The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: 5 Passages from Week 12

The 49ers’ offense peaked in Mexico City the week before and then fell to sea level against the visiting New Orleans Saints. Here are five takeaways from the 13-0 win from the bailout.

1. Numbers don’t lie, do they?

During the broadcast, the FOX crew presented the topic of the week. Jimmy Garoppolo has a track record similar to that of Joe Montana and Steve Young. As expected, it sparked a late-season wildfire on social media. The numbers are not fake; they are true. The classic “wins aren’t a QB statistic” argument comes up.

Wins are a QB statistic, depending on the context. For the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers can claim his fair share of head coach Matt LaFleur’s 39-10 record. The same cannot be said about every QB. A viable QB on a good team can win many games. Jared Goff has a 42-20 record with Sean McVay.

Garoppolo deserves credit for many things he does on and off the field, but the stats presented without context are meaningless.

2. Lower your expectations of attacks

The offensive was fun to watch the week before but resumed regular duty on Sunday. The game was played at high altitude after a short week. The offense scored a lone field goal in the second half.

The 49ers attempted to regain their 2019 goal-scoring efficiency in a variety of ways. The truth is they have no answers.

The Saints defense is allowing 23.3 points per game, but the 49ers were well behind. The Saints’ stingy defense challenged the 49ers to throw deep, with defenders pushing the line of scrimmage. The 49ers have done enough to get their way, and December is going to be tough.

Elijah Mitchell is out for 6-8 weeks after an MCL sprain. Mitchell was the missing piece the 49ers needed to unleash the rushing attack, even with the presence of Christian McCaffrey. The team’s inability to keep its running backs healthy throughout the season is frustrating. Since Jeff Wilson is a dolphin they face in week 13, Jordan Mason has to share duties with McCaffrey. Mason looked impressive coming on as a substitute late in the third quarter.

Deebo Samuel is the other option for the 49ers in the backfield, but whether he can repeat what he did last year and stay healthy is a question.

Garoppolo was bullied by Golden State Warriors cheerleaders a few days ago, and the Saints did the same without any love on Sunday. The quarterback was hit by several heavy hits and visible bruises over the course of the game.

Garoppolo had 28 passing attempts in the first half alone, which is a career high. His interception was reversed due to a defense penalty. His streak of four games without a turnover saved the 49ers in November.

Lance casually threw some passes on the touchline before the game and a few light training clips emerged to indicate his recovery is better than expected. The 49ers went into the season with Lance as the designated QB1. But even if he’s perfectly healthy going into the playoffs, he may have to stay out.

An injury fear for Garoppolo is likely the sole reason for the 49ers to activate Lance. The players were happy as Garoppolo was back at the top after Lance’s injury. Don’t expect Shanahan to complicate things.

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