5 Takeaways From The San Francisco 49ers Preseaon Week 1 Game
49ers Begin 2013 Preseason
The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their 2013 preseason schedule with a home game against the Denver Broncos. It was a matchup in which, by some, was billed as a preseason matchup of two teams who could potentially face off at the end of the year in the Super Bowl. At the end of the day, the Broncos won the game 10-6 scoring the only touchdown of the game as it forced a fumble of D.J. Harper and Shaun Phillips scooped up the loose ball to score.
While it was a game in which not much can be inferred in terms of what to expect in the long term and how the season will play out for either team, there are some takeaways to be had from the game. Whether it be how Colin Kaepernick looked in his lone drive or whether it be some sloppy play by the reserves, there are at least five takeaways to be made from this first preseason game for the 49ers.
49ers Offensive Sloppiness
After a successful opening drive led by Colin Kaepernick, in which he led the team down the field on a drive which resulted in a field goal, the efficiency and play of the offense after Kaepernick's lone drive under center left a lot to be desired. In general, the 49ers offense was very sloppy. Whether it was an inability to properly deal with the quarterback-running back exchange on the hand off, dropped passes or holding penalties, the 49ers offense after the first drive was never fully in sync at all for the rest of the game.
The highlight of the 49ers' offensive sloppiness was the play of A.J. Jenkins. Because of his lack of playing time in his rookie season and with the loss of Michael Crabtree for potentially the entire year, Jenkins and the need for him to step up has become paramount. Well, in his first game action this season, things did not look good. In the second quarter, Jenkins caught a pass from quarterback Scott Tolzien on a quick hitch route, but in the process fumbled the ball and turned it over. With three turnovers in the game, Jim Harbaugh will ensure that his offense gets to work in securing the ball and being much more fluid for it's next game.
Anquan Boldin and Colin Kaepernick connected
While the offense may have struggled after it's first drive on the game, during the first drive of the game, one of the highlights was seeing how well the understanding was between Colin Kaepernick and Anquan Boldin. In that one and only drive which Kaepernick and Boldin would play, they connected on two passes for 14 yards. While neither pass was a game breaker or one that stretched the defense, it showed that both had already developed some chemistry with Kaepernick getting the ball to Boldin quickly, and it also showed that Boldin is working his way into becoming Kaepernick's "security blanket" target.
49ers Defense With Solid Outing
The 49ers defense began it's 2013 preseason campaign by showing why it is one of the best in the league. Whether it was against Peyton Manning or one of the Broncos quarterback backups, the defense had a good game as it only allowed three points scored against it. During the game, several players stood out for having a fine performance which jumped out and will get deserved recognition. Ian Williams further staked his claim at wining the starting nose tackle spot as he had a couple of pressures that disrupted the pocket during the time he played; rookie Corey Lemonier had several rushes at the quarterback coming from the left outside linebacker position, and special teamers Dan Skuta and Michael Wilhoite also had fine performances at the linebacker position. It was clear that the defense is doing some good work so far in training camp.
49ers First Team offense clicked
While the offense did have it's issues during the game, this was not the case during its first series when it was quarterbacked by Colin Kaepernick. In his one and only series, he led the offense on a 14-play drive that took about seven minutes and resulted in a field goal. During that series, the offense clicked as they got in and out of the huddle quickly and crisply, while Kaepernick made some good throws to receivers, in particular to Anquan Boldin. Also, LaMichael James had a few good runs that picked up positive yardage.
49ers finish game with no major injuries
So far in training camp, the 49ers have seen Patrick Willis go down with a slight fracture of his right hand which will see him sit out the preseason and have lost cornerback Chris Culliver for the season as a result of a torn ACL injury he suffered last week. Therefore, it was imperative that when the starters and other essential players played during the game on Thursday night, the goal be that no one were to suffer a serious injury.
Thankfully for the 49ers and it's fans, they finished the game without seeing any key starter and/or backup have to leave the game injured and everyone of main importance finished the game scotch free. In the end, that is the biggest and most important takeaway from this first preseason game for the 49ers.