Instant Analysis: 49ers force OT, but still winless after loss to Colts

Instant Analysis: 49ers force OT, but still winless after loss to Colts


INDIANAPOLIS – Not even a defense that entered the weekend ranked next-to-last in the league could help the 49ers’ offense get going on Sunday.

The 49ers’ struggles under first-year coach Kyle Shanahan continued, as it becomes more and more difficult to find a winnable game on the schedule.

The 49ers remain winless with a lackluster showing in a 26-23 overtime loss against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The 49ers did not get into the end zone until the midway point of the fourth quarter on Brian Hoyer’s shovel pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk for a 6-yard touchdown.

After Indianapolis’ Adam Vinatieri and the 49ers’ Robbie Gould matched field goals for most of the game, the Colts pulled out to a 10-point lead in the third quarter.

Vinatieri’s 38-yard field goal gave Indianapolis a 9-6 lead. The Colts got into the end zone on their next possession on running back Marlon Mack’s 22-yard reception from quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

Brissett later added a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:56 remaining in the fourth quarter to extend the Colts’ lead to 23-9.

The 49ers’ offense continued to stall. Running back Carlos Hyde, who has been limited due to a hip injury, accounted for just 10 yards on five carries. Matt Breida replaced him in the third quarter.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer completed 29 of 46 passes for 353 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Running back Frank Gore gained 48 yards on 14 rushing attempts to move past Eric Dickerson and into seventh place on the NFL’s all-time rushing yardage list.

Gore entered the game with 13,256 rushing yards in 13 NFL seasons. Dickerson gained 13,259 yards in 11 seasons. Gore broke into the league as a third-round draft pick of the 49ers in 2005. This is his third season with the Colts.

Gore also added three receptions for 38 yards, including a 26-yard catch and run that set up the Colts’ third-quarter touchdown.

The 49ers’ defense experienced problems keeping the yardage to a minimum on short dump-off passes to running backs. So the team made a change that included the benching of veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman.

Bowman came off the field late in the first half for an entire series, as Brock Coyle replaced him. When the 49ers went with six defensive backs, Coyle remained on the field with Ray-Ray Armstrong also leaving the game.

Bowman and Armstrong started the second half, but Bowman was replaced again after several series.

--Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon made his NFL regular-season debut but left the game in the first half after sustaining a concussion.

Witherspoon replaced cornerback Dontae Johnson for one series, then replaced Rashard Robinson on the next series But after just a couple of plays on the field in Robinson’s spot, Witherspoon sustained a concussion in the second quarter and did not return.

--Robinson left the game in the third quarter after experiencing cramps. Reserve cornerback Asa Jackson was ruled out after sustaining a hamstring injury.

While Robinson was out, the 49ers used nickel back K’Waun Williams on the outside and moved Jimmie Ward to cover the slot receiver. Rookie Lorenzo Jerome took over at free safety.

--With Gould’s third field goal of the game set the franchise record with 14 consecutive made field goals to open a season. Wade Richey set the mark in 1999 when he made 13 in a row. It was also the 300th field goal of Gould’s career.

--On the 49ers’ touchdown drive in the middle of the fourth quarter, Hoyer hit Marquise Goodwin on back-to-back pass plays of 20 and 51 yards.

Source: 49ers sign son of former NFL WR


Source: 49ers sign son of former NFL WR

The 49ers have signed wide receiver Max McCaffrey off the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, a source confirmed Tuesday to NBC Sports Bay Area.

The NFL Network first reported the 49ers’ move.

The team could place wide receiver Victor Bolden on injured reserve to make roster space for McCaffrey. Bolden sustained an ankle injury in the 49ers’ 26-16 victory Sunday over the Houston Texans.

McCaffrey (6 foot 2, 200 pounds) is a second-year player from Duke. He is the son of former NFL receiver Ed McCaffrey and the older brother of former Stanford star and Carolina Panthers rookie Christian McCaffrey.

Max McCaffrey appeared in five games this season for the Jacksonville Jaguars, catching one pass for 4 yards.

He originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted rookie and spent time with Green Bay, New Orleans and Jacksonville before returning to the Packers’ practice squad in October.

Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation


Shanahan: Garoppolo's two starts do not impact contract situation

Jimmy Garoppolo has thrown for more yards than any quarterback in 49ers history in his first two starts.

But 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo’s play has not changed how he views the contract situation that must be addressed before the start of the new league year in March.

The 49ers acquired Garoppolo in a late-October trade with the New England Patriots. He is under contract only through the end of this season. The 49ers will retain Garoppolo with the franchise tag if the sides are unable to reach agreement on a multi-year deal.

“For me personally, it doesn't impact anything,” Shanahan said. “I thought it was so neat about the situation that I didn't feel that, because of that (franchise) option, that we had to see something here or there, and we had to do all this stuff.

“It's been able for us to just try to do things the right way, put him in when we thought he was ready to, not put any pressure on him where he has to do all this to show something. Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been.”

The 49ers must designate Garoppolo as their franchise player at any point from Feb. 20 to March 6. Last year, the one-year cost for a franchise player at quarterback was $21.268 million.

In leading the 49ers to back-to-back road victories, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards against the Chicago Bears and 334 yards against the Houston Texans. Garoppolo is scheduled to make his first home start on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans at Levi's Stadium.

“We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything,” Shanahan said. “I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about, either.”

Shanahan said he does not anticipate the sides working out a contract extension during the final three weeks of the regular season.