It’s been hard to watch Brian Hoyer lead the 49ers’ offense this season, but his coaches are in no rush to replace him with a rookie. (Mira Laing/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Is there no end to Hoyer’s horror show?

The Santa Clara semi-pro team did the unthinkable in Arizona on Sunday. It almost won a football game for the first time in the regular season.

The defense played well enough to turn an 18-15 overtime loss against the Cardinals into a victory. That makes two times in the last three weeks. But just as no team can survive on field goals alone, this one can’t compete with Brian Hoyer at quarterback.

The latest meltdown was the typical Hoyerror show. Twenty-four completions in 49 pass attempts for 234 yards, three sacks, zero touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Houston Texans rookie phenom Deshaun Watson passed for five touchdowns on Sunday alone. Do you realize the last time Tryin’ Brian had that many in one game was the Hoyer Family Picnic.

A quarter of the way through the season, Hoyer ranks 30th in yards per attempt, 30th in QB rating, 31st in touchdowns and 44th in sacks and 64th in body language.

Throw out the fluky third game of the season, and Santa Clara failed to score even one stinkin’ touchdown in 34 drives in the other three, according to Balls’ Department of Information & Analysis.

Here’s more scary: Hoyer will turn 32 next week.

“You got to throw and catch better,” coach Kyle Shanahan said afterward. “It is as simple as that, at least it was in this game. Guys are open, you got the time, you got to hit them. When he does hit you, you have to catch it. I know nobody is perfect but there was way too much of that between both positions.”

Gee, thanks, coach.

So why won’t Shanahan pull the trigger? Why won’t he call on rookie C.J. Beathard finally, a move that should have been made days ago? True, there’s no good time to start an inexperienced quarterback, but isn’t this season about development as much as anything?

Besides, Shanahan and Lynch thought enough of Beathard to draft him in the third round last spring. Heck, to hear Lynch rave about the guy, one would think the next Joe Montana is on the way.

Well, here’s why Team Shanny-Lynch won’t make the obvious move any time soon: Each has a six-year contract. It’s not in their best interests to get ahead of schedule. Better to stick with the suck-ups even if the team sucks for a couple or three more years, blame the previous administration for the problems and collect draft picks along the way.

You know, so Lynch can take the best Stanford players available.

THEY’RE NO. 1! Santa Clara had 30 of the 52 players around the league who took knees during the national anthem on Sunday.

Hey, at least Santa Clara leads the league in something.

SAY IT AIN’T SO, ’ZO: In response to the NFL’s movement, Santa Clara linebacker NaVorro Bowman had this to say: “This is our brotherhood and our league and we should do what we need to do no matter what we’re hearing on the outside.”

NAKED REVERSE: Raiders goofball Marshawn Lynch took a seat for the national anthem while four staff members and an oversized Gatorade cooler tried to block him from public view.

JUST SAYIN’: The MLB postseason begins with cockamamie single-elimination games this week, but a simple coin flip would spare us the dozen trips to the mound.

Everything from swing trajectory to juiced baseballs has been blamed for the record number of home runs in the major leagues this season. Balls will take More Sophisticated PEDs for 100, Alex.

YOUR TURN: “I truly start to wonder if NFL players get it. Just like all this kneeling for the national anthem. I wonder if the players understand why Colin Kaepernick did this? Do they even care? And now we have the country becoming divided over this as it trickles down into the high school ranks and even grammar school. People I see do not understand why the kneeling even started. Kaepernick needs to step up and be vocal, stop taking a backseat to all this. Has any writer reached out to him to him for a statement? There is to me too much wrong here.” — Bob Novak, Michigan

Got an opinion? A gripe? A compliment? A compliment?! Send them to pladd@aol.com, and who knows, you may get your name in the paper before long.

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