Takeaways from 49ers 24-20 loss to Cardinals

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The 49ers’ “revenge tour” got off to a slow start Sunday with a 24-20 loss to the Cardinals. It’s hard to put too much stock into Week 1 of the NFL season, but a few big-picture things stood out for San Francisco.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="The overall numbers don’t show that Garoppolo had a rough outing Sunday. He finished 19-33 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He wound up going just 8-17 in the second half though and outside the box score, missed a number of wide open receivers. The throw that stands out the most is an underthrow to Kendrick Bourne on the final drive where Bourne got in behind cornerback Patrick Peterson. Garoppolo found Bourne, but his throw came up short and hit Peterson’s helmet as he tried to catch up to the receiver. It wasn’t the worst game Garoppolo has played, but evidence of improvement the team hoped to see was not apparent.” data-reactid=”45″>The overall numbers don’t show that Garoppolo had a rough outing Sunday. He finished 19-33 for 259 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. He wound up going just 8-17 in the second half though and outside the box score, missed a number of wide open receivers. The throw that stands out the most is an underthrow to Kendrick Bourne on the final drive where Bourne got in behind cornerback Patrick Peterson. Garoppolo found Bourne, but his throw came up short and hit Peterson’s helmet as he tried to catch up to the receiver. It wasn’t the worst game Garoppolo has played, but evidence of improvement the team hoped to see was not apparent.

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Mostert got his first ever start and drastically out-touched the other two running backs. He had 19 total touches, compared to six for Jerick McKinnon and five for Tevin Coleman. Mostert had a team-high 15 carries – a number he reached only once last year. He’s by far their best runner, and if he continues to be involved in the passing game, he’ll see a lion’s share of the work this season.” data-reactid=”64″>Mostert got his first ever start and drastically out-touched the other two running backs. He had 19 total touches, compared to six for Jerick McKinnon and five for Tevin Coleman. Mostert had a team-high 15 carries – a number he reached only once last year. He’s by far their best runner, and if he continues to be involved in the passing game, he’ll see a lion’s share of the work this season.

But Jerick McKinnon is a close No. 2

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(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

It was apparent why the 49ers signed McKinnon before the 2018 season. He’s finally healthy and turned in a productive outing on minimal work. He rushed three times for 24 yards, and hauled in three catches for 20 yards and a touchdown. Coleman got some work, but Garoppolo is clearly comfortable with McKinnon, and he should continue getting more work as the season rolls along.

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(AP Photo/Josie Lepe)

It turns out Hopkins is good at football. The former Texans receiver dazzled in his debut with his new club, putting up 151 yards on a career-high 14 catches. San Francisco never found an answer for him. Murray continued tormenting the 49ers’ defense with his legs. He escaped multiple sacks to help mitigate their pass rush. The second-year quarterback posted 91 rushing yards, including a 22-yard touchdown to put the Cardinals ahead late. Fortunately for the 49ers, they don’t see Murray, Hopkins and Arizona again until Week 16.

WR issues hard to overcome

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

<p class="canvas-atom canvas-text Mb(1.0em) Mb(0)–sm Mt(0.8em)–sm" type="text" content="Deebo Samuel is on Injured Reserve with a foot injury, and Brandon Aiyuk was ruled out before the game with a hamstring injury. That gave San Francisco just four healthy wide receivers. Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Richie James Jr. combined for just four catches for 41 yards on 11 targets. Samuel is out for the next two games at least, but it’s clear they at least need Aiyuk in the lineup if their receiving corps is going to be effective.” data-reactid=”125″>Deebo Samuel is on Injured Reserve with a foot injury, and Brandon Aiyuk was ruled out before the game with a hamstring injury. That gave San Francisco just four healthy wide receivers. Dante Pettis, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Richie James Jr. combined for just four catches for 41 yards on 11 targets. Samuel is out for the next two games at least, but it’s clear they at least need Aiyuk in the lineup if their receiving corps is going to be effective.

Conversion issues

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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Part of the 49ers’ issue on offense was their inability to convert on third down and in the red zone. They were 2-for-11 on third downs, 0-for-2 on fourth downs, 1-for-4 in the red zone and 1-for-2 in goal-to-go situations. Not staying on the field, and not turning red zone trips into points allowed the Cardinals to stay in the game after they fell behind early.

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