5 Takeaways From San Francisco 49ers Preseason Week 2 Game
49ers beat the Chiefs in Week 2 Preseason Action
The San Francisco 49ers would play their second preseason game on Friday as they traveled to Arrowhead Stadium to take on the Kansas City Chiefs. Many hyped the game up given that the starting quarterback for the Chiefs is former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. For those that were expecting a quarterback showdown were left disappointed as now 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick only played one offensive series, which consisted of five plays, while Smith played most of the first half.
The game played out to be a clean, yet at times sloppy affair as when both teams had their second-, third- or fourth-string players on offense out playing, they were unable to, at times, sustain drives as they would either go three-and-out or pick up a first down and not do much else afterwards. For the 49ers, the story of sloppy play from the backups was a recurring one from the first preseason game. With the chance to take a hold of the backup quarterback role, both Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien failed to make a strong case over the other in the battle for being the backup to Kaepernick.
In the end, the 49ers would win 15-13 thanks to rookie fourth-string quarterback B.J. Daniels, who led the offense down on a game-winning drive and completed the drive by throwing a touchdown pass to Chuck Jacobs. With the win, the Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff will be satisfied with a number of performances from a number of players, but at the same time, be a bit worried about the performances of a few others. With that said, here are the five main takeaways from this second preseason game for the 49ers.
AJ Jenkins played like a Bust
After a less-than-stellar outing in the first preseason game, there were going to be many who had their eyes focused on A.J. Jenkins and his play against the Chiefs. After all, given that the 49ers are and will be without Michael Crabtree, it is important that he step up and also show that he is not a bust even though he is only in his second year. While it has been stated that Jenkins has done well in practice, he has yet to translate and carry that over into the games he has played. On Friday night, Jenkins once again failed to show or give any reason that he is worthy of being counted on as a contributor this season.
In the time he played on Friday night, Jenkins dropped a sure first-down-conversion catch on a third-and-long as he was falling down even before the ball had arrived in his direction, and on top of that, failed to beat, