49ers

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 12-9 loss to Seahawks

Three things you need to know from 49ers' 12-9 loss to Seahawks

SEATTLE -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2 on Sunday:

1. Wilson is the difference
The Seahawks have their franchise quarterback. The 49ers do not. This game came down to one quarterback’s ability to make plays, and the other one’s inability to change the game.

Both quarterbacks were under harassment throughout the game, which made it difficult to operate. Wilson was not spectacular, but when the Seahawks needed something, he delivered. On the game-winning drive, Wilson picked up 27 yards rushing, including two first downs. He used his unique ability to side-step the rush to buy time for a 9-yard touchdown pass to Paul Richardson.

The go-ahead score with 7:06 remaining is the only touchdown the Seahawks or 49ers have scored through two games. For the 49ers, it’s the first time in franchise history the club has been held out of the end zone in back-to-back games to open the season. That’s a major disappointment, considering Kyle Shanahan’s background as an offensive guru.

Hoyer completed 15 of 27 attempts for 99 yards and one interception. The 49ers converted just 2 of 12 third-down attempts.

2. The makings of a strong defense
The 49ers implemented a Seahawks-style defense this season under coordinator Robert Saleh. That unit, by and large, has exceeded expectations in the first two weeks of the season.

But the 49ers’ defense was on the field for way too many snaps. The 49ers' offense is partly to blame, of course, but the defense must do a better job of getting off the field on third downs. The Seahawks had a 42-percent success rate on third downs. The 49ers' defense seemed to wear down late in the game. 

The 49ers got particularly strong play on the defensive line from their recent first-round draft picks. Solomon Thomas recorded two tackles for loss and a quarterback hit; DeForest Buckner was dominant on the interior with four tackles and three quarterback hits; and Arik Armstead also recorded four tackles, to go along with a sack.

Considering the 49ers ranked worst in the NFL last season in yards and points allowed, the defense has made significant strides in a short period of time.

3. Quick turnaround
The 49ers must regroup quickly to face the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium. Dating back to December 2015 – under Jim Tomsula, Chip Kelly and, now, Shanahan, the 49ers have won just three of their past 22 games. The 49ers are 3-0 against the Rams, and 0-19 against every other team.

The 49ers do not have enough established talent to overcome the kind of mistakes they've made in the first two weeks of the season. The only encouraging sign on offense was the production out of Carlos Hyde, who gained 124 yards on 15 attempts. The offensive line did a good job in the run game, as left guard Laken Tomlinson seemed to hold his own as he took over in the starting lineup for struggling Zane Beadles.

The 49ers must have continued success in the run game to set up Hoyer and the passing game. The problem with the 49ers have been their lack of consistency. Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin had another dropped pass on a play that would’ve given the 49ers a first down near the Seattle 10-yard line. Instead, they settled for a field goal to open the door for Wilson’s late-game, go-ahead heroics.

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

beathard-shanahan.jpg
USATSI

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

dwightjoe-ap.jpg
AP

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”