Matt Maiocco

Kyle Shanahan explains end-of-game play calls vs. Packers

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Kyle Shanahan explains end-of-game play calls vs. Packers

The 49ers had a chance to win the game with some production on their final three offensive possessions Monday night.

The 49ers had success on the ground with running backs Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida, but the first two of those possessions began with failed run plays.

Breida was stopped for no gain to open a series that began at their own 4-yard line. On the next possession, Mostert was stopped for a 1-yard loss when the 49ers took over at their own 23-yard line.

After Mostert’s run play, the 49ers finished the night with five consecutive pass plays in their 33-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. On the final play, quarterback C.J. Beathard’s pass was intercepted at the Green Bay 10-yard line. Aaron Rodgers took over, and the Packers finished it off with a game-winning field goal on the final play.

“You’re trying to win a game,” Shanahan said Tuesday on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “In hindsight when it’s over, anytime something doesn’t work, whether I like my play call or not, if it doesn’t work, you always wish you did something different.

With 1:49 remaining in regulation, the 49ers took over at their own 47. Beathard hit tight end George Kittle on a 7-yard pass. Beathard’s second-down pass was batted down at the line of scrimmage. And third down resulted in Beathard’s interception.

“I felt pretty strongly that they were going to come after us and bring more than we could handle in the run game, which usually leaves open a very good slant window,” Shanahan said of the second-down play call. “That’s what I thought was the best thing at the time. But they tipped the ball. They tipped it and we didn’t get a chance to complete it, which was unfortunate.

“But when you get into third and 3 versus an all-out blitz, there’s not many runs for that. That was the play that we didn’t make right there, and that’s what happened.”

49ers sign Tom Savage to be No. 3 QB; ex-Texan started seven games in 2017

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49ers sign Tom Savage to be No. 3 QB; ex-Texan started seven games in 2017

The 49ers on Tuesday signed veteran quarterback Tom Savage to be the team’s No. 3 quarterback behind starter C.J. Beathard and backup Nick Mullens.

The 49ers waived tight end Cole Wick to make room for Savage on the 53-man roster. They also released offensive lineman Zach Golditch from the practice squad.

Savage, 28, appeared in 13 games with nine starts over four seasons with the Houston Texans. He started seven games last season, completing 56.1 percent of his passes for 1,412 yards and five touchdowns with one interception. He was a fourth-round pick of the Texans in 2014.

"He’s got a strong arm. He’s a very tough player," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "He hangs in that pocket and plays the position well. I was a fan of his coming out of college. He’s gotten to play in a number of NFL games, so he’s been battle tested."

Savage and Matt Simms impressed the 49ers during a workout two days after Jimmy Garoppolo sustained a season-ending knee injury in Week 3. But the 49ers opted to sign Savage because of his experience of playing last season.

The other quarterbacks who tried out were Landry Jones, E.J. Manuel, Kellen Clemens, T.J. Yates and Kyle Allen. 

"He was in a tough situation in Houston that didn’t work out for him," Shanahan said of Savage. "But I got to study him this preseason when he was in New Orleans, and they have some similarities in their offense as ours."

Savage went to camp with the New Orleans Saints this summer but was cut Sept. 1. Shanahan said Savage received praise from Saints coach Sean Payton.

Savage will wear No. 14 for the 49ers.

49ers snap count: Solomon Thomas plays least of any D-linemen vs. Packers

49ers snap count: Solomon Thomas plays least of any D-linemen vs. Packers

One of the big disappointments of the first half of the 49ers' season has been the dwindling production and playing time of Solomon Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Among the seven 49ers defensive linemen who suited up Monday night against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, Thomas saw the least playing time. He was on the field for just 26 of the 49ers' 71 defensive snaps.

Despite his limited playing time, Thomas was credited with Pro Football Focus’ top grade among 49ers defensive players in the team’s 33-30 loss to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Thomas had three pressures (one hit, two hurries) as well as a run stop.

Here are some other interesting 49ers metrics from PFF:

-- Cornerback Greg Mabin, a late-game replacement for Jimmie Ward, played 13 snaps in coverage and surrendered four receptions on five targets for 62 yards and one touchdown.

-- DeForest Buckner and Sheldon Day had five pressures apiece, as each man contributed one sack and four hurries.

-- Neither left tackle Joe Staley nor right tackle Mike McGlinchey allowed a quarterback pressure.

-- Quarterback C.J. Beathard was effective against the Packers’ blitzes, as he was 10-of-13 passing for 194 yards and two touchdowns with one interception when Green Bay brought more than four pass rushers.

Here are the total numbers of snaps of every 49ers player who saw action at Lambeau:

Offense

Total offensive snaps: 57
Quarterback -- C.J. Beathard 57
Running back -- Kyle Juszczyk 39, Matt Breida 27, Raheem Mostert 23, Alfred Morris 1
Wide receiver -- Marquise Goodwin 54, Pierre Garçon 45, Kendrick Bourne 23, Victor Bolden 3
Tight end -- George Kittle 53, Garrett Celek 17
Offensive line -- Joe Staley 57, Mike Person 57, Mike McGlinchey 57, Laken Tomlinson 57, Weston Richburg 57

Defense

Total defensive snaps: 71
Defensive line -- DeForest Buckner 65, Sheldon Day 45, Cassius Marsh 43, Ronald Blair 42, Earl Mitchell 34, Arik Armstead 31, Solomon Thomas 26
Linebacker -- Fred Warner 71, Reuben Foster 71, Malcolm Smith 23, Mark Nzeocha 2
Defensive back -- Jaquiski Tartt 70, Richard Sherman 69, Adrian Colbert 62, Jimmie Ward 57, K’Waun Williams 34, D.J. Reed 21, Greg Mabin 14, Antone Exum 1

Special teams

Total special teams plays: 33
Nzeocha 25, Elijah Lee 23, Tarvarius Moore 21, Mabin 17, Exum 17, Mostert 16, Colbert 16, Bradley Pinion 15, Buckner 15, Marsh 14, Ross Dwelley 13, Warner 12, Reed 12, Richie James 11, Ahkello Witherspoon 10, Celek 10 Kyle Nelson 9, Bolden 9, Ward 9, Tartt 8, Blair 8, Mitchell 7, Thomas 7, Smith 7, Garry Gilliam 6, Robbie Gould 6, Staley 6, Person 6, McGlinchey 6, Tomlinson 6, Armstead 6, Juszczyk 3, Foster 3, Day 2, Williams 2