The San Francisco 49ers offense finally came to life in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams. But even after scoring 39 points on "Thursday Night Football", San Francisco's early-game struggles remained.
Through three games, the 49ers have scored just 19 first-half points. That's one rushing touchdown from Pierre Garçon and four Robbie Gould field goals. It's time to stop playing catch-up. Avoiding an early deficit will be a point of emphasis in Week 4 against the Arizona Cardinals.
"You just want to go out there and execute plays," Hoyer said. "Whether it's a run play, pass play. Get a rhythm. Get that first, first down and get things going," Hoyer said. "It's going to be a challenge, especially on the road. It always is. You've just got to go out and keep executing. Sometimes it goes great and you go right down on the field and score. Sometimes you've got to grind it out a little bit, get a feel for what they're doing and go and attack what they're doing."
The Cardinals rank 27th in terms of points allowed. The Detroit Lions put up 35 points in Week 1, and the Dallas Cowboys scored 28 points this past Monday. And yet, Arizona's defense also ranks top 10 in yards allowed. The Cardinals -3 turnover ratio certainly plays a factor in that discrepancy.
For San Francisco, it all comes down to the magical "E" word – execute. When pressed on how the 49ers game script could go about helping the offense find an early rhythm, Hoyer explained that the team's preparations will be business as usual.
Each gameplan is already tailored to how San Francisco can most effectively attack each team's defense. But when the script goes awry or a defense shows something that didn't come up on film, it's up to Hoyer to make the necessary adjustments. That's what he took away from his interception against the Rams on the first play from scrimmage. Nickell Robey-Coleman sat on Goodwin's out route and made a play on the ball. Instead of trying to make something out of nothing, Hoyer knows he should have thrown it into the stands.
"You always try to go in and visualize 'Okay on this play if we get this coverage you're going to go here,'" Hoyer said. "Then it's just about going out and maybe you've got a different coverage than you didn't expect or different run look or whatever it is and you have to be able to adjust and make those adjustments really as the game's going on."
Hoyer's 332-yard performance marked the second-highest single-game total of his career. He showed admirable perseverance to keep San Francisco in the game until the final minute with three total touchdowns and a handful of explosive plays in the passing game.
Now it's about finding that groove from the jump. Doing so would aid San Francisco's pursuit of its first win in 2017.