What We Hope To See During E3 Next Week

The San Francisco 49ers lost much more than a football game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Their hopes and expectations might have gone up in flames late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered what the team fears to be a torn ACL.

This play right here is the biggest takeaway from thus far in the 49ers' season. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

In the process of leading his team back from a 35-7 first half deficit, Garoppolo scrambled inside Kansas City's 10-yard line. He was looking to gain additional yardage with the 49ers attempting to pull the game within seven points. That's when the franchise quarterback landed awkwardly on his left knee. After a brief time in the medical tent, Garoppolo was carted off to the locker room. Following 38-27 loss, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the team fears he did in fact suffer a torn ACL. Tests should confirm this on Monday.

That's among the biggest takeaways (if not the only takeaway) from a loss that left the 49ers at 1-2 on the season and on the brink of irrelevance in the NFC West.

Garoppolo's Injury Ends 49ers Playoff Hopes

We're going to hear a whole lot more from 49ers players after they arrive back home in Santa Clara. But for now, the talking points out of San Francisco's locker room includes the team's need to rally behind second-year quarterback C.J. Beathard. It makes sense. You can't give up on a season after just three games. That would make for a long few months of football in Northern California.

Linebacker Reuben Foster pretty much channeled this mentality following Garoppolo's likely season-ending injury.

"We have big hopes for Jimmy and he made us who we are but C.J. is a great quarterback too," Foster said, via Niners Nation. "This is football, this is the sport, you might get dirty, you might not, but the next guy gotta come up and just play ball and we have faith in C.J."

Star wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who has built a strong relationship with Garoppolo, followed suit.

"It’s a downer. In the game we play, that happens sometimes, and you hate to see one of your leaders go down," Goodwin said. "It just means C.J. has to step up to the plate.”

It's a next man up philosophy, one that will come to define the remainder of the season. It's a great mentality. That's until we realize who the next man up is. Beathard was a disaster as a rookie last season and found himself outplayed by practice squad member, Nick Mullens, during the preseason. The hope here is that he's improved leaps and bounds from a season ago. But that could very well be false hope from a 49ers perspective.

Here's the reality. Garoppolo had been seen as the face of the franchise. He had grown into the role of a team leader. His presence in the locker room and the huddle brought out more confidence. That came out in droves Sunday as the 49ers were making their way back from a 28-point deficit against one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Is there any objective mind that believes Beathard brings any of this to the table? No matter the spin players want to put on it, Sunday was a devastating day for San Francisco moving forward this season.

Rushing Attack Continues To Dominate

Matt Breida was a bright spot once again for the 49ers. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

This will be lost in the Garoppolo injury news, but the 49ers' rushing attack continued to dominate on Sunday. In a sign that he's committed to the run, Kyle Shanahan made sure not to go pass-heavy after his squad fell down 35-7 late  in the second quarter. It led to Matt Breida putting up yet another stellar performance, even after he suffered an hyperextended knee in the first half. He put up 117 yards on 13 touches and averaged a robust nine yards per carry. Veteran backup Alfred Morris also added 67 yards and a score on 14 attempts. All said, San Francisco gained 160-plus rushing yards for a second consecutive game.

Needless to say, this type of excellence on the ground is going to be needed with Beathard likely set to replace Garoppolo for the remainder of the season. The good news? It seems to be sustainable. Breida has been right up there with Todd Gurley as the best running back in the NFL through three weeks. The likes of Mike McGlinchey and Weston Richburg continue to open up huge holes on the ground. This won't change moving forward. And it gives the team some hope.

49ers Will Have To Go Young In Secondary 

Richard Sherman is set to receive an MRI on an injured heel Monday. He exited this game to injury in the first half and did not return. The good news? It looks like Sherman avoided another Achilles injury. The bad news? He was seen leaving Arrowhead in a walking boot. At the very least, Sherman's status for next week against the Los Angeles Chargers is up in the air.

