49ers

49ers takeaways: What we learned in 33-30 loss to Packers on Monday

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AP

49ers takeaways: What we learned in 33-30 loss to Packers on Monday

BOX SCORE

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The 49ers and Packers met up for an entertaining game worthy of a prime-time television audience Monday night.

And the biggest star on the field stole the show in the 49ers’ heart-breaking 33-30 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers at Lambeau Field. Mason Crosby hit the short game-winning field goal as time expired.

The 49ers got strong performances from quarterback C.J. Beathard, backup running back Raheem Mostert and the defense -- until Rodgers rallied the Packers with a late comeback that was finalized on Crosby’s kick.

Mostert rushed for a career-high 87 yards on 12 carries, as he shared the load with Matt Breida, who was limited in practice last week because of an ankle injury. Breida gained 61 yards on 14 rushing attempts.

Here are three takeaways from Monday’s game.

Beathard bounces back

Beathard bounced back with a mostly solid showing after a disastrous four-turnover game in last week's loss to the previously winless Arizona Cardinals. He mostly played an error-free game until the final minute when he was intercepted on a deep third-down pass.

Beathard completed 16 of 23 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns with one interception. His passer rating was 115.3. The interception came on his final attempt -- a deep pass intended for Marquise Goodwin against an all-out blitz. The Packers took over and marched down the field for the winning points.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan featured a mixture of outside zone runs with Breida and Mostert, while also scheming up some receivers open down the field.

The 49ers scored 24 points in the first half, marking their most productive first half since October 2013, when they had 28 in the first half of a game against the Jaguars. At halftime, Beathard had a 156.2 passer rating with nine completions in 12 attempts for 182 yards and two TD passes to Marquise Goodwin.

It was an encouraging performance from Beathard, who made his third start in place of Jimmy Garoppolo, who is out for the season with a knee injury.

On the other side, Rodgers was just better. He usually is. Rodgers completed 25 of 46 passes for 425 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions.

More turnovers cost 49ers

The 49ers had five turnovers in the Week 5 loss to the Cardinals. And this game featured more of the same, as the 49ers had three giveaways and no takeaways.

Kickoff returner D.J. Reed fumbled on the ensuing kickoff after the Packers tied the game at 7. Green Bay scored three points off the turnover on Crosby’s 20-yard field goal. The fumble forced the benching of Reed, as Richie James took over return duties for the remainder of the game.

In the second quarter, fullback Kyle Juszczyk caught a 22-yard pass from Beathard but fumbled the ball back to the Packers. Again, the 49ers’ defense held, forcing Green Bay to settle for another field goal.

The 49ers were a league-worst minus-eight on turnovers to open the week, and they saw that margin go to minus-11. Rodgers cashed in Beathard's late-game interception for the winning points.

Goodwin's return is a good one

Goodwin has battled leg injuries from Week 1 after sustaining a deep thigh contusion against the Vikings. He was inactive last week in hopes of returning to health and regaining his speed.

It appeared to work.

Goodwin warmed up shirtless two-and-a-half hours before kickoff with the temperature at 38 degrees and a stiff wind blowing at Lambeau Field. It did not take him long to heat up once the game began.

Late in the first quarter, with the 49ers trailing by 10 points, Goodwin ran a deep post, and Beathard hit him in stride 41 yards down the field. Goodwin took it into the end zone for a 67-yard touchdown.

Goodwin later gave the 49ers a 21-20 lead in the second quarter with a 30-yard touchdown reception, which he punctuated with a long-jump celebration in the end zone. Goodwin represented the U.S. in the 2012 London Olympics in the long jump.

Goodwin's return was a huge boost for Shanahan’s offense, as it's predicated on having a speedster at the X-receiver position to provide a deep-passing threat and also open up the underneath routes.

Goodwin finished with four receptions for 126 yards and two TDs.

How adjusting Fred Warner's workload has unleashed his speed for 49ers

How adjusting Fred Warner's workload has unleashed his speed for 49ers

BRADENTON, Fla. — For the second time in as many months, a member of the 49ers has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Linebacker Fred Warner took home the title for November after Nick Bosa had the honor for October. During the month, Warner tallied 44 total tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and two forced fumbles. 

