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Opponent Offseason Update: San Francisco 49ers

Posted Jun 26, 2017

As we move closer to the start of training camp, Giants.com will take a closer look at each opponent this season and how they’ve adjusted their roster over the course of the offseason.

Today, we look at the San Francisco 49ers. The Giants play at San Francisco on November 12.  

Last Season: 2-14. The 49ers have a new head coach in Kyle Shanahan and a new general manager in John Lynch. They are rebuilding and basically starting over from scratch, making last year’s record somewhat unimportant.

Home: 1-7
Road: 1-7
Division: 2-14
Point Differential: -171

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Key Additions: WR Pierre Garcon, WR Marquise Goodwin, PK Robbie Gould, QB Brian Hoyer, FB Kyle Juszczyk, TE Logan Paulsen, LB Malcolm Smith, QB Matt Barkley, WR Aldrick Robinson, LB Brock Coyle, Jeremy Zuttah, RB Tim Hightower, OL Gary Gilliam, OL Brandon Fusco, OLB Elvis Dumervil

Key Losses: S Antoine Bethea, C Marcus Martin, WR Torrey Smith, QB Colin Kaepernick, QB Blaine Gabbert, C Alex Balducci, DT Chris Jones, CB Tramaine Brock, WR Rod Streater, RB Shaun Draughn

Draft Class: DT Solomon Thomas, LB Reuben Foster, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, QB CJ Beathard, RB Joe Williams, TE George Kittle, WR Trent Taylor, DT D.J. Jones, LB Pita Taumoepenu, DB Adrian Colbert

Overview: The 49ers’ only two victories last year came against the Rams.   

2016 Offense

31st yards per game
4th rush yards per game
32nd pass yards per game
27th in points per game
30th Third down %
2nd Red Zone %

The 49ers have a completely redone offense for the 2017 season when it comes to the passing game. Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley (also Iowa draft pick C.J. Beathard) are the top two quarterbacks on the depth chart with new targets Pierre Garcon and Marquise Goodwin, who arrived from the Redskins and Bills, respectively. Jeremy Kerley and Bruce Ellington should be reliable targets in the slot.

Running back Carlos Hyde returns to try to put together a healthy 16 game season for the first time in his NFL career behind a relatively intact offensive line. Hyde averaged 4.6 yards per carry last year and has been effective when he has managed to stay on the field during his NFL career. Joe Williams is a promising rookie backup that will challenge for playing time.

2016 Defense

32nd yards per game
32nd rush yards per game
14th pass yards per game
12th sack rate
29th 3rd down percentage
27th red zone percentage
T-24th Turnover Ratio (-5)

The 49ers hope that the return to a more traditional offense from Chip Kelly’s breakneck style last year will result in better results on defense. NaVorro Bowman is trying to return from a torn achilles tendon. Continued growth from past draft picks DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead would also help things.

The defense should also be bolstered by draft picks Solomon Thomas, Reuben Foster, and Ahkello Witherspoon. Eric Reid and Jimmie Ward should hold down the safety positions while experienced linebackers Ahmad Brooks and Malcolm Smith should be able to hold down that level of the defense. Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson both return at cornerback and are currently penciled in as starters.

Conclusion: The 49ers are a rebuilding team and they will go through some lumps as they try to give their younger players experience to prepare them for future success.