collapsing constantly. But pass protection was exceptional, only allowing one sack.
So far, the line is showing to be clearly one of the weaker points of the team (via Dylan DeSimone of Fourth and Nine):
"-The interior offensive line is a problem, all the way up to the first team. Nobody is finding room to run behind that line. This could very well be the 49ers’ biggest setback of the regular season."
The disappointing performance comes after the line paved the way for nearly 200 rushing yards — the unevenness is something the 49ers cannot afford moving forward.