49ers

Why 49ers fans should be optimistic after Week 10 loss to Seahawks

Why 49ers fans should be optimistic after Week 10 loss to Seahawks

Raise your hand if you predicted the 49ers to have eight wins after their first nine games this season. You in the back, put your hand down. 

Entering coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch's third season at the helm in Santa Clara, the 49ers were expected to make a leap. But not this kind of leap.

It was reasonable to expect wild-card contention while competing in the NFC West this season, just months after owning the No. 2 pick in the draft. The 49ers, however, defied expectations to start the season and reeled off eight straight wins. After losing to a "real contender" in the Seahawks, 27-24 on Monday night, though, The Faithful has to take a deep breath. 

Analyst Peter Schrager said it best Tuesday morning on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football."

"The offensive line couldn't protect anything, the Seahawks were just crashing in on Garoppolo, they couldn't catch a ball and yet, a minute left in this game, they were in position to win," Schrager said. "They went to overtime, they were in position to win. I wouldn't feel so bad if I'm a Niners fan this morning.

"That was as bad of an offensive performance they've had all season long, and yet they were still in striking distance to win."

The 49ers took an early 10-0 lead over Seattle and looked to be in driver's seat of what might have been the biggest game in the history of Levi's Stadium. And then, life came at them fast in the worst ways possible. 

San Francisco already was dealing with the injury bug going into the game as they were without George Kittle -- perhaps the best tight end in the NFL -- veteran kicker Robbie Gould and cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon. Once wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders exited early with a rib injury, the 49ers' offense sputtered. 

The inconsistency of the 49ers' receivers was on full display Monday night. Pro Football Focus marked the 49ers down for five dropped passes but it felt more like seven to nine. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo's lone interception came right off the hands of receiver Kendrick Bourne. The INT was returned 44 yards and the Seahawks scored three plays later to take a 14-10 lead. 

Garoppolo was without his top-two options the majority of the game and constantly was under duress. 

Jimmy G also lost two fumbles and the Seahawks dropped at least two easy interceptions thrown by the 49ers QB. While the narrative turned to Garoppolo against Seattle QB Russell Wilson, San Francisco's signal-caller was shorthanded and the 49ers defense deserves credit for how they handled the MVP frontrunner. 

Robert Saleh's 49ers defense sacked Wilson five times and broke up five passes. Wilson threw just his second interception this season and had his lowest PFF grade of the year. The 49ers faced a superstar quarterback who has dominated them for years -- to say the least -- and actually held him in check.

[RELATED: Should 49ers have gone for tie late in overtime?]

Along with Sanders, center Weston Richburg, as well as defensive linemen Ronald Blair and D.J. Jones exited early in the loss, and running back Matt Breida aggravated his sprained ankle. The extent of their injuries isn't yet known, though Breida is expected to get a second opinion and might miss time.

For the cards the 49ers were dealt, and having to lean on an undrafted rookie kicker who had a chance to win the game in overtime, San Francisco has plenty of reasons to be optimistic after its first loss. Now the focus turns to health and consistency with a tough remaining schedule.

49ers snap count: Raheem Mostert taking over as top running back

49ers snap count: Raheem Mostert taking over as top running back

Raheem Mostert has never started a game in his NFL career, but he has become the 49ers’ leading rusher and most-used running back.

Mostert played 40 of the 49ers’ 67 offensive snaps on Sunday and has become a valuable member of the team’s offense after earning his way onto the roster primarily because of his skills as a special-teams performer.

Mostert gained 69 yards and a touchdown on 10 rushing attempts in the 49ers’ exhilarating 48-46 victory over the New Orleans Saints. He also caught two passes for 40 yards and a touchdown.

Mostert has taken over as the team’s rushing lead with 608 yards and four touchdowns on 102 rushing attempts, good for a 6.0 average.

Matt Breida returned to action Sunday after missing three games with an ankle sprain. Breida played 12 snaps and gained 54 yards on six rushing attempts.

Tevin Coleman started his eighth game of the season, but was on the field for just 11 snaps. He gained 6 yards on three carries. The 49ers’ fourth running back, Jeff Wilson, was inactive for the game.

