San Francisco 49ers: Wins And Losses From Week Three


The San Francisco 49ers dropped a hard fought game to the Rams — let’s take a look a a few wins and losses from week three.

The San Francisco 49ers are officially 0-3. Yes, the team that went 2-14 last year is starting this season in similar fashion. But, their game against the LA Rams was a hard-fought game that was actually worth sticking with until the bitter end

And let’s face it, for the Niners’ faithful that’s a small victory in and of itself.

So, let’s revel in a few wins from San Francisco’s game with the Rams, and celebrate a few areas that, fingers crossed, the 49ers can build on going forward.

First of all, the fact that the offense finally got going should be celebrated. Loudly.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer deserves a small pat on the back for his performance against LA. Was it perfect? Nope. But it was a far cry from the first two games in which, he was downright awful against the Carolina Panthers and the Seattle Seahawks.

Given Hoyer’s terrible start, people started calling for third round draft pick C.J. Beathard to start this game — that’s how horrible the first two games were.

Hoyer was 0/4 in passes over 11 yards against the Seahawks, and threw for a grand total of zero touchdowns. He literally could not hit a man over ten yards away. If you don’t watch football, just know that’s not good.

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However, Hoyer started to turn it around against the Rams.. He threw for two touchdowns and even ran one in for good measure.

Inconsistency continued to be a problem though and he threw an interception — his third consecutive game with a pick.

But remember, we’re celebrating the small victories.

Hoyer ended with 332 passing yards and put a respectable score on the board. He gave some life to the offense and showed that he actaully can hit a man 50 yards downfield — something fans, coaches, and players were beginning to question.

Carlos Hyde was another plus against the Rams. At some points in the game, it appeared he was pulling his team downfield, willing them forward. After a big 124 yard game against Seattle, where he was quite literally San Francisco’s only weapon, Hyde put together another successful game. And he finally scored a touchdown.

The running back only finished with 84 yards, but much of that was due to limited time in the first half from a nagging hip injury. With the 49ers’ pass game lagging, Hyde has stepped up this season.

This list of pluses from the Rams game can’t end without mentioning Pierre Garcon. He was relatively quiet in the first two games, finishing with 81 and 26 yards respectively.

Wow, did he gain some momentum in San Francisco’s Thursday night game.

Garcon was Hoyer’s go to – and for good reason. He finished with 142 yards and had the catch of the night. It was a brilliant grab along the sidelines. How he dragged both feet in bounds while maintaining control is still a thing of beauty as well as mystery.

The Niners took a step forward last night offensively, but it seems the defense stalled out this week. Blame it on the short week and a case of plain old being tired, but they gave up 41 points to the Rams. After holding the Panthers to 23 and the Seahawks to 12, that’s a punch in the gut.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

Hello, pass rush, are you there? Apparently not, and it is a gaping hole in the 49ers defense. DeForest Buckner has been absolutely disruptive, and rookie Solomon Thomas is holding his own. Unfortunately, good interior defense gets washed out when they don’t get any help on the outside.

Going in to this season, the Niners didn’t have a true edge rusher. Kyle Shanahan called on Eli Harold and Aaron Lynch to plug the holes, but that has been average at best. Without a solid pass rusher, Jared Goff had all day to hit his targets. Which is a bad sign, given that more experienced and talented quarterbacks are likely going to run circles around them.

Another take away from last night’s game, and perhaps the biggest, was the Niners absolute inability to convert on third down. They continued to struggle, especially when it mattered. They were nine for 18 on third down conversions attempts. It’s a stark figure, especially when compared with the Rams’ eight for 12 (67 percent) conversion rate.

San Francisco’s 50 percent conversion rate was actually a massive improvement over their first two games. The offense was two for 11 against the Panthers and two for 12 against the Seahawks.

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

Before Thursday’s game, the 49ers had hit on 17 percent of their third down conversions. 17 percent. Fans should expect to see a tired defense that struggles if the offense can’t convert on third down and give them some time to catch their breath.

Unequivocally, there are areas the Niners have to improve upon if they want to win a game this season. But their game with LA was one that kept you on the edge of your seat until the end.

It’s not a lot for the Niners’ faithful to go on, but it is something.