49ers: The Niners’ catch-and-run race to victory.One of the NFL’s best teams at preventing additional yards from being gained after a reception prospered against one of the league’s worst teams.Just take a look at the two touchdowns scored by San Francisco on Monday night:a 39-yard reception by George Kittle on a play where the tight end was expected to gain four yards after the catch but ended up with 18, and a 32-yard reception by Kittle in which the tight end gained every yard on the play after the catch.According to Next Gen Stats, San Francisco gained 153 receiving yards following the catch, or nearly 40% of their total yards in the game.That has been the 49ers’
strategy throughout the entire season, leading them to a ninth-place ranking in big plays and a sixth-place ranking in yards per play as of Monday night. In Week 11, Kyle Shanahan’s backfield rotation works flawlessly.San Francisco’s lead back for the first half was Christian McCaffrey, who ran for 6.2 yards per attempt on all but two of the 49ers’ seven first-half carries.Although McCaffrey’s dominance of the 49ers’ running backs’ snap counts was odd,
2022 NFL season, Week 11: What We Learned from 49ers’ win over Cardinals on Monday night
Shanahan’s strategy became clear by the third quarter:In the first half, he relied on McCaffrey and trusted back Elijah Mitchell to win the game against a tired Cardinals defense in Mexico City at 7,200 feet.Deebo Samuel had three carries for 37 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown run around the left end, and the two shared carries nearly evenly (nine for Mitchell and seven for McCaffrey).McCaffrey’s acquisition by San Francisco has paid off, making this team even more difficult to defend due to its numerous offensive options.
Arizona’s offense is no counterpart for protections as francisco San’s.The offensive talent of the Cardinals has reached a critical mass.Marquise Brown and Zach Ertz were already out as of Monday night, and Colt McCoy only had DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, who was underutilized, and Greg Dortch to work with after losing Rondale Moore to a groin injury.Arizona converted 8 of 16 third downs, which is surprising considering the Cardinals’ patchwork offensive line and inability to sustain drives all night.
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49ers: In an offense where Robbie Anderson ought to play at least a secondary role, he is not a factor, and there are few, if any, options for addressing the issue.The Cardinals’ best hope is for Moore and Kyler Murray to return to full health, but even that may not be enough to wake up an offense that has disappointed for much of 2022.It was certainly not impressive against the best defense in San Francisco.
The Cardinals have a great deal to tidy up.Arizona has some great defensive players, but against a 49ers team that thrives on opponents who struggle to tackle in the open field, the whole is simply not good enough.This disadvantage for Arizona was perfectly demonstrated by Samuel’s touchdown run and Kittle’s second touchdown, in which he scored a crucial touchdown by cutting through Arizona’s defense down the sideline.According to HBO’s “Hard Knocks,”Budda Baker made it clear to his teammates in Season that he was sick of losing.
His rage won’t go away on Monday night, especially after the superior 49ers scored a few touchdowns thanks to missed tackles and poor pursuit angles.The Cardinals may already be too far behind to catch up to the first-place 49ers and the 6-4 Seattle Seahawks as time runs out on them.
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49ers: Keep an eye on the 49ers closely.The 49ers appear poised to improve to 7-4 next week when they take on the 3-8 Saints, and San Francisco appears to be as strong as ever at the moment.They will, of course, face challenges in the form of games against Miami and Tampa Bay before a second meeting with the Seahawks in Seattle.After those games, we will learn more about this team’s state, but the 49ers appear to be good enough to beat anyone at this point.
San Francisco plays Washington, Las Vegas, and Arizona in its final three games of the regular season. On paper, the 49ers appear to be on their way to a win total in the double digits.Prepare for more than the ten minimum requirements;In a wide-open NFC, this team is on the verge of becoming a serious contender.
The game’s Next Generation stat:When he was aiming for in-breaking routes on Monday night, Jimmy Garoppolo completed 13 of 17 passes for 149 yards and four touchdowns. This was the most touchdown passes of his career, the most in any game this season, and tied for the most in the Next Generation era (since 2016).
NFL Studies:For the first time since Week 14 of the 2019 season, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for four touchdowns in a game.That year, the 49ers won the NFC championship before losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV in a heartbreaking loss.