In addition to Sherman's injury, second-year cornerback Ahkello Withersoon and stud safety Jacquiski Tartt were hobbled in this game. At one point, the 49ers had to turn to rookie defensive backs D.J. Reed and Tarvarius Moore. Both played well to close the game out. But asking this much from two rookies doesn't seem sustainable. Then again, throwing them into the fire could help the two progress as their rookie seasons move forward.

Pierre Garcon Isn't Good

High-priced veteran receiver Pierre Garcon is a shell of his former self. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

It's now clear that this veteran receiver is a shell of his former self. Taking on a Chiefs pass defense that had given up an average of 430 yards in the first two games, Garcon couldn't do anything. He struggled getting separation. And when the former 1,000-yard receiver got open, he dropped the ball. All said, Garcon caught 1-of-4 targets for 11 yards. He now has seven catches for lass than 90 yards in three games.

Depending on how the 49ers play over the next couple weeks, it might be time to consider trading Garcon and going with youngsters at wide receiver. Then again, he boasts an $8.4 million cap hit for next season. Such is the nature of the beast when you're forced to overpay in free agency.

No, A Trade Isn't Going To Fix Things 

I have advocated in the past for the 49ers to pull off a big trades as a way to jump start things. That included articles focusing on both Khalil Mack and Josh Gordon. The 49ers showed some interest in each of those Pro Bowl-caliber performers.

Things have now changed. With Garoppolo likely lost for the season, San Francisco must think as much about 2019 as the remainder of this season. This comes at the same time that Pittsburgh reportedly decided to finally listen to offers for Le'Veon Bell.

No, 49ers fans, a trade of that ilk makes little sense. Matt Breida has proven to be among the better all-around backs thus far this season. Alfred Morris has not been a bad No. 2. Given Bell is slated to hit free agency next March and with no ability to sign him to an extension before February, exhausting future capital under the guise of unrealistic expectations moving forward this season makes no sense.

Now, if San Francisco can somehow find a player that fits into its long-term future, that changes things. Unfortunately, players of that ilk are unlikely to become available between now and the Oct. 30 trade deadline.

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The San Francisco 49ers lost much more than a football game Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs. Their hopes and expectations might have gone up in flames late in the fourth quarter when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered what the team fears to be a torn ACL.

This play right here is the biggest takeaway from thus far in the 49ers' season. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

In the process of leading his team back from a 35-7 first half deficit, Garoppolo scrambled inside Kansas City's 10-yard line. He was looking to gain additional yardage with the 49ers attempting to pull the game within seven points. That's when the franchise quarterback landed awkwardly on his left knee. After a brief time in the medical tent, Garoppolo was carted off to the locker room. Following 38-27 loss, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the team fears he did in fact suffer a torn ACL. Tests should confirm this on Monday.

That's among the biggest takeaways (if not the only takeaway) from a loss that left the 49ers at 1-2 on the season and on the brink of irrelevance in the NFC West.

Garoppolo's Injury Ends 49ers Playoff Hopes

We're going to hear a whole lot more from 49ers players after they arrive back home in Santa Clara. But for now, the talking points out of San Francisco's locker room includes the team's need to rally behind second-year quarterback C.J. Beathard. It makes sense. You can't give up on a season after just three games. That would make for a long few months of football in Northern California.

Linebacker Reuben Foster pretty much channeled this mentality following Garoppolo's likely season-ending injury.

"We have big hopes for Jimmy and he made us who we are but C.J. is a great quarterback too," Foster said, via Niners Nation. "This is football, this is the sport, you might get dirty, you might not, but the next guy gotta come up and just play ball and we have faith in C.J."

Star wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, who has built a strong relationship with Garoppolo, followed suit.

"It’s a downer. In the game we play, that happens sometimes, and you hate to see one of your leaders go down," Goodwin said. "It just means C.J. has to step up to the plate.”

It's a next man up philosophy, one that will come to define the remainder of the season. It's a great mentality. That's until we realize who the next man up is. Beathard was a disaster as a rookie last season and found himself outplayed by practice squad member, Nick Mullens, during the preseason. The hope here is that he's improved leaps and bounds from a season ago. But that could very well be false hope from a 49ers perspective.

