The San Francisco 49ers enter week four without Jimmy Garoppolo, the main storyline for the rest of the season. How do they do without him?
The Los Angeles Chargers are coming off a defeat against the Los Angeles Rams in the Battle of LA while the 49ers are looking to bounce back following a very tough road loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Stopping the Chargers
The best way for the 49ers to come away with a road victory ultimately lies on their ability to slow down Philip Rivers, because they won’t stop them. Richard Sherman is out with an injury, leaving Rivers with the chance to target both sides of the field. When Sherman has been out there, he doesn’t get targeted.
This game is different, as weapons like Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and backs like Melvin Gordon and Austin Ekeler could have field days. The corners for San Francisco are young, inexperienced, and struggling mightily. Ahkello Witherspoon and Jimmie Ward haven’t shown much, leaving opportunities for D.J. Reed and Tarvarius Moore to come onto the scene.
The Chargers rank fifth in the league in total offensive yards, averaging 415.3 a game. They are also eighth in the league in points, averaging 27.3 a game. Not ideal for this 49ers secondary.
If the defense struggles, which could be the case, then it’s all up to C.J. Beathard to show how well he has developed in the past year. Of course, Matt Breida is going to be used often especially since he is a full participant in practice now. The league’s leading rusher will need to bring it all with his eight yards per carry.
The offensive line doesn’t have to line up against Joey Bosa this week, who will be out with an injury. That’s one less problem Beathard has to deal with.
The wide receivers for the 49ers will also really need to step up and help Beathard. Pierre Garcon is one player I’m really looking to see more out of. If he doesn’t do much this week, I say why not bench him in favor of younger guys. Let’s see how Kendrick Bourne or Dante Pettis can do. Pettis has made great plays when targeted, like the touchdown catch against Minnesota and his catch against Detroit.
Both the 49ers and Chargers have great rookie playmakers on the defensive end. Derwin James of Los Angeles has easily been one of their best overall players, with 19 total tackles, two sacks and one interception.
Fred Warner of the 49ers has also been fantastic. He has 33 total tackles, one of the best marks in the league. He also has two passes defensed and one forced fumble against Dalvin Cook of Minnesota. Warner and a healthy Reuben Foster can easily develop to be one of the best linebacking duos in the league.