Special Teams and Coaching
It might not seem like much to fans, but head coach Kyle Shanahan making the switch from Brian Hoyer to C.J. Beathard was a pretty gutsy call.
If Beathard was a complete mess — he wasn’t — how would the head coach go back to Hoyer while maintaining the same sort of confidence and continuity for a young and budding team? There are locker room concerns there.
Regardless, the switch worked.
Still, there are a number of coaching and technique issues Shanahan has yet to solve, and they’re not that much of a surprise.
As noted, the 49ers still have major issues in two specific coachable areas — drops and penalties.
San Francisco had, from our count, four drops during the game. And a couple of bobbled receptions could have spiked an already NFL-leading total entering Week 6.
Drops are a part of the problem, but one could argue penalties are a bigger issue, and the 49ers lead the league in this category too. In total, San Francisco had seven penalties for 40 yards.
Although that offensive pass interference on Pierre Garçon on the final drive was a little ticky-tack.
That’s an issue, but credit Shanahan for dialing back the playbook a bit for Beathard to gain some key confidence in his first start.
Despite the overall record, San Francisco made the right decision with the Shanahan hire. The team is vastly more competitive than what we saw a year ago at this time.
Special Teams: B
This would have been a vastly different game if kicker Robbie Gould didn’t miss a field goal in the third quarter.
Considering the two-point loss, well…
On a positive note, San Francisco’s coverage units have been stellar this season. Washington had one lone return — a punt return by Jamison Crowder for only six yards. Meanwhile, rookie receiver Trent Taylor showed some flash with a 39-yard punt return.
That one miss sure hurts, though.
More from Niner Noise
- 49ers 2023 NFL Draft tracker: Pick-by-pick news and analysis
- Predicting 49ers NFL Draft picks by looking at final mocks
- DraftKings NFL Draft Promo – Win $150 Guaranteed on Any $5 Bet
- 2023 NFL Draft: EDGE Byron Young could be impact player for 49ers
- 5 low-key NFL Draft options for 49ers who are flying under the radar
San Francisco remains winless through six weeks of NFL action. And while the record doesn’t indicate it, we’ve seen some pretty clear signs the 49ers are willing to make some drastic changes to get the team back on track.
We might not see the results for a while, but at least the indications are there.
The 49ers return home for a Week 7 bout with the 2-3 Dallas Cowboys, who are coming off a bye week.