The San Francisco 49ers squeaked by the Arizona Cardinals 28-25 in Week 9, and these three Niners weren’t exactly top notch in the Thursday Night Football win.
Thursday Night Football games always create crazy results. The quick turnaround in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals muted a lot of scheme adjustments the San Francisco 49ers could have made, and the inability to heal up aggravated some injuries, none bigger than linebacker Kwon Alexander‘s chest injury.
Despite all the issues, the Niners walked away with a 28-25 victory, beating the Cardinals for the first time under head coach Kyle Shanahan. It wasn’t all bad. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo looked every bit a franchise signal-caller, and tight end Ross Dwelley finally got counting stats to add to his admirable play at fullback.
Dwelley also tabbed a key third-down catch late in the fourth quarter to ensure the win.
Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders caught seven passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, fellow wideout Deebo Samuel made some tough catches, and both receivers Kendrick Bourne and Dante Pettis scored touchdowns. Even though running back Tevin Coleman was mostly shut down, fellow tailback Matt Breida filled in the gaps.
The issue wasn’t on that side. It came from the usually stalwart side of this team, the reason the 49ers were 7-0 coming in: the defense. San Francisco’s defense gave up 357 yards, getting gashed both on the ground and in the air. It was a startling performance, one which shows how the Niners are still very much a team on the rise, and not a team at the top.
With that in mind, we’ll go through the three most-underwhelming performances of the game, all on that defensive side.