San Francisco 49ers: Just Two Games In, A Change Needs To Be Made

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Brian Hoyer
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 17: Quarterback Brian Hoyer /

The San Francisco 49ers weren’t expected to be great this year, but after just two games, it’s more than obvious a change needs to be made.

The San Francisco 49ers have played eight quarters of football. And in those eight quarters, they’ve proven only one thing – they need to make a change and they need to make it now.

Quite a few eyebrows were raised when the team brought Brian Hoyer in and installed him as the team’s starting quarterback from day one over the summer. While it’s true that he’s had a few decent moments in his career, the cold, hard fact is that Hoyer is a quarterback with a career completion rate of 59 percent, a 16-17 record as a starter, and a QB rating of 83.6.

And this season, he hasn’t even been that good – not even close.

Two games into the 2017 season, Hoyer is 0-2, has completed 63 percent of his passes (39 of 62) for 292 yards – that’s an average of 4.7 yards per attempt, which is among the worst in the league, if you’re scoring at home – with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. And oh yeah, he’s got a QB rating of 60.7.

But even those stark numbers don’t tell the whole story. No, when you factor everything else in, the story is much more grim, much more bleak.

In eight quarters this season, Hoyer has led the 49ers on exactly zero touchdown drives. That’s right, in two games, the 49ers have not punched one into the endzone once. They’ve scored a grand total of twelve points in 2017. Twelve.

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Underscoring San Francisco’s offensive futility so far this season, is the fact that in two games, the 49ers have put up a whopping total of 465 yards – an average of 232.5 yards of total offense per game. To put their 465 yards of offense in 2017 in perspective, their (sort of) cross-Bay rivals, the Oakland Raiders put up 410 yards of total offense in one game – in their 45-20 drubbing of the New York Jets.

You could go down the list and see the sheer ineptitude of this offense with Hoyer under center. And it’s not as if Hoyer is under siege every single time he drops back – he’s been sacked six times in 2017, far less than some teams have given up in a single game this year.

Hoyer has just been – bad – playing quarterback for San Francisco. Very, very bad.

While it would be unfair to put all of the offensive woes squarely upon his shoulders, as the team’s field general, he does get the lion’s share of the blame. And deservedly so. He hasn’t been sharp and he hasn’t been efficient or effective under center.

Simply put, Hoyer isn’t getting the job done and it’s time for HC Kyle Shanahan to give serious consideration to making a change.

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Given that Matt Barkley was cut, the only quarterback on the roster is rookie C.J. Beathard. During camp and the exhibition season, Beathard showed some flashes. It can be argued that he even outplayed Hoyer himself. Yes, Beathard played against mostly the other team’s twos and threes, but he performed. He did what he was supposed to do.

And through two games in 2017, Hoyer doesn’t look capable of doing what he’s supposed to do – which is move this offense.

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Some argue that throwing Beathard to the lions now only ensures his lack of success and lack of development as a pro quarterback. Rubbish. Starting from the get-go hasn’t hurt the development of somebody like Derek Carr. Or Andrew Luck. Or Matt Ryan.

Yes, you can go down the list and see plenty of quarterbacks who flamed out under the pressure of being an immediate starter. But you can also go down another list – the list of quarterbacks who’ve flourished from the start.

If the organization views Beathard as a long-term solution under center – and given that he was a third-round pick, they have to believe he at least has potential – let him get his feet wet now. Let him take his lumps. Pay his dues. Or use whatever musty old saying you prefer.

If he has what it takes to be a viable NFL starter, he’ll adapt, adjust, and be effective. If he doesn’t, the tape won’t lie.

San Francisco’s offense is going nowhere with Hoyer under center. And if this truly is a rebuild, build this team along with the quarterback who can be a long term solution. Let the team go through the growing pains and bumps in the road together.

Or, you know, stick with Hoyer and potentially, not win more than the two games this team won last season. If the ultimate goal is to challenge for the worst record in football to secure that number one overall pick, Hoyer’s your guy.

But if the goal is to lay a solid foundation and potentially build for future success, this team needs to see what they have in Beathard and see if he can be a cornerstone piece.

At the very worst, the team is terrible, they lose a lot of games, and lock down a high draft pick – which is the course they’re on with Hoyer continuing as the team’s signal caller.

It’s time to let the kid play. What’s the worst that could happen?