Despite 49ers’ 24-15 Win, Garoppolo Shaky in Pre-Season Debut

Photo credit: ftw.usatoday.com

By: Joe Lami

Jimmy Garoppolo fell flat in his much-anticipated return to the football field on Monday night versus the Broncos. Garoppolo started the first three drives and looked flat-out terrible. He finished 1-of-6 for zero yards with one interception and a 0.0 QB rating. On top of the pick and sack, Garoppolo had two balls batted down at the line and should’ve thrown a second pick that was dropped.

The good news is it’s early. Garoppolo hasn’t played any meaningful football since week three of last season and was obviously not comfortable on Monday. Looking skittish and nervous in the pocket, Garoppolo still has a long way to go before he’s close to where he needs to be. Saturday will be huge for his development and confidence as he gears up for the season.

Garoppolo also didn’t great offensive line helped, as the Broncos front seven got in Garoppolo’s face on half his throws. Bradley Chubb picked up two QB hits, including one on the interception that made Joe Staley look silly.

Aside from Garoppolo, the Niners looked pretty good overall in the 24-15 victory. They rushed for a combined 185 yards but only passed for 85. Raheem Mostert was noticeable finishing with 58 yards on six carries.

Deebo Samuel once again flashed his top speed on a 45-yard sweep play, bringing the ball within the one; setting up a touchdown. NFL NextGen clocked him in at 20 MPH, matching Tyreek Hill’s average speed.

The defense continued to bend and not break and allowed their first touchdown of the preseason with only eight seconds remaining. DJ Reed and Jaquaski Tartt looked excellent in the secondary. Reed finished with six tackles, a pass deflection, and QB hit; while Tartt had five tackles, two for loss, and a breakup. As a team, San Francisco had five sacks and forced a turnover.
Battle for Backup

The backup race still remains intriguing. CJ Beathard earned the majority of the snaps on Monday; completing 5-of-11 for 81 yards, marching the Niners to two of their three touchdowns. Mullens completed 2-of-3 passes for 27 yards and a touchdown pass to Kenrick Bourne on a fade.

Richie James Jr. is starting to make his case for the 53-man roster. While he hasn’t added a ton on offense, his return ability should be admired. He picked up 80 yards on two returns, including a 48-yarder.

Raiders battle Broncos on Christmas Eve in home finale at the Coliseum

Photo credit: broncoswire.usatoday.com

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
SRS Contributor

OAKLAND — The Raiders return to the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum in what will be the team’s home finale to a rough 2019 season. The Silver and Black will host the Denver Broncos on Christmas Eve in a AFC West matchup on Monday Night Football with the kickoff set for 5:15 p.m. PT on ESPN.

Oakland holds a 62-52-2 all-time record against the Broncos, with the Raiders looking to make it three in a row over Denver at home.

Last week, the Raiders (3-11) traveled to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals, but lost 30-16 at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 15.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr continued to move up the franchise record book. Carr passed Rich Gannon for the most consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception against the Bengals. Now sitting at 299 attempts, bested Gannon’s mark of 277 set back in 2001.

In fact, Carr hasn’t thrown an interception in nine-straight games after throwing for 263 yards on 21-of-38 passes and one touchdown. Through 14 games, Carr has 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions. Entering Monday night’s game with 3,697 passing yards, Carr is 303 yards shy from his first 4,000-yard passing season.

Wide receiver Jordy Nelson led the Raiders with six catches for 88 yards.

Lee Smith, who is better known for his blocking, has been more of a scorer in recent weeks, hauling in a touchdown for the third-straight game.

Defensively, safety Karl Joseph led the team with eight tackles (six solo) and his first sack of the season. Fellow safety Erik Harris recorded his first-career interception.

The Broncos (6-8) enter Week 16 losing to the Cleveland Browns 17-16 at home last Saturday. The slim loss eliminated Denver from playoff contention in the AFC, and puts them one loss away from back-to-back losing seasons. Denver finished 5-11 in 2017.

Denver is looking to complete the season sweep over Oakland, after defeating the Raiders 20-19 at Denver Stadium at Mile High in Week 2. The Broncos rallied from a 12-point second-half deficit, capped off by kicker Brandon McManus’ 36-yard game-winning field goal just inside the right upright with 6 seconds to play.

Broncos rookie running back Phillip Lindsay, who was named to the AFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday, rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries against the Raiders in Week 2.

On the season, Lindsay has rushed for 991 yards to go along with nine touchdowns on 182 carries in 14 games (seven starts) for the Broncos.

Linebacker Von Miller continues to be a terror on defense. The former Defensive Player of the Year leads the the team with 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, and was voted to his eighth Pro Bowl team. Fellow linebacker Bradley Chubb is second on the Broncos with 12.0 sacks and was named an alternate to the Pro Bowl.

Chubb, the Broncos’ top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is 2.5 sacks away from tying Jevon Kearse’s (14.5) NFL record for rookies, set in 1999 with the Tennessee Titans.