After months of anticipation, the 2013 San Francisco 49ers finally took the field Thursday night to kick off the final season at Candlestick Park. Unfortunately, the Niners fell to the Denver Broncos in a 10-6 affair, but the final score doesn't matter all that much when the games don't count.
After all, it's only the preseason. It's easy to argue that the only winners and losers are based on who gets hurt and who comes out unscathed. But for players fighting for depth chart positions and roster spots, these games are crucial.
For what it's worth, several players and units stood out in the first preseason game for one reason or another. The defense surrendered only three points, while the offense coughed up four turnovers, with one resulting in the game's only touchdown.
But beyond the box score, here are the biggest winners and losers from Thursday night's action.
*Note: All statistics referenced in this article, unless otherwise attributed, according to ESPN.com.