Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Cal and Stanford get opening day wins; 49ers open in Tampa Bay and Raiders host Denver on MNF; plus more

Photo credit: mercurynews.com

On the Headline Sports podcast with Barbara:

#1 For the Cal Bears, getting a victory on opening day last Saturday was an important way to start the 2019 season with a win over UC Davis at Memorial Stadium and what a way to start with running back Christopher Brown Jr. rushing for 197 yards to help lead the team to a 27-13 win.

#2 The Stanford Cardinal defeated Northwestern, but the Cardinal lost their starting quarterback during the game when KJ Costello took a forearm to the head. The Cardinal hung onto win it 17-7. Costello could muster only one strong drive before the injury. The Cardinal are on the road next week to face the USC Trojans next Saturday.

#3 The San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took Thursday Night Football off last week and the 49ers went with three quarterbacks: Nick Mullins, CJ Beathard, and Nick Speight. Speight and Beathard both saw the most time in the game with Mullens resting. Is that an indication that Nick Mullens, who saw limited time will be the backup, and head coach Kyle Shanahan wants to see if Beathard or Speight will fill the third-string spot?

#4 The Oakland Raiders look as if they had a very solid preseason winning three of their four games. Raider head coach Jon Gruden said he’s happy with the progress of backup quarterbacks Nathan Peterman (out with elbow injury) and Mike Glennon who he’ll really depend on if starting quarterback Derek Carr ever needs a rest.

#5 The Oakland A’s are hosting the LA Angels and Detroit Tigers this week at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s are 1/2 game back in the AL wild card behind second place Cleveland. It could go right down to the wire for a chance of a wild card birth.

Join Barbara for Headline Sports each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Garoppolo Bounces Back in Win Over Chiefs 27-17

photo from sfgate.com: San Francisco 49ers quarterback throws behind 49ers offensive guard Mike Person (68) during the first half of Saturday Night Football’s game against the host Kansas City Chiefs in the final pre season game for 2019

by Joe Lami

Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back to expectations in his second appearance of the pre-season on Saturday night. After an abysmal performance on Monday, Jimmy G threw for 188 yards completing 14 of 20 passes and adding a touchdown in his first half dress rehearsal.

Garoppolo opened the Niners scoring with a 20-yard completion to Matt Breida to cap a seven-play, 78-yard drive, in which he went 4-for-4. He completed two more drives that ended with Robbie Gould field goals. After a 0.0 passer rating against the Broncos, Garoppolo greatly improved to a 116.2.

The Niners improved to 3-0 on the pre-season by defeating the Kansas City Chiefs 27-17. Most importantly, their dry run went phenomenal and gives hope that they’ll be ready when the season kicks off.

After showing strong defense all pre-season, the Niners defense got torched by MVP Patrick Mahomes on the opening drive. He found running back Damien Williams for a 62-yard quick touchdown strike. However, the defense was able to rebound by keeping Mahomes out of the end zone the rest of his night. He finished 8-of-10 for 126 yards.

Nick Mullens came in for backup duty; passing 8-of-11 for 84 yards. CJ Beathard didn’t see the field on Saturday night, which could give insight to how Kyle Shanahan is leaning for the backup spot.

Jeff Wilson Jr. is going to make cut down day difficult for the red and gold. He continues to impress, scoring two touchdowns in the second half, making the difference in the win. He finished with 45 yards on 12 carries and the two scores.

Kwon Alexander made his debut finishing with three tackles.

Damontre Moore stole the show with two sacks, five tackles, and four QB hits. Moore may be playing well enough to earn the 49ers a draft pick when they trade him since there’s just no room on the D-line for him on this team.

The Niners wrap up their preseason on Thursday at home versus the Chargers. While we won’t see most of the starters, we’ll get an in-depth look at how the 53-man roster is beginning to form.

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.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: Garoppolo back to the drawing board on finding targets; Kittle and Staley miss practice due to injuries; plus more

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On the 49ers podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 How much concern should the 49ers have with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after throwing five picks in practice on Wednesday? Garoppolo threw much better in joint practices with the Denver Broncos on Thursday.

#2 49ers backups Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard looked good in their first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday night in the 49ers’ first preseason game.

#3 Tight end George Kittle missed his second consecutive practice because of calf. Kittle is a key player and the 49ers hope that he won’t miss too much time on Monday night in Denver.

#4 Left tackle Joe Staley was out due to pectoral soreness, Staley was kept out of drills. It’s just a question whether he’ll be able to play on Monday night.

