San Francisco is 1-1 after losing to the Saints in their preseason opener and winning the “Battle of the Bay” against the Oakland Raiders.
It is another opportunity for both teams to get ready for the start of the regular season, and here are five reasons why this Saturday evening game (8 p.m. EST) is worth watching.
San Francisco 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has not yet decided who will be his starting quarterback.
He has to choose between Alex Smith and rookie Colin Kaepernick.
Smith, who started the year with a 2-for-7 performance and 10 yards in the team's preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints, bounced back with a solid performance against the Oakland Raiders in the second preseason game.
He threw for 126 yards and was 8-for-13 with one interception in the team’s 17-3 win in the “Battle of the Bay."
Kaepernick’s situation is quite similar. After a horrific performance against the Saints, in which he threw two interceptions and had a passer rating of 27.6, he showed patience and accuracy against the Raiders, going 6-for-8 for 75 yards.
Saturday’s game against the Houston Texans provides another opportunity to get some separation in an otherwise close quarterback race.
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards does not only represent another offensive weapon for 49ers Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman, he is also willing to take on the leadership role for the team's relatively young receiver core.
Edwards has recorded only three catches in two preseason games, but one of those three catches deserves the predicate spectacular.
Halfway through the second quarter in the game against the Oakland Raiders, Alex Smith fired the ball in the direction of Edwards, who made an unbelievable one-handed catch for a gain of 32 yards. (After 1:30 in the video)
Plays like that impress coaches, teammates and fans, who want to see more of Edwards' abilities in preseason game No. 3 against the Houston Texans.
Last weekend San Francisco’s running backs were able to run for a combined 239 yards against the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers have the luxury of having four extremely talented RBs.
Alongside two-time Pro-Bowler Frank Gore, the Niners’ depth chart includes rookie Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon and Xavier Omon, who are all competing for the spot behind Gore.
Kendall impressed against the Raiders, rushing nine times for 105 yards and a touchdown.
This performance puts pressure on Dixon and Omon, who will get their opportunities to counter in tomorrow’s preseason game against the Houston Texans.
The fight for the No. 2 spot promises to be an interesting one.
Former No. 1 overall draft pick Mario Williams is still struggling with his new role as an outside linebacker.
Williams, who played five seasons as a defensive end, says the biggest adjustment is bending and taking proper angles.
Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips, who made the decision to move Williams, seems confident about his progress.
Against a 49ers offensive line that is still experimenting with different personnel, Williams could be able to show off his newly-learned skills.
At 6’7” and 295 pounds, he is also the largest linebacker in NFL history.
As mentioned before, the 49ers have a talented assembly of running backs that are able run against any defense.
The Texans’ run defense showed some holes in the team’s win over the New Orleans Saints.
Head Coach Gary Kubiak was not pleased with his team’s performance against the run and said after the game, “that’s a concern."
The Niners might be the perfect team to illustrate those defensive flaws and help Houston to correct them before the start of the regular season.