49ers vs. Cardinals: San Francisco hosts Arizona in must-win game

San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard
San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

49ers QB C.J. Beathard

San Francisco 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard — the Niners’ third round draft pick in 2017 — started five games during in his rookie season after veteran QB Brian Hoyer failed to lead San Francisco to victory over the first six games of the year. With Beathard under center, the 49ers logged another four losses before they recorded their first win.

The 10-point victory over the New York Giants was Beathard’s best professional game to date, as the rookie quarterback finished the game with a 76 percent completion percentage, over 11.5 yards per pass attempt, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 123.4. Unfortunately, the rookie reverted to his previous form the following week, and was replaced by Garoppolo for the remainder of the 2017 season.

San Francisco 49ers QB C.J. Beathard – NFL Passing Statistics
Year Tm G GS  QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate Sk Yds NY/A ANY/A Sk%
2017 SFO 7 5 1-4 123 224 54.9 1430 4 1.8 6 2.7 83 6.4 5.5 11.6 204.3 69.2 19 141 5.30 4.52 7.8
2018 SFO 2 1 0-1 23 37 62.2 298 2 5.4 2 5.4 82 8.1 6.7 13.0 149.0 82.9 1 10 7.58 6.26 2.6
Career 9 6 1-5 146 261 55.9 1728 6 2.3 8 3.1 83 6.6 5.7 11.8 192.0 71.2 20 151 5.61 4.76 7.1

Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table

Beathard demonstrated significant second-year progression in last week’s matchup with the Chargers. Beathard tossed a pair of touchdown passes, hung tough in the pocket in order to complete crucial third-down attempts, and fought for extra yardage on key late-game scrambles.

Beathard finished the game with an 82.9 quarterback rating, but he played better than his statistics would indicate. One of Beathard’s interceptions was only partially his fault, and the other was caused by tight end Garrett Celek tipping a well-thrown red-zone pass into the hands of a willing Chargers defender.

Against the Giants last season, Beathard showed that he has the ability to make the plays necessary for the 49ers to dominate a flawed opponent. Last week, the Niners’ backup QB upped the ante, by demonstrating that San Francisco can compete with a playoff-caliber team with Beathard under center. On Sunday, Beathard needs to prove that he’s taken the next step in his development by handily defeating an inferior opponent in a must-win game in front of a friendly home crowd.