Humboldt Beacon (http://www.humboldtbeacon.com)

49ers notes: Trent Taylor overcomes illness with clutch catches


By Cam Inman, Bay Area News Group

Monday, December 4, 2017

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CHICAGO – Rookie wide receiver Taylor literally gutted it out Sunday, overcoming a bout of food poisoning Sunday morning to become Jimmy Garoppolo’s clutchest wide receiver in the 49ers’ 15-14 win.
"I wasn’t going to let it hold me back. I love this game too much," said Taylor, who set career highs with six receptions for 92 yards.
Nearly half of Garoppolo’s passes were targeted for Taylor and Marquise Goodwin, both of whom caught each one that came their way. Goodwin had a career-high eight catches for 99 yards.
"We have not caught the ball real consistently this year and the guys had the best game with catching the ball," 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said.
Of Taylor’s six receptions, five resulted in third-down conversions, and none bigger than his 33-yard haul on third-and-9 to the Bears 18-yard line, setting up Robbie Gould’s winning field goal.
"It was a 10-yard in-route," Taylor said. "Luckily I was able to get inside the defender. Jimmy had great placement of the ball, throwing off his back foot, I think. Then it was just make a move from there."
Garoppolo first credited his offensive line for giving him time to throw that pass and keeping him "clean for the most part" on Sunday. On that third-down play, Garoppolo said: "Trent made a great route, I hit him and he got some yards after the catch. I was excited."
Like Taylor, Goodwin credited Garoppolo for throwing passes on the money.
"I had the easy job today," Goodwin said. "I just had to catch the ball. He put it in perfect positions for me to make the play."
The 26 completions were the 49ers’ second-most this season (29 at Indianapolis).
— It took 104 career passes before Garoppolo had one intercepted, and that came in Sunday’s fourth quarter after cornerback Kyle Fuller wrestled it from Louis Murphy.
"It was a good ball. I actually caught it clean," Murphy said. "But Fuller’s a good cornerback and made a great play on the ball. When I got hit, the ball kind of jarred loose and he took it. It was a bang-bang play."
Murphy vowed to Garoppolo he would make amends, and he did exactly that in the third quarter by catching a pass in triple coverage. "The linebacker didn’t have vision on me so I knew he wasn’t going to make a play on the ball," Garoppolo said. "I just had to keep it away from the safety and other linebacker. I kept it low, Murph made a tremendous catch, I heard."
— Unable to score touchdowns on their five trips into the red zone, the 49ers at least came away with a field goal each time. Robbie Gould, who became the Bears’ all-time leading scorer from 2005-15, excelled in his return with the 49ers. He matched his career high with five field goals, from 33, 28, 35, 34 and 24 yards. He is 26-of-28 this season with at least one field-goal in any game.
“This one means a lot to me,” said Gould, who called the Bears “the greatest sports organization” with the “greatest fans” he’s been a part of while also commending 49ers fans who’ve stuck with them “through thick and thin.”
Gould is the first kicker to make five field goals at Soldier Field since 2012 (Carolina’s Justin Medlock).
— Carlos Hyde had only 54 yards on 17 carries, but an 18-yard gain on third-and-1 kep alive their winning drive near midfield. "It was open on the front side, so I just hit it," Hyde said. "That helped us get in position to win the game." Hyde also had three catches for 12 yards.
— Right tackle Trent Brown (shoulder) returned from a one-game absence and played throughout the game. He committed his team-high seventh penalty this season on a holding call.
— Cornerbacks Dontae Johnson and K’Waun Williams each left with unspecified injuries on the second series but returned later in the game. Johnson’s replacement, Greg Mabin, allowed an 8-yard touchdown on his first snap to Dontrelle Inman.
— It took four series until the 49ers had to punt, and when they did, they allowed a 61-yard return for a touchdown to Tarik Cohen. The 49ers had allowed 61 total yards on 24 returns in their first 11 games.
— The 49ers allowed their fewest net yards (147) since 2012 and fewest first downs (eight) since 2010. The Bears’ 36 plays were the fewest by a 49ers opponent since 1991.
— Elvis Dumervil’s sack gave him a team-high 5 1/2 sacks this season. Cassius Marsh had the 49ers’ other sack. Reuben Foster had a team-high seven tackles.
— Three illegal-block penalties stunted the 49ers, but one against the Bears was a potential game saver. Tarik Cohen’s 67-yard punt return to the 49ers’ 16-yard line got called back with 10:39 left. Instead, the Bears started that drive at their 14. On the previous 49ers series, Garrett Celek’s illegal-block penalty pushed the 49ers out of field-goal range and they later punted.