#5 Beathard was out with a thumb injury, but that didn’t stop him he came back with a taped up right hand and thumb and threw during team drills.

Joe Lami does the 49ers podcasts each Friday for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Will injuries impact 49ers going into the regular season?; Mullens and Beathard, who will be the backup at QB?

Photo credit: sfchronicle.com

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 What is it with all the injuries? It wasn’t even until the first preseason game and you had lineman Shon Coleman out after the third offensive play of the game with an ankle injury, wide receiver Trent Taylor had surgery on his broken pinkie toe, Taylor could come back from the injury in time for the regular season, running back Raheem Mostert and defensive lineman DJ Jones left at the end of Saturday night’s game Mostert with a concussion and Jones with a knee.

#2 Compare the quarterbacks Nick Mullens, who threw for 11 for 17 for 105 yards, and CJ Beathard, who went 13-17 for 145 yards. Looks like the quarterbacking situation at least for the first preseason game is a good problem to have for head coach Kyle Shanahan.

David does the San Francisco 49ers podcasts each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Rookies Shine While Injuries and Penalties Concern 49ers in 17-9 Win

file photo by sfgate.com: San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens, right, throws a pass at the team’s NFL football training camp in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, July 29, 2019

By: Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA — Despite sitting nearly 30 players in their pre-season opener, the 49ers couldn’t stay away from the injury bug on Saturday night’s 17-9 win over the Cowboys.

Expected swing lineman, Shon Coleman, went down during San Francisco’s third offensive play of the game. Ruled with an ankle injury, he was put in an air cast and carted off the field.

The injury to the back-up tackle could be a huge storyline this season since he’s listed as the number two to both LT Joe Staley and RT Mike McGlinchey.

Reports also surfaced during the game that wide receiver Trent Taylor had surgery on a broken pinkie toe on Friday. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the pre-season but hopes to come back early in the regular season via a message from Instagram.

Both running back Raheem Mostert and defensive lineman DJ Jones went down for the conclusion of the contest. Mostert suffered a concussion, while Jones went out with a knee.

The battle for the back-up quarterback spot has been highlighted through camp so far. Despite their records, both Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard are neck and neck heading into the first game.

Mullens played the entire first half on Saturday night, throwing 11 of 17 for 105 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Mullens found third-round rookie Jalen Hurd for the half’s only touchdown. Chalk the interception up to Mullens getting hit during a throw.

CJ Beathard saw the field in the second half. On his first drop back, he was sacked for five yards but fared better as his night went on. Finishing 13 of 17 for 145 yards, Beathard threw a pick and a TD to Hurd.

The Niners defense held up for the most part. Bending at most times but not breaking, they forced the Cowboys to kick three field goals. Dak Prescott started the first drive for Dallas, going four-of-four for 23 yards before stalling and forced to kick a field goal.

Penalties once again remain a concern for the Niners and could be a significant sign of things to come, as they committed 18 penalties for 216 yards. In both seasons under Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers have finished in the bottom third of the NFL in penalties committed and Saturday night was glaring.

Rookie Spotlight

Three rookies made an impression on Saturday night. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw made the immediate impression; tallying five tackles in the first half, including four on Cowboys’ opening drive. His pursuit is noticeable and it’s obvious the fifth-round pick from Arkansas has a nose for the football.

At times, he over pursuits; picking up a roughing the passer penalty after getting to the QB too late. However, on the next play, he continued to show aggressiveness getting a tackle for loss.

Jalen Hurd’s first catch in a 49er uniform found paydirt. After a play-action rollout from Mullens, Hurd broke one tackle and battled through another defender past the goal line. Hurd added his second of the night when Beathard found him in the left corner of the end zone to start the fourth quarter.

After spending three seasons at Tennessee as a running back, Hurd converted to wide receiver while transferring to Baylor. The 6-foot-5-inch receiver has the size and means streak to become San Francisco’s answer to poor red-zone performance.

We saw second-round pick Debo Samuel get the ball once, but the kid can fly. He was able to turn the corner on a jet sweep and pick up 14 yards like it was nothing. In the third quarter, he climbed the ladder on a 45-yard reception hopping over a Cowboys’ DB to make the snag.

He finished for a combined 75 yards on five touches. He will be fun to watch as the pre-season continues.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: 49ers on track, can they take out the Mighty Bears this Sunday at Levi’s?

