5 mistakes Kyle Shanahan, SF 49ers can’t afford to make vs. Jets

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Jimmy Garoppolo, SF 49ers
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo #10 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

No. 1: SF 49ers can still throw short of the sticks on third down

Third-down conversions was another troublesome area for the Niners last week, and Kyle Shanahan’s offense went a lowly 2-of-11 in this crucial spot against a Cardinals offense that ranked third worst in the league last year against third-down conversions.

Fortunately, the Jets defense surrendered a 50-percent conversion rate in Week 1, allowing the Bills to convert seven of 14 attempts.

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One would think this would prompt Shanahan and Jimmy Garoppolo to target his receivers at or beyond the first-down marker, upping the numbers metrics of throwing beyond the sticks. In Week 1, Garoppolo found himself facing 3rd-and-long four times, completing two of four passes in these situations.

Deep balls haven’t always been Garoppolo’s forte. It’s traditionally been the short- and intermediate-area passes where he’s thrived.

And Shanahan needs to continue this approach even if it means tossing short of the sticks.

Why? Well, the Jets were wildly ineffective at preventing yards after the catch in Week 1, allowing 137 yards out of a total of 306 pass yards in their game against Buffalo. In case you were wondering, that number was eighth most.

Interestingly enough, San Francisco’s defense gave up 160 yards after the catch against the Cardinals — fifth most. But that’s not exactly a problem for Shanahan.

Garoppolo shouldn’t shy away from letting his top receiving options make plays in space, picking up those extra yards to ensure the chains are being moved regularly.

Next. 5 X-factors for Kyle Shanahan, 49ers in Week 2 vs. Jets. dark

The SF 49ers and NY Jets kick off on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 1 p.m. ET from MetLife Stadium.