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8 Takeaways as 49ers Fall to Division Rival Cardinals in Season Opener

It was not the cleanest of performances for the 49ers coming off the 24-20 loss against the Arizona Cardinals. Offensively, the 49ers had several sloppy plays and struggled to move the ball downfield. San Francisco's defense started off strong, but had no answer for quarterback Kyler Murray's speed in the second half. Here are eight takeaways as the 49ers look to bounce back on their road trip to the East Coast.

1. Raheem Mostert was the first member of the 49ers to find the end zone in 2020. On the first play of the 49ers second drive of the game, Jimmy Garoppolo connected with the running back for a 76-yard touchdown reception, the longest reception and score of his career.

According to Next Gen Stats, Mostert's 76-yard score was the fastest speed reached by a ball carrier over the last three seasons.

Mostert led the team with 95 yards receiving and a score to go along with 56 yards on the ground.

2. For the majority of the first half, San Francisco's defensive line managed to keep pressure on Murray. Nick Bosa, Javon Kinlaw and Solomon Thomas all notched quarterback pressures. Kinlaw also registered a run stop against Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake. The second-year quarterback found his footing in the second half, as the 49ers struggled to contain the speedy QB. Murray led the Cardinals with 91 yards rushing, and finished the game with 230 yards through the air, a score and an interception.

3. Newcomer Kerry Hyder Jr. notched the 49ers first sack of the season. Hyder Jr. was signed by the team at the start of free agency by way of the Dallas Cowboys. D.J. Jones was also credited with a sack.

4. DeAndre Hopkins is, and is likely to continue to be a problem for the 49ers. Arizona's new wideout put up 151 yards on 14 catches, including a wide open near-touchdown. Richard Sherman shadowed DeAndre Hopkins during various points of the day – a new wrinkle for the 49ers cornerback who has primarily played on the left side of the field for the majority of his 10-year career.

"I was playing to the open side," Sherman said. "Wherever there was more field, that's the side I was playing to. That was an adjustment that (49ers defensive coordinator Robert) Saleh made."

5. The 49ers first takeaway of the season came on a tipped ball by Dre Greenlaw at the line of scrimmage on a pass intended for wide-open Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams. The pass landed in the hands of Jaquiski Tartt, who returned the ball 16 yards to Arizona's 26-yard line. Tartt's interception marked his first since 2018, a pick against former Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen in Week 8 of the regular season.

6. George Kittle left the game before the half with what looked to be a leg injury. The tight end returned, however, did not register a single reception in the second half. Kittle finished the game with four receptions for 44 yards.

7. The 49ers scored their only red zone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 5-yard pass to a wide-open Jerick McKinnon. San Francisco opened the drive with a 41-yard bomb from Garoppolo to Kyle Juszczyk. A pass interference call three plays later moved the 49ers to the Cardinals 10 to help set up the touchdown. That score marked McKinnon's first touchdown since Dec. 3, 2017 with the Minnesota Vikings.

In his 49ers debut, McKinnon caught three receptions for 20 yards to go along with his score, and tacked on another 24 on the ground.

8. Not his greatest outing, but Garoppolo finished the day, 19-of-33 passing for 259 yards and two touchdowns for a 103.0 passer rating.


Other notables:

  • Richie James left the game in the second half with a hamstring injury. No update yet on the severity.
  • Jordan Reed made his 49ers debut, hauling in both of his targets for 12 yards.
  • Trent Williams may have gone viral with his run block against Cardinals linebacker Jordan Hicks. The left tackle sped off the line of scrimmage and hit the second level and obliterated the defender. Former NFL guard Geoff Schwartz quickly took notice of the play, which has garnered over 1.2 million views (and counting).

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