Niner Noise looks around the league to see what experts are saying about the San Francisco 49ers in their latest NFL power rankings after a 33-10 drubbing by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Week 8 was a clear indication the San Francisco 49ers needed to make a bold move to get the still-winless franchise heading in the right direction.
Just a day after the Niners fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 33-10, general manager John Lynch pulled off a trade with the New England Patriots to land quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo — a move that sent San Francisco’s second-round draft pick in 2018 in exchange for what the team hopes will be a franchise centerpiece for many years.
Garoppolo won’t start right away, which means Week 9 will feature rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard under center for just the fourth time in his career.
San Francisco 49ers
This, combined with a flurry of injuries, doesn’t bode well for the Niners’ chances to climb in experts’ NFL power rankings this week. But let’s take a look and see what it being said about San Francisco.
Elliot Harrison, NFL.com: 31 (even)
"The trade for Jimmy Garoppolo is sure to get everyone fired up. Also means we can put theKirk Cousins relocation storyline to bed (… until Cousins to Miami kicks into high gear in the spring). Meanwhile, the pre-Jimmy G Niners were outmatched Sunday in Philly. These kinds of losses — when nothing seems to go right — will only serve rookie C.J. Beathard well, irrespective of how much longer he starts for this team. Despite not having a strong overall game, Beathard continues to use his legs effectively, posting six carries for 40 yards Sunday. Some of it came when he was running for his life. So, Jimmy G … or a G5?"
ESPN Stats & Information: 31 (even)
"Every team fears going winless, and the 49ers are currently living those fears, starting 0-8 for the first time in franchise history. That’s not all though. They haven’t beaten a team other than the Rams since Dec. 6, 2015."
Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: 31 (even)
"They aren’t getting much production from rookie passer C.J. Beathard, which probably led to the trade for Jimmy Garoppolo. Now they have to pay him."
USA Today Sports: 31 (even)
"Given how early they’ll be picking in Round 2 next year, they effectively surrendered first-round caliber pick for Jimmy Garoppolo. Big gamble."
Frank Schwab, Yahoo! Sports: 31 (even)
"The question becomes when Jimmy Garoppolo gets his first start. San Francisco has two games and then a bye. Starting him after the bye would give him three weeks to learn the offense. But, maybe they put him in sooner than that. The 49ers didn’t trade a second-round pick to keep watching C.J. Beathard play quarterback."
Chris Simms, Bleacher Report: 31 (even)
"Ouch. That’s all I can say about the San Francisco 49ers right now. This is a team that played almost everyone close for the early portion of the season but has been blown out the past two weeks. That’s concerning because it could mean the team is starting to fall apart.Quarterback C.J. Beathard’s rookiness showed against the Philadelphia Eagles. He threw a slant behind the receiver, had it tipped and picked. He then threw an out route behind the receiver that was picked and returned for a score.San Francisco’s defense held up well against the Eagles, but the offense was truly overpowered. The offense has held the team back on multiple occasions this season. If the 49ers cannot find some consistency on that side of the ball—and some better play from the quarterback position—wins are going to be hard to find."
A couple of interesting notes. First, the 49ers are clearly better off than the Cleveland Browns at this point. If anything, the ineptitude displayed by Cleveland’s botched attempt to land Cincinnati Bengals backup quarterback A.J. McCarron before the Tuesday NFL trade deadline speaks to the issues going on at the top of the organization:
So the Niners are safely out of the cellar, for now.
Additionally, most analysts see the trade for Garoppolo as a risk, although it’s likely one San Francisco had to take. Doing so ensures the Niners can use their first-round pick to either pick up a top-five player or trade down and acquire some much-needed draft capital.
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When does Garoppolo start, though? San Francisco ruled out its new quarterback from starting in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals, which makes sense. The 49ers host the scuffling New York Giants in Week 10 before going on a bye in Week 11.
A guess would be in Week 12 after the Niners get an additional week of prep time.
Fortunately, neither the Cardinals (minus quarterback Carson Palmer — arm) nor the Giants offer up a serious threat. So it’s possible San Francisco pulls off a much-needed victory in one, or both, of those games.
Even with Beathard calling plays.