The third exhibition game is usually considered the “dry run” before the regular season and gives coaches and players somewhat of a barometer as to where things stand. The starters will play more than in previous weeks, but make no mistake, this game is still much more about getting the roster figured out.
Here are the key items to know for today’s match-up against the Green Bay Packers.
If you watched San Francisco’s 31-24 victory over the Denver Broncos this past Saturday, then you have to be encouraged a little about how things are progressing. While there were a few items of concern, Saturday was an overall positive. Here are Game Two’s “Good, Correctable, and Concerning” :
The quarterback competition got a little more interesting as Christian Ponder got into the mix. Blaine Gabbert was 6 for 9 and tallied 69 yards, but was replaced by Jeff Driskel and then Ponder, who scored on a 22 yard zone-read keeper and then later threw a 30 yard touchdown to receiver Dres Anderson.
Ponder looked very comfortable in the offense, going 7 for 8 for 86 yards and a touchdown. Colin Kaepernick will be back for Friday’s game against the Packers, but the competition doesn’t appear to be won by Gabbert at this point.
Vance McDonald continues to make strides as he again led the team in receptions and now has five for 92 yards and a score.
It was a great day for the 49ers as they were able to hang on for a 25-20 win against the Baltimore Ravens and snap their 4 game losing streak.
The offense moved the ball well. Overall, it was nice to see the big plays to Aquan Boldin, Torrey Smith, Quinton Patton, and yes, even Bruce Miller.
Though Carlos Hyde was slowed with a foot injury, the offensive line played well overall, with Andrew Tiller getting a positive PFF rating and logging more snaps than Jordan Devey.
Colin Kaepernick has looked much more comfortable under center and made some very good throws.
The defense did just enough to win. They did get some pressure and forced an interception.
Phil Dawson is still a great kicker
Center Marcus Martin is still looking like a backup rather than a starter. The Niners really need Daniel Kilgore back in the lineup.
Injuries will be tough to deal with this week. A lot of the offensive line is hurt, as is Hyde and Boldin. All will likely play, but it’s unknown as to how much they’ll be affected.
Consistency. While everything worked out, if the Niners are going to win Thursday against Seattle, they need a complete game from everyone. This team, especially the defense, is not consistent and it shows every week.
Vernon Davis and Reggie Bush look like they will be back in the lineup, which will hopefully help.
NaVorro Bowman played in all 77 snaps and looks like he’s starting to turn the corner on being all the way back
Seattle has problems all over the place on their team, but they still appear to be able to likely win on Thursday. It will be interesting to see if Carroll is losing the team or if they have just lost close games to good teams.
All of the 49er fans that watched Sunday Night’s game had to feel encouraged and also very hopeful as they saw their team overcome early adversity and take a 27-23 lead with just over a minute left.
We Niner fans have been through an awful lot and for a short time, it seemed like there was a chance we could witness a game in which San Francisco could get back in the race and show that they can win games.