49ers Taylor

In Week 4, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brian Hoyer attempted 13 passes to rookie wide receiver Trent Taylor — and 12 of the 13 were thrown on third down. Unfortunately for the Niners, only two of those 12 third-down passes to Taylor were completed and converted for a first down.

Sunday’s Week 4 loss to the Arizona Cardinals was more of the same for the winless San Francisco 49ers; the Niners accumulated far too many penalties, converted only 26 percent of their third-down attempts and failed to score a touchdown in a game for the third time this season.

 The 49ers now lead the league with 39 penalties after adding 13 penalties for 113 yards against Arizona.

Not counted in their penalty yardage was an offensive pass-interference call on wide receiver Trent Taylor — his second questionable PI penalty in two weeks — which nullified a touchdown reception by running back Matt Breida

The 49ers were officially 5-of-19 on third-down attempts, which dropped the team to a 30-percent conversion rate for the season, which is third worst in the NFL.

What has become a common theme — and was perpetuated on Sunday with cornerback Patrick Peterson shadowing wide receiver Pierre Garçon — is quarterback Brian Hoyer’s reliance on Taylor on third down.

As soon as the ball is snapped on third down, Hoyer immediately looks to his slot receiver, and usually throws it to him regardless of coverage.

Not surprisingly, this strategy isn’t working.

The 49ers ran a total of 22 plays on third down — 19 official plays, and three plays negated by penalty. Twenty-one of the 22 plays were pass attempts, and 12 of the 21 passes were intended for Taylor. Taylor caught just four of those intended passes and converted just two for a first down, with an additional first down awarded due to a pass-interference penalty.

Also surprising was Taylor’s lack of usage on early downs. In a game where Hoyer threw over 30 passes on first and second down, only one of those passes was intended for his rookie wide receiver.

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About the Author: Chris Wilson

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