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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.

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

AMSTERDAM — Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice that launched a sports movement and might have cost him his job.

Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings.

"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" he said at Saturday's award ceremony.

Other players joined his protest in the 2016 season, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players.

In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan.

Kaepernick wasn't signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco.

Reid, a safety who is now a free agent, continued Kaepernick's protests by kneeling during the anthem last season. Reid has said he will take a different approach in 2018.

Kaepernick paid tribute to his friend for his own role in the protest movement.

"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy," Kaepernick said. "But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career."

Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization, "dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others."

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick "an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination."

Previous recipients of the award include anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African President Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls' right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

"In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force," Kaepernick said.

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

The 49ers have their starting and backup quarterbacks on the roster for at least the next three seasons. That luxury opens up their draft options to concentrate on other areas.

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen could be selected within the first eight picks of the draft. If those four quarterbacks are chosen, it means the 49ers will get – at worst – the fifth-ranked player on their draft board.

And if there is still one of those quarterbacks available when the 49ers go on the clock at No. 9 overall, it invites the possibility of a trade-back option.

The 49ers could trade back and still get one of the five players – Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport – highlighted as first-round draft options.

But if the 49ers move further back or acquire an additional pick in the first round, here are some of their options...

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The 49ers must start thinking about a time when two new offensive tackles are going to be required. McGlinchey (6-8, 312) began his career at right tackle before shifting to the left side. That versatility could come in handy for the 49ers, as right tackle Trent Brown enters the final year of his contract and might not be back in 2019. Moreover, six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is 34 years old, and it is uncertain how much longer he can play at a high level. McGlinchey has the athleticism that Shanahan covets. He began high school as a tight end and also played on the basketball team.

OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller is an exceptional athlete who should get better and better. He ran the third-fastest time among offensive linemen at the combine and placed near the top of all the other agility drills. Miller started off his college career on the right side before shifting over to protect the blind side of quarterback Josh Rosen. With any offensive lineman the 49ers select, the club could consider having him begin his career at guard before moving him to tackle whenever the need arises.

CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson was among the 49ers’ final pre-draft visits to Santa Clara. The team needs another cornerback to join presumptive starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. At 6-0 3/8, Jackson is not as tall as initially advertised, but his style of play and long arms would fit well within the 49ers’ scheme. He has great instincts, as shown by his nation-leading eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The consensus best wide receiver in the draft could provide Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan with another option in the passing game to join starters Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin. Garçon is the possession receiver and Goodwin is the deep threat. Ridley is versatile and polished, which makes him a nice chess piece to utilize early in his career for specific matchups.

WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
It should be noted that the 49ers like their receiver corps, a group that also includes Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and Kendrick Bourne. But Sutton (6-3, 219) would give the 49ers more size to exploit matchups. He gets high marks off the field. There is no rush to get him out there before he is ready. The 49ers can take their time to develop him, as they would have him under their control contractually for five seasons. He has spent time learning from Anquan Boldin.