Pass-happy Kyle Shanahan here to stay with good Jimmy G?


SANTA CLARA – It’s Thanksgiving Week, meaning the turkey, cranberries and a 49ers mailbag all taste better amid a three-game win streak:

Is the pass-first 49ers’ approach here to stay? (@mark.shapiro.80)

Pass the cranberries. Pass the yams. Pass the football over and over again, Jimmy Garoppolo. Now, before you daydream about a vertical-passing threat after your turducken, keep in mind that the 49ers’ passing attack is flourishing for multiple reasons. Garoppolo is seizing on Christian McCaffrey’s capabilities out of the backfield and slot: seven catches on seven targets (67 yards) in Monday night’s 38-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals in Mexico City. When Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and George Kittle are also healthy, happy and producing, this can be a pass-first offense, when warranted. Kyle Shanahan will strive for balance, for rushing dominance, and, if hungry, for more cranberries.

What are the main points to improve to reach the Super Bowl? (@ankemagnuss)

Success on third-and-long could be fleeting, and greater gains on early runs would help. How good is their two-minute drill, by the way? The 49ers rank 15th in red-zone conversions, 27th in goal-to-go success. Defensively, it’s been a month since Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs put up 44 points, so the Miami Dolphins’ visit Dec. 4 could be a barometer of how far the 49ers have come. They have only one fumble recovery on defense — all season. Special teams still seem a bit of a wild card. Still, Glendale, here they come?!?

Have we “arrived” or was that just the Cardinals? (@hardcore_fitness_x)

A three-game win streak should reinforce confidence in the 49ers’ stock, regardless of how bad an outfit the Cardinals remain. But the 49ers won’t truly arrive until they qualify for the postseason trophy dash.

Given the remaining schedule, what do you think the 49ers’ record will be and why? (@michael_budd)

They’re 6-4 now. They have seven games remaining, five at home; same goes for the Seahawks. The Niners’ only road trips left are a Thursday, Dec. 15 visit to Seattle that they won’t take lightly, and a Jan. 1 Vegas debut. The 49ers could be favored in all games, and let’s assume they hiccup at least once, en route to a 12-5 mark and the NFC West crown.

Who is the 49ers’ most valuable player, and why is it Trent Williams? (@JeffDomingues)

Cardinals safety Budda Baker surely agrees with you, after he was bulldozed Monday night. Williams looked back to his All-Pro form, two months after his high ankle sprain. The 49ers, by the way, beat the Rams and the Panthers without Williams. My midseason awards had Jimmy Garoppolo as the offensive MVP and Nick Bosa as the defensive MVP. I’m not moving off those picks yet.

One more award note: Fullback Kyle Juszczyk, whose main job is to block opponents into oblivion, is the 49ers’ nominee for the Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, which tells you how appropriately and professionally he conducts business.

Is there any thought of keeping Jimmy G long-term and trading Lance? (@sjjudson)

I’d think the 49ers would be quite open to retaining this red-hot version of Garoppolo, and I don’t get any sense they want to move Lance. They’re living in the now, and as complicated as 2023 might be, these past two seasons have shown they’re all willing to navigate odd paths. Garoppolo’s thoughts might be more pertinent, because he has a no-tag clause and can cash in as a free agent from this (revised) contract year.

How does CMC feel about getting fewer carries Monday? (@49ersbruno)



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