49ers

Instant Analysis: 49ers gut Giants, offense goes wild in first win of 2017

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Instant Analysis: 49ers gut Giants, offense goes wild in first win of 2017

BOX SCORE

The 49ers took their first lead at Levi’s Stadium. They held their first lead of more than three points all season. And the 49ers held their first halftime lead, too.

The 49ers got huge days from several first-year players, and that all added up to another first: The first win of Kyle Shanahan’s head-coaching career.

The 49ers broke their franchise-worst winless streak to open the season and broke a franchise-long 11-game home losing streak with a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Rookie C.J. Beathard had his best day as a pro while the presumptive quarterback of the future, Jimmy Garoppolo, remained on the sideline for at least another game.

Beathard completed 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He received much better protection, as he did not get sacked and was hit only twice.

Beathard turned out the lights on the reeling Giants with an 11-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to give the 49ers a 24-13 lead.

The 49ers (1-9) entered the day with the worst record in the NFL. That distinction belongs to the league’s only remaining winless team, the 0-9 Cleveland Browns. The Giants, just one season removed from a playoff appearance, fall to 1-8.

Rookie running back Matt Breida put the game out of reach with a 33-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

In addition to Beathard and Breida, the 49ers got solid showings from many of their other rookies in uniform:

--Linebacker Reuben Foster recorded 10 tackles and had a quarterback hit to force a Giants punt in the third quarter.

--Safety Adrian Colbert got his first NFL start due to injuries to Jaquiski Tartt and Jimmie Ward. Colbert, a seventh-round draft pick from Miami, had four tackles and broke up two passes.

--Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon had his best showing in coverage for a secondary that put the clamps on veteran quarterback Eli Manning for much of the game. He had three tackles and broke up a pass.

--Undrafted wide receiver Kendrick Bourne recorded three catches for 42 yards.

The 49ers led three different times in the first half. After being tied at halftime in three of their first nine games, the 49ers enjoyed an advantage after 30 minutes for the first time this season.

Beathard hit tight end Garrett Celek on a 47-yard touchdown pass with 28 seconds remaining in the first half for a 17-13 lead.

Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin ran past Giants cornerback Janoris Jenkins to haul in C.J. Beathard’s well-thrown deep pass for an 83-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

The play was the 49ers’ longest touchdown pass since Tim Rattay hit Brandon Lloyd for an 89-yard touchdown in September 2005 against the Dallas Cowboys at Candletick Park.

But it did not take long for the 49ers’ 10-6 lead to disappear, as rookie tight end Evan Engram caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Manning against the coverage of 49ers safety Eric Reid.

Carlos Hyde had a 28-yard run – and 15 yards were added at the end due to Giants safety Darian Thompson’s personal foul at the end of the run.

Hyde finished with 98 yards on 17 rushing attempts.

THIS ‘N’ THAT

--Defensive lineman Ronald Blair, in just his second game this season, recorded two sacks, including a strip-sack. Eric Reid recovered Manning’s fumble.

--Shanahan will give the 49ers the entire week off. The club returns to action Nov. 26 agains the Seattle Seahawks.

--Left tackle Joe Staley made his return to the starting lineup after missing just one game with a broken eye socket. Staley wore a visor to prevent any fingers to get between the bars in his facemask.

--Bradley Pinon, who averages nearly six punts a game, did not punt until there were 5:46 remaining in the fourth quarter.

--Goodwin set a career-high with his 83-yard touchdown catch, pushing him to 500 yards receiving on the season. His previous career-best came in 2016 with the Buffalo Bills, when he accounted for 431 yards receiving.

--Beathard completed 13 of 16 passes for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the first half. His passer rating was a near-perfect 157.8.

--Beathard made a big mistake after the 49ers drove 64 yards at the start of the third quarter. Beathard did not get enough air under his lob pass intended for Matt Breida, which enabled Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon to make the interception at the New York 25-yard line.

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

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Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.

An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

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An intriguing dynamic of Garoppolo's contract negotiations

If the 49ers and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo are unable to reach a multi-year contract extension by March 6, the 49ers have no other choice but to designate him as their franchise player.

The estimated one-year salary for the franchise tag would be $23.307 million, according to former NFL agent Joel Corry, whose work now appears at CBS Sports. (That is assuming a 2018 league-wide salary cap of $178.1 million per team.)

There is a lot to consider for both sides as they look to enter into a long-term contract. Corry said if a deal is struck, he would expect it to be in the neighborhood of Derek Carr’s five-year, $125 million deal he signed with the Raiders last offseason.

“And then there’s the other dynamic, which I would not undersell or I think may not be appreciated as much as it should be,” Corry said on the 49ers Insider Podcast. “(Garoppolo’s agent) Don Yee has a reputation – no fault of his own – of doing team-friendly deals.”

Yee also represents New England quarterback Tom Brady, whose average of $20.5 million annual pay ranks 15th among NFL quarterbacks. Brady is underpaid by design, Corry said, because one of the great quarterbacks of all-time realizes it helps the Patriots to maintain a strong supporting cast.

“That’s because Tom Brady dictates, ‘I want to do something good for the team, take less money so we can improve the roster to win Super Bowls.’ That’s not Don Yee who wants to do that,” Corry said.

“The agent works for the player, so he’s executing Tom Brady’s wishes. But he gets that held against him in recruiting. So this is his opportunity to erase that perception if Garoppolo allows him to do his job and gives him latitude to strike the deal that he feels is appropriate.”

For more on the potential negotiating strategies of both sides, listen here to the 49ers Insider Podcast.