Here's the reality. Garoppolo had been seen as the face of the franchise. He had grown into the role of a team leader. His presence in the locker room and the huddle brought out more confidence. That came out in droves Sunday as the 49ers were making their way back from a 28-point deficit against one of the hottest teams in the NFL. Is there any objective mind that believes Beathard brings any of this to the table? No matter the spin players want to put on it, Sunday was a devastating day for San Francisco moving forward this season.

Rushing Attack Continues To Dominate

Matt Breida was a bright spot once again for the 49ers. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

This will be lost in the Garoppolo injury news, but the 49ers' rushing attack continued to dominate on Sunday. In a sign that he's committed to the run, Kyle Shanahan made sure not to go pass-heavy after his squad fell down 35-7 late  in the second quarter. It led to Matt Breida putting up yet another stellar performance, even after he suffered an hyperextended knee in the first half. He put up 117 yards on 13 touches and averaged a robust nine yards per carry. Veteran backup Alfred Morris also added 67 yards and a score on 14 attempts. All said, San Francisco gained 160-plus rushing yards for a second consecutive game.

Needless to say, this type of excellence on the ground is going to be needed with Beathard likely set to replace Garoppolo for the remainder of the season. The good news? It seems to be sustainable. Breida has been right up there with Todd Gurley as the best running back in the NFL through three weeks. The likes of Mike McGlinchey and Weston Richburg continue to open up huge holes on the ground. This won't change moving forward. And it gives the team some hope.

49ers Will Have To Go Young In Secondary 

Richard Sherman is set to receive an MRI on an injured heel Monday. He exited this game to injury in the first half and did not return. The good news? It looks like Sherman avoided another Achilles injury. The bad news? He was seen leaving Arrowhead in a walking boot. At the very least, Sherman's status for next week against the Los Angeles Chargers is up in the air.

In addition to Sherman's injury, second-year cornerback Ahkello Withersoon and stud safety Jacquiski Tartt were hobbled in this game. At one point, the 49ers had to turn to rookie defensive backs D.J. Reed and Tarvarius Moore. Both played well to close the game out. But asking this much from two rookies doesn't seem sustainable. Then again, throwing them into the fire could help the two progress as their rookie seasons move forward.

Pierre Garcon Isn't Good

High-priced veteran receiver Pierre Garcon is a shell of his former self. (AP Photo/Bruce Kluckhohn)

It's now clear that this veteran receiver is a shell of his former self. Taking on a Chiefs pass defense that had given up an average of 430 yards in the first two games, Garcon couldn't do anything. He struggled getting separation. And when the former 1,000-yard receiver got open, he dropped the ball. All said, Garcon caught 1-of-4 targets for 11 yards. He now has seven catches for lass than 90 yards in three games.

Depending on how the 49ers play over the next couple weeks, it might be time to consider trading Garcon and going with youngsters at wide receiver. Then again, he boasts an $8.4 million cap hit for next season. Such is the nature of the beast when you're forced to overpay in free agency.

No, A Trade Isn't Going To Fix Things 

I have advocated in the past for the 49ers to pull off a big trades as a way to jump start things. That included articles focusing on both Khalil Mack and Josh Gordon. The 49ers showed some interest in each of those Pro Bowl-caliber performers.

Things have now changed. With Garoppolo likely lost for the season, San Francisco must think as much about 2019 as the remainder of this season. This comes at the same time that Pittsburgh reportedly decided to finally listen to offers for Le'Veon Bell.

No, 49ers fans, a trade of that ilk makes little sense. Matt Breida has proven to be among the better all-around backs thus far this season. Alfred Morris has not been a bad No. 2. Given Bell is slated to hit free agency next March and with no ability to sign him to an extension before February, exhausting future capital under the guise of unrealistic expectations moving forward this season makes no sense.

Now, if San Francisco can somehow find a player that fits into its long-term future, that changes things. Unfortunately, players of that ilk are unlikely to become available between now and the Oct. 30 trade deadline.

Source : https://www.forbes.com/sites/vincentfrank/2018/09/23/five-takeaways-from-49ers-week-3-loss-to-the-chiefs/

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