Three things to know from 49ers' 18-15 loss to Cardinals in OT

Three things to know from 49ers' 18-15 loss to Cardinals in OT

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 18-15 loss to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 4 on Sunday:

1. The passing game is substandard
Quarterback Brian Hoyer and Co. are just not cutting it.

Coach Kyle Shanahan is known as an offensive guru, but the 49ers have been held without a touchdown in three of their four games. Hoyer was not the team’s only offensive player who had a bad game, but his poor performance was the most glaring.

Hoyer completed 24 of 49 pass attempts for 234 yards with an interception. He was also sacked three times. Hoyer was off-target on many of his throws. On others, it appeared he was not on the same page with his wide receivers.

Also, wide receiver Aldrick Robinson and tight end George Kittle had crucial dropped passes.

“You got to throw and catch better,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “To me, it’s as simple as that. At least it was in this game from what I saw. When guys are open and you have the time, you have to hit them. And when he does hit you, you have to catch it. I know nobody’s perfect, but there was way too much of that between both positions today.”

2. Cannot close the deal
The 49ers lost their third consecutive game to an NFC West team, and it should come as absolutely no consolation that the 49ers have lost to Seattle, the Los Angeles Rams and Arizona by a combined eight points.

This is a team that does not know how to win. At this stage, they are good enough to just barely lose.

The 49ers had a chance to close the deal in overtime when the offense had a first-and-goal at the Arizona 8-yard line. A touchdown would have ended the game. But Carlos Hyde was stopped for a 4-yard loss on first down. He gained 7 yards on second down. On third and goal from the 5, Hoyer threw incomplete.

Robbie Gould kicked his fifth field goal of the game, giving the 49ers a 15-12 lead and leaving the Cardinals with just 2 minutes, 24 seconds to respond. That was more than enough for Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald.

The 49ers had a strong defensive effort throughout, but they could not stop the Cardinals one last time. Palmer and Fitzgerald teamed up for a 19-yard touchdown pass for the winning points with :32 remaining in overtime.

For the third game in a row, the 49ers have not been able to come up with the big play at the right time. The Cardinals’ veteran offensive playmakers took full advantage of their final chance.

3. No time to sulk
There were more than a few choice words being uttered as the 49ers came off the field and entered their locker room following Sunday’s game.

The defense showed a lot of signs of rounding into a strong unit. But the offense is bound to be at the top of general manager John Lynch’s list to experience an infusion of talent next offseason.

Shanahan and Lynch are under six-year contracts. Each player knows if he does not work hard and improve throughout this season, he will probably not be back next season.

Veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman said he emphasized the point to his younger teammates that the team has to continue to work hard not let the frustration of the past three games carry over to next week’s preparation for the game against the Indianapolis Colts.

“It’s human nature. I’ve seen it, guys lose a couple of games and can’t get it turned around,” Bowman said. “I just want to stress that we have to stay together as a team and remember the work we put in together. We’ll get it turned around.”

Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy


Marquise Goodwin stays positive through more family tragedy

SANTA CLARA – Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin revealed another tragedy struck his family this week.

Just five weeks after the death of his unborn child due to complications in pregnancy, Goodwin revealed his biological father passed away last week.

“I’m blessed,” Goodwin said after the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans. “I’ve been dealing with a lot. I’m blessed. I’m thankful for the opportunity. God has shown me so much in this season. I had a lot going on this year losing my baby and I just recently lost my biological father this week.

“It’s just been a lot, but I really didn’t let the outside negative energy affect how I play, how I approach this game or how I come to work each day. I just kind of stayed positive and kept my mind fresh, and I relied on God to bring me through all of the situations that I’ve been through.”

Goodwin has played a key role in the 49ers’ three-game winning streak. On Sunday, he caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards in the 49ers’ win over the Titans. In the past three games, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

Goodwin has already posted the best numbers of his five-year NFL career with 51 receptions for 897 yards.

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 25-23 win over Titans

SANTA CLARA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 25-23 victory over the Tennessee Titans in Week 15 on Sunday:

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has brought something special to the 49ers. The team won just once in its first 11 games of the season. Since Garoppolo took over as the starter, the 49ers are 3-0, including two late-game comebacks.

His performance Sunday was his best, as the 49ers took down the Titans – a team battling for a spot in the AFC playoffs.

The 49ers were trailing by one point with 1:07 remaining and had the ball at their own 25-yard line. Garoppolo immediately completed passes to Trent Taylor, George Kittle and Marquise Goodwin. And the next thing you know, the 49ers had moved 48 yards down the field for the game-winning field goal.

Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 pass attempts for 381 yards and a touchdown. His passer rating was 106.8.

The 49ers are settling for way too many field goals, so all is not perfect. But considering where this team – where this offense – was before Garoppolo arrived on the scene, and it has been a remarkable transformation.

The 49ers rolled up 414 yards of total offense despite a sputtering run game. Garoppolo spread the ball around to nine different receivers – including himself. He made the ill-advised decision to hold onto a ball that came back at him after being deflected at the line of scrimmage. Garoppolo was quickly tackled for a 6-yard loss.

So, yes, he’s not perfect.

As if five field goals and a streak of 19 accurate kicks in a row was not enough, Robbie Gould had to make one more on the final snap of the game to prevent what would have been a heart-breaking defeat.

Gould was true, making a 45-yarder as time expired, to go along with kicks of 38, 48, 28, 50 and 48 yards. He made five field goals two weeks ago against his former team, the Chicago Bears, in a 15-14 victory at Soldier Field.

In the past three weeks, Gould has made 15 field goals – something no kicker has done in NFL history over a three-game stretch.

Gould has made 36 of his 38 field-goal attempts (.947 accuracy) and already is second all-time in club history for made field goals in a season. David Akers made 44 in 2011.

Every game during the 49ers’ three-game win streak there has been someone else who steps up in a big play. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, however, has been the constant.

Goodwin caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards, including an 11-yarder on the field drive that helped get the 49ers into range for Gould’s winning kick. In three games with Garoppolo as the starter, Goodwin has 24 receptions for 319 yards.

But he is not alone.

Tight end Garrett Celek had three catches for 63 yards. Rookie tight end George Kittle had a big 24-yard reception on the final drive and finished with 52 yards receiving. Undrafted rookie wideout Kendrick Bourne contributed four catches for 85 yards.

And on the defensive side, there was no play bigger than DeForest Buckner’s stop of DeMarco Murray on a third-and-2 play for no gain that forced the Titans to settle for Ryan Succop’s 50-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining and ensured the 49ers would have enough time for Garoppolo to work his magic.