The 49ers opened the 2013 season with a 7 minute, 13 play drive that honked out in the Red Zone, forcing them to settle for a FG. Hmmm. That was the all too familiar script in the 2012 season, right down to the end. In fact, there were only three 49er drives in the game, and they all wheezed out in the Red Zone.
The scrubs took over after that first drive and provided a two and a half hour cure for insomnia. Denver wasn’t any better and the only TD in the game was a 9 yard fumble recovery jaunt into the endzone by the Bronco’s Shaun Phillips midway through the second quarter — the first of 4 Niner turnovers. A snoozer, folks. And a 10-6 49er loss.
But, it was the blessed return of football. Halleluja!
The mystery number two WR to start opposite Anquan Boldin turned out to be Marlon Moore. Moore made a good catch on the opening drive, then got the starter treatment and did not return to the game. Following him in the WR manhunt were AJ Jenkins, Kassim Osgood, Chuck Jacobs, Chad Hall, Ricardo Lockette, and Austin Collie. All of them looked decent except for the guy 49er fans and management need to look decent — Jenkins. He finally caught a pass, then promptly fumbled it away, and showed about one-tenth the aggressiveness of Hall.
First round pick Eric Reid looked Goldsonesque at FS, delivering sure tackles, solid hits, and good awareness. He didn’t start, but that won’t be the case much longer. Fellow draftee, 2nd rounder Vance McDonald also looked good at TE, catching 4 passes for 66 yards, to lead the team in both categories.
NT Ian Williams, stepping into the shoes of the departed Isaac Sopoaga, did not make the stat sheet, but nevertheless had a very good night. He held his own at the nose and also provided good pass rush pressure straight up the middle, something that Sopoaga rarely provided.
Neither Colt McCoy nor Scott Tolzien looked all that great at QB, but the backup Oline didn’t give either of them much protection. Anthony Dixon got most of the RB duty in the game and looked his typical outstanding preseason self. These four fake games are the only time each year Dixon gets to play RB and he always has fun doing it. Strangely, the somewhat touted Jewel Hampton did not get into the game until really late in the fourth quarter.
Other players of note in the game: Perrish Cox with some good coverage and a couple of good returns, 3rd round pick Corey Lemonier who twice forced third down failures with some impressive quickness at DE, and Lockette with an ooh-and-aah punt coverage hit that flattened a Bronco return man on the two yard line.
All in all, not a game you would keep in your DVR posterity list — unless you have trouble sleeping.