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh believes altering the linebacker’s responsibilities has given Warner an opportunity to play with more speed. 

“We’ve taken a lot off his plate so he can just go line up and play,” Saleh said Thursday. “Putting more of the onus on making sure that guys lineup and go play. We were playing some of those read-option teams, the Arizona teams, we’re asking him to make a lot of checks and see if he can get us in the perfect defense. 

“While he’s busy trying to do that, he’s not able to focus on his job. Even though he was getting everyone lined up and everything was perfect, it’s just not fair for him. So, to take a little bit off his plate so he can go ahead and go play, I think that’s really been the difference.”

Saleh is not alone in praising Warner. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman also has been impressed with the young linebacker's work ethic and growth in his second season. The fact that Warner didn’t play inside until he was with the 49ers makes his accomplishments even more significant. 

“The inside linebacker already has so much on his plate,” Sherman said. “Being able to take some of that off—there was one game I think he had six calls in one play. Where if this guy moves here, he has to readjust the line. He has to tell the DBs this, he has to tell this guy this and sometimes that just doesn’t allow him to play fast.

“He’s getting everybody else lined up to play fast but he can’t play fast. He has to think about all these calls, all these adjustments. Maybe you put a little more strain on the rest of the guys. You spread out the strain and it allows him to play fast and for us to be a better defense.”

[RELATED: 49ers now have logjam at running back with Breida's return]

Now in his second year, Warner sees things developing on the field more quickly. No matter the workload given to him by Saleh, the BYU product has been able to adjust.  

“I think as the year has gone on, he has kind of started to realize what’s too much, what’s too little,” Warner said. “I agree completely. Ever since kind of the midway point of the season, I think he has lined it up for me to just go out and play fast.”  

49ers' Richard Sherman, Dee Ford speak out on Tim Ryan's comments

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AP

49ers' Richard Sherman, Dee Ford speak out on Tim Ryan's comments

BRADENTON , Fla. -- Following radio broadcaster Tim Ryan's one-game suspension for his comments regarding Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, several 49ers players spoke out, believing there was no malicious intent behind what the analyst said. 

Known as being outspoken on most topics, Richard Sherman did not mince words about what Ryan said. He even mentioned that the commentator had personally apologized to several players while at the team hotel after the announcement of his suspension. 

“I know Tim personally, and I listened to the dialogue and saw it, read it,” Sherman said. “Honestly, I wasn’t as outraged as everybody else. I understand how it can be taken in a certain context and be offensive to some. 

“But if you’re saying, ‘Hey, this is a brown ball, they are wearing dark colors, and he has a brown arm,’ honestly sometimes we were having trouble seeing it on film. He’s making a play fake and sometimes he’s swinging his arm really fast and you’re like, does he have the ball? And you look up and [Mark] Ingram is running it.

“So it was technically a valid point but the way he said it, you can always phrase things better. I’ve had a relationship with him since I’ve gotten here and he’s never been anything other than a great guy and a professional and a guy who takes his job seriously.” 

Edge rusher Dee Ford expressed similar sentiments about Ryan’s comments, and confirmed that the two had spoken since the incident. 

“He walked up to me earlier and before he even said anything I told him. ‘I got your back.’” Ford said. “I already knew the story. The words kind of got taken out of context, and of course, now he knows he could have used better judgment with his words. But we got his back. I knew what he was trying to say. 

“This era we live in, it is just what it is, but I know him personally. I speak to him a lot. He loves to watch the D-line and there’s not one -- type of bone -- you know what bone I’m talking about, in his body. So I got his back, so put that to bed really fast.”  

49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh also spoke about Ryan’s nature, not believing that there was negative intent behind his comments. 

[RELATED: How Payton, Saints are preparing for imposing 49ers defense]

“I’ve always, as a human being, tried to judge people on how I interact with them,” Saleh said. “And I love the man. He’s a very genuine human being and he knows he made a mistake and he’s just trying to move this on as quickly as possible.” 

Dennis Brown will be on the call with Greg Papa during Ryan’s absence for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints in the Superdome.