[RELATED: Report: 49ers' Sherman strained hamstring, could miss weeks]

Here is a look at how much everyone on the 49ers played Sunday on offense, defense and special teams:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 67
Quarterback – Jimmy Garoppolo 67
Running back – Raheem Mostert 40, Kyle Juszczyk 29, Matt Breida 12, Tevin Coleman 11
Wide receiver – Emmanuel Sanders 63, Deebo Samuel 53, Kendrick Bourne 38, Richie James 11
Tight end – George Kittle 62, Ross Dwelley 9, Garrett Celek 7
Offensive line – Laken Tomlinson 67, Mike Person 67, Mike McGlinchey 67, Joe Staley 67, Ben Garland 36, Weston Richburg 31
Did not play – QB Nick Mullens

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 72
Defensive line – Nick Bosa 68, DeForest Buckner 64, Arik Armstead 63, D.J. Jones 33, Solomon Thomas 33, Sheldon Day 14, Jeremiah Valoaga 9, Dee Ford 4
Linebacker – Fred Warner 72, Dre Greenlaw 71, Azeez Al-Shaair 9, Mark Nzeocha 1
Defensive back – Jimmie Ward 72, Marcell Harris 72, Ahkello Witherspoon 69, Richard Sherman 63, K’Waun Williams 53, Emmanuel Moseley 15, D.J. Reed 6, Tarvarius Moore 1

Special teams

Moore 29, Elijah Lee 28, Nzeocha 28, Moseley 26, Al-Shaair 24, Mitch Wishnowsky 20, James 19, Antone Exum 18, Mostert 16, Armstead 15, Buckner 15, Ward 15, Dwelley 14, Celek 13, Kyle Nelson 12, Jones 12, Bourne 10, Harris 9, Reed 9, Robbie Gould 8, Justin Skule 8, McGlinchey 8, Tomlinson 8, Thomas 7, Person 5, Breida 5, Greenlaw 5, Daniel Brunskill 4, Garland 4, Richburg 4, Juszczyk 4, Warner 1, Bosa 1, Williams 1, Day 1

Not active

QB C.J. Beathard
WR Marquise Goodwin
WR Dante Pettis
DB Jaquiski Tartt
RB Jeff Wilson
DT Jullian Taylor
TE Levine Toilolo

NFL rumors: Odell Beckham Jr. friendly with 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

NFL rumors: Odell Beckham Jr. friendly with 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

The Odell Beckham Jr. experiment in Cleveland hasn't gone according to plan. While the Browns (6-7) are on the outside looking in at the playoff picture, the star receiver isn't having the season many expected. 

Through 13 games, OBJ has 59 receptions on 108 targets with 844 yards receiving and only two touchdowns. He's averaging a career-low 64.9 yards per game. But his time as a Brown might be over after only one season. 

Fox Sports' Jay Glazer reported Sunday that the three-time Pro Bowl receiver wants out of Cleveland

"[Throughout] this year, Odell Beckham has actually told other players and coaches before games, during games, 'Hey, come get me. Come get me out of here,'" Glazer said Sunday on "FOX NFL Sunday." "Remember: It was not Odell's choice to go to the Cleveland Browns. He got traded there. There now also is reports he needs sports hernia surgery.

"I've gotta say, I don't see that relationship ending well for them after this year."

The 49ers pursued a trade for OBJ this past offseason, and it sounds like he sure wishes he was sent to the Bay Area instead of the Dawg Pound. Yahoo's Charles Robinson reported Monday that Beckham coveted a move to the 49ers or Rams if he were to be traded by the Giants. 

Sources also told Robinson that Beckham highly respects 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan, and has formed a bond with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. 

“He talks to Jimmy on and off the field,” one source told Robinson. “They have a friendship that is more than just saying hello before or after [a game]. There’s a lot of mutual respect there as football players and people -- which is important [to Beckham].”

Beckham was seen telling Jimmy G "I'll come here" after the 49ers beat the Browns, 31-3, on Oct. 7 in Santa Clara. 

The Browns haven't shown any indication they plan to move Beckham, who is signed through the 2023 season. To go along with his $90 million contract, it would be quite the reach for the 49ers to add the playmaker. San Francisco has its own players in need of contracts. 

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner, tight end George Kittle and breakout defensive end Arik Armstead all are eligible to sign contract extensions this season. Armstead can become a free agent this offseason, while Kittle and Buckner can do the same in 2021. Over The Cap lists the 49ers as having just over $16 million in salary-cap room heading into the offseason, and Beckham will carry a cap hit of at least $14.25 million in each of the next four seasons.

The 49ers also don't have much draft capital after multiple trades. This upcoming April, San Francisco will be without a pick in the second, third and fourth rounds. 

[RELATED: What Jimmy G told Kittle before 49ers' biggest play of year]

Beckham fits the bill as the perfect game-changing receiver the 49ers desperately want for Garoppolo. They already have a star tight end in Kittle, and the mid-season trade for veteran receiver Emmanuel Sanders has paid off in huge ways. But Sanders, 32, will be a free agent this upcoming offseason. 

While Shanahan and general manager John Lynch clearly would love to see one-handed catches from OBJ at Levi's Stadium, making a deal won't be easy. One can still dream, though.