The San Francisco 49ers got in the win column this preseason after a 21-7 victory against the San Diego chargers and notched their first win in new Levi stadium.
The first string offense once again struggled to put points on the board but backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert came in midway through the second quarter and was very efficient in leading the offense down the field and threw a touchdown pass to Vance McDonald. This was clearly the best Gabbert has looked while wearing a 49ers uniform as he finished completing seven of 11 passes and one touchdown.
Starter Colin Kaepernick struggled to get in a flow fumbling the ball a couple of times and getting pressured constantly by the Chargers defense. He finished the game completing just 6 of 12 passes and through three games has yet to score a touchdown this preseason. Carlos Hyde continued his impressive play rushing for 38 yards which included a 20 yard scamper. On defense it was rookie Aaron Lynch who had a pretty good game getting a sacking and deflecting a couple of balls at the line of scrimmage.
Although still in the preseason, the victory was dampened by a the injury suffered by third round draft pick Marcus Martin. The center sustained a knee injury and had to be carted of the field early in the fourth quarter.
So what’s the deal with the offense? This offense was built up to be a juggernaut with the additions of Stevie Johnson and Carlos Hyde but it has yet do manage anything but field goal attempts. Before the masses start clamoring that it’s the only the preseason let me remind you that this is the NFL and the 49ers arguably play in the toughest division and the notion that this veteran team can just “turn it on” at will is a very dangerous mind set to rely on.
On the field, it is very evident that the offensive line is not playing at the level that we are accustomed to seeing. Kaepernick hasn’t had the time to read the coverages and it seemingly looks like the pocket is collapsing once he drops back which also negates his scrambling ability.
Alex Boone’s holdout is clearly affecting the 49ers on the field and the injury to Martin will definitely put the Niners in a tough position.
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