After two poor games, 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer bounced back in Week 3 with a strong performance in a losing effort to the Rams.
Hoyer threw for 332 yards and two touchdowns against Los Angeles after throwing for a cumulative 292 yards and zero TDs in the first two weeks against Carolina and the Seahawks.
Yet once again, Hoyer didn’t have a good start. In all three games, early Hoyer mistakes have helped put the 49ers in a hole. Against the Rams, Hoyer threw an early interception that almost was returned for a touchdown.
So, when the 0-3 49ers take on the 1-2 Cardinals this Sunday in Arizona, Hoyer will try to eliminate those early mistakes and help the Niners gain some momentum and get a lead, which could change the way the game unfolds.
Yet 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said Hoyer and the 49ers as a whole showed grit after that early mistake, which helped propel the Rams to a 41-39 victory.
“I was very excited how everyone responded to that and it was cool watching our team after that,” said Shanahan. “You know, they went and scored right away. But, I could see our whole defensive side, as they were running out on the field, go right up to Hoyer, and ‘Hey, keep ripping it, we’ve got your back. We’re not going to hesitate.’ And stuff like that I think is what really helps a person when your teammates show they still believe in you.”
The analytic website Pro Football Focus, in fact, gave Hoyer a strong grade for the game against the Rams.
“Hoyer, who got off to a rocky start with a near pick-six, followed through extremely well as the game went on, particularly down the field,” wrote PFF. “Hoyer hit two 50+ yard bombs to both Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garcon, while also showing accuracy to all parts of the field. Hoyer was 23-of-37, yet five of those incompletions were drops, giving him an adjusted completion percentage of 77.8 percent.”
Hoyer has been around the league long enough to know it’s his job to keep throwing the football and not get gun-shy if he makes an early mistake.
“You chalk it up,” he told reporters this week. “You move on and go play the rest of the game.”
Sunday’s game is set to kick off at 1:05 p.m. in Arizona.