We poor, nervous fans got a little clarity Sunday night as the 49er first teamers chucked off the rust, played most of the first half, and took a 20-7 half time lead on the way to cruising past the Vikings 34-17. They even scored a Red Zone TD when Colin Kaepernick threw a strike to rookie WR Quinton Patton streaking along the back line of the end zone. This kid can play! And that’s life in the GM Zone: whiff on a 1st round WR and hit it big on a 4th round guy.
It’s looked like a mess ever since Michael Crabtree got injured, but the 49ers do seem to have found some WRs in the bargain barrel who can get open and catch the ball. Marvelous. In addition to Patton making everyone forget AJ Jenkins in a heartbeat, Miami castoff Marlon Moore also looked solid. Later on in the game, we got a peek at the guy who actually did replace Jenkins, Jon Baldwin, and he too made a couple of impressive catches. Too bad they wasted the first two exhibition games trying to complete a pass to Jenkins, it almost cost Colt McCoy his job as the backup QB.
But McCoy, after a sloppy start, looked good enough Sunday that Jim Harbaugh dubbed him the official number two guy shortly after the game. He’ll probably get traded ten seconds after this column is posted, but if not, then the only suspense left is who will be the number three guy. Okay, “suspense” might be too strong a word. “Vacant curiosity” is more like it.
Long shot 7th round QB BJ Daniels is a runaway winner of this year’s Kory Sheets Award as the most exciting exhibition player who might never play a down in the NFL — or even make the final 53 man cut. BJ looked smooth and elusive again last night, guiding the team to a fourth quarter TD.
The 49ers seem good to go for another run at that sixth Super Bowl victory. The defense has been outstanding in the preseason. Nnamdi Asomugha has pretty much nailed down the 3rd CB job, rookie Eric Reid has been solid replacing Dashon Goldson, and the secondary will once again go as far as the pass rush and SS Donte Whitner’s minimalist coverage skills allow it to go.
One more exhibition game left, this Thursday night against the Chargers. The all scrubbeenie, roster bubble bowl. A fun game. Fifteen guys will get cut by Tuesday and not make it to this game and another 22 will be hosed soon after the game. It’s life or death on the NFL Mendoza Line. Can Lavelle Hawkins perform another electrifying brain-dead great play while collecting a 15 yard excessive celebration penalty to wrap it up? Not once, but TWICE! The guy’s got skills. They ain’t located in the old bean top, though. Whistling through the graveyard up there. ♫Aaahoo! Werewolves of London!♫