Photo credit: ninerswire.usatoday.com

On the 49ers podcast with Joe:

#1 Joe, the 49ers have worked hard for their victories in their last two games both home games against Denver and Seattle. Taking the Denver game first, George Kittle’s record setting first half certainly set the tone, didn’t it?

#2 Nick Mullens has been throwing for yards and touchdowns and helping keep the scoring ahead of the opponents.

#3 Against Seattle, 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman has been all things anti-Seahawks and how much of an impact has Sherman been in stopping the Seahawks last Sunday?

#4 After getting these two key victories at home at Levi’s Stadium, how much does that set the tone going into next season?

#5 This Sunday, it’s Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears the NFC’s North Division first place team at 10-4.

Joe Lami does the 49ers podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

49ers hope to keep win streak going vs. Bears

Photo credit: bleacherreport.com

By Jeremy Harness

This is a familiar trend for the 49ers.

They have long been out of the playoff picture, but they are hoping to get some carryover effect going for next season by going on a winning streak toward the end of this year.

The big difference here is that Jimmy Garoppolo is not under center for the 49ers at this point of the season, having been lost for the season with an ACL tear. Rather, it is undrafted Nick Mullens, who has opened eyes around the league with his surprising play.

That continued as the team scored an upset win over the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday, the first time since 2013 they have done so. Mullens will have a tougher defense to face this Sunday, as the Khalil Mack-led Chicago Bears will visit Levi’s Stadium.

As for the injury report, the 49ers are getting healthier. Running back Matt Breida has been limited in practice this week with the ankle injury he suffered weeks ago and is expected to play Sunday. Meanwhile, safety Jaquiski Tartt, who is nursing a shoulder injury, was also limited in practice this week but is expected to see the field against Chicago.

Linebacker Malcolm Smith has also been limited due to soreness in his Achilles tendon, while cornerback K’Waun Williams has been limited while nursing a knee ailment.

For the Bears, former 49er Aaron Lynch has been on the injury report with an elbow ailment, which has limited him in this week’s practices. The same goes for safety Eddie Jackson, who has an ankle injury, but is expected to play Sunday.

49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Sherman and Mullens made the difference in the 49ers victory against Seattle

@49ers photo: San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman seen in the 49ers locker room after the 49ers three point win over Sherman’s former team the Seattle Seahawks on Sun Dec 16th at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara

On the 49ers podcast with David:

49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was thrilled to face his old teammates again the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday in a game the 49ers won by three points 26-23. The game in overtime saw the Seahawks  hit for a holding penalty and it took out the Hawks 32 yard drive and first down that ruined their comeback stopped by the Sherman and the 49ers.

49ers quarterback Nick Mullens had a busy afternoon with 20 completions in 31 attempts for 237 yards and two touchdowns in rainy weather at Levis Stadium. Kicker Robbie Gould hit a game winning field goal Mullens was not intercepted by the Seahawks defense not once.

David Zizmor does the 49ers podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: 49ers looking to catch some more breaks this Sunday against Seahawks

msn.com file photo: 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan in file photo from Nov. 1st game versus the Oakland Raiders at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara

On the 49ers podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said the clock flub at the end of Sunday’s game had quarterback Nick Mullens not taking a knee, but instead the ball was a turnover to the Denver Broncos. Lucky for San Francisco on the last play of the game, the Broncos wide receiver Tim Patrick lateraled and the ball rolled out of bounds midfield, which helped SF win and run the clock out.

#2 Shanahan who was fined by the NFL $25,000 for yelling an obscenity at an official and drew an unsportsmanship-like conduct back on Dec. 2 in Seattle. Shanahan said he would appeal a play that he felt should have stopped the clock after 49ers linebacker Fred Warner had lost his shoe and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw it off the field Shanahan said the officials should have stopped the clock and that Warner should have been allowed to get his shoe back, but promised he wouldn’t swear at the officials again.

#3 San Francisco’s George Kittle had a career day in the first half last Sunday against the Broncos with 210 yards, seven catches, with a 85-yard touchdown.

#4 Mullens had a good offensive afternoon 22-33 for 332 yards. Mullens finished with a 102.1 passer rating.

#5 The Seattle Seahawks, who streamrolled the 49ers in Seattle on Dec. 2, will be at Levi’s Stadium this Sunday. Joe tells what the 49ers’ chances are this Sunday.

Joe Lami is the San Francisco 49ers beat writer and does the 49ers podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com