The third preseason game against Denver was nothing to write home about. But, nobody writes home about practice games anyway.
The game was nationally televised, with FOX’s number one broadcasting team on hand, and Denver used the opportunity to show everyone that Peyton Manning is healthy, can take a hit, throw short passes, and beat vanilla defenses like a drum. 49er 5th string CB Tramaine Brock received an inordinate amount of the abuse, but 2nd string LB Larry Grant proved he’s no NaVorro Bowman, as well.
Good luck in the real games, Peyton. If Parys Haralson can beat your O-line for a clean QB shot, it could be a long year of providing evidence your neck can take a beating.
The defense gave up 17 points in the first quarter, which apparently was mostly the fault of 49er QB Alex Smith. Smith did hit Vernon Davis with a 44 yard TD pass, but it happened so quickly, no one noticed. The offensive line was in sync for the first time in these preseason games, performing poorly at both run blocking and pass blocking. Anthony Dixon had a pretty good day against the scrubeenies in the second half, but in the first half, subbing for injured Brandon Jacobs, he got stuffed on two consecutive runs in the red zone. He did manage to lose his helmet on one of the runs, giving his Do some national exposure, but this Thursday’s final preseason game will no doubt be Dixon’s last game as a 49er.
The team got through the game without any serious injuries to its starters, which was the best news of the night. Ted Ginn injured his ankle (again), but that is getting to be as expected as Kyle Williams turning a fair catch into a hair-raising brush with death.
Colin Kaepernick had his best game as a 49er, taking over in the second half and leading two long scoring drives. Those who fear what may befall the team if Smith goes down (anyone?) can rest a little easier. Kaepernick clearly distinguished himself as the backup QB, justifying the bestowation of said status during the previous week.
All in all, it was another exhibition game that was disappointing to fans looking to see our brand new lethal offense. But Jim Harbaugh is just not going to show it till the real season begins. Some coaches like to get exotic in preseason to give opposing defenses something to worry about in the regular season, but Harbaugh isn’t one of them. Not now, not before, and not ever.
Look for one more vanilla yawner this Thursday against San Diego, then buckle your seats for opening night in Green Bay.