San Francisco 49ers' Final Preseason Game Analysis
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We learned three things from the San Francisco 49ers' 41-6 dismantling of the San Diego Chargers on Thursday. 1) The Bolts should stick to wearing their awesome powder-blue vintage jerseys. It won't make things any easier for them and their fans this year, but at least they can look good while getting slaughtered and eaten alive on the field each week. 2) Jim Harbaugh might want to reconsider giving Colt McCoy the backup job. The look on Mike McCoy's face suggested that he might make B.J. Daniels the Chargers starter if the 49ers assign him to their practice squad. 3) I don't think the NFL should schedule any more games for the 49ers in San Diego. The only time the crowd booed was when a challenge didn't go Harbaugh's way.
It may just be a preseason game, but there's a lot to be optimistic about when your second-team defense is putting the quarterback in a fetal position on every down, when your third-string quarterback is playing like Steve Young and when your fifth-string linebacker is singlehandedly pummeling the opposition into oblivion.
Cam Johnson did a little more than just convince his coach that he deserved a spot on the team; he outscored the Chargers completely on his own. After registering two sacks on defense, he broke through the Bolts' special teams coverage and batted away a punt that drew a stunned reaction from the pair of Chargers fans in attendance.
The sight of Johnson trotting slowly into the end zone and falling onto the ball for a touchdown was worth a thousand Instagram likes.
But there were two moments that made missing Judge Judy reruns even more worth it.
The first came on the opening drive when Quinton Patton caught a quick pass from Colin Kaepernick, juked one defender and then took the ball 43 yards down the field for the score.
Funny dance. Fans would like to see a lot more of it in the coming weeks.
The second came when Lavelle Hawkins caught a pass he initially knocked up in the air, bounced off one defender and caused three Chargers to run into themselves before taking the ball another 30 yards to pay dirt.
Easily the best catch of the preseason, or is it?
Right now, the big question on everybody's mind is whether Harbaugh should make Daniels the backup quarterback over McCoy.
It's hard not to be impressed by Colt's fearlessness on every play, but he looks too much like Jeff Garcia the way he runs away from the line every time the defense blitzes. Scary as that sounds, he's No. 2 until Daniels gets some snaps during the regular season. That's something I wouldn't mind seeing...in garbage time when the Niners are up by 27 points.
Late in the game, Dennis O'Donnell and Tim Ryan mentioned the last time a Super Bowl runner-up won it all the next year was in 1972. The Miami Dolphins went undefeated that season.
Could a similar fate await the 49ers?
Who knows. Just tune in, watch, and enjoy this thrill ride.
A Few Pointless Observations
-The 49ers backup quarterbacks should consider trying out for receiver or special teams. Lord can these guys run.
-The touchdown pass from Daniels to Chuck Jacobs in the corner of the end zone was a thing of beauty. Why couldn't Kaep do that in the final drive of the Super Bowl? Guh.
-We never saw Andy Lee's knuckle punt. Or maybe a couple of those bad punts were failed attempts. David Akers must have tried a lot of knuckle field goals last season.
-Seneca Wallace retired the morning before the game. Did he see Daniels in practice this week and just give up?
-Jon Baldwin dropped a pass that was basically handed to him on a tray. I guess that's still an improvement over A.J. Jenkins, who would have caught it, fumbled it and then asked for the ball after the game.
-So long, Austin Collie. I hear there's a team across the bay that might be interested in your services. The Flying Seagulls of the Danville Bowling League are currently winless this season.
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