Watching your favorite football team lose is hard, but not being able to watch them play at all is even harder. Since I no longer reside in the Bay Area I am often forced to watch 49ers games on Sunday Ticket. This Sunday, however, the game would be broadcast on the local CBS affiliate. Unfortunately, after watching the end of the Cincinnati, Atlanta game, the network switched to the Houston, Indianapolis game with only a minute left before the 49ers and Chargers were scheduled to kick off…
Since the 49ers, Chargers game is supposed to be broadcast locally, Sunday Ticket blocked out their own channel which would have played the game. So, instead of the 49ers and Chargers, I was stuck watching a game I had no interest in. Houston would finally kick the winning field goal just as Overtime ran out. Subsequently, I would miss the entire 1st quarter of the 49ers game along with the pick six by Antone Exum Jr. and C.J. Beathard’s first touchdown drive. Fortunately, I would get to see the rest of the game, and even though they lost, I was pleasantly surprised by C.J. Beathard’s performance as the starting quarterback.
He wasn’t exactly pretty to watch, but Beathard made some big plays, taking some big hits in the process. The old adage that the second string quarterback is the most popular player on the team seems to ring true in Santa Clara. His toughness on Sunday will only endear him more to his teammates. That’s refreshing news for fans who have been dealing with a lot of disappointment these last few games. Injuries are still pilling up though, and the defense continues to show its ineptitude.
Unlike the defense, the offense looked decent overall with a nice chemistry developing between former college teammates C.J. Beathard and tight end George Kittle. That’s a promising revelation, but how consistent Beathard can play going forward is directly aligned with the health of his offensive line. All of which are struggling with injuries. Last Sunday Joe Staley hurt his knee in the second quarter and did not return. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey also had to leave the game with a knee injury, he would later return, but had to play through pain.
Injuries have been plentiful, but this is the NFL and injuries are an unfortunate part of the game. With that said, even with the loss of franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, head coach Kyle Shanahan has kept the ball moving. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh needs to follow suit. With a weak pass rush and the most missed tackles in the league, Saleh’s defense has been anything but inspiring. That’s inexcusable, considering the talent he has to work with. injuries or not.
I’m not saying Shanahan is without flaw, he’s had some questionable calls and needs to work on his game management, but at least he’s giving them a chance. This game was close, take away a few miscues here and there and the 49ers win the game. If C.J. Beathard can continue to progress in Shanahan’s system this could be just what the team and its fan base needed to get through what would have otherwise been a lost season.
A week ago I didn’t think the 49ers had a chance, but thanks to the promising performance of C.J. Beathard, I can see a little light at the end of the tunnel. There’s still a long way to go, but at least it will be interesting. If injuries subside and the defense can catch up, maybe the 49ers can make a late push for the play-offs. Regardless, I’ll be watching this Sunday, hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. That means I’m probably watching the game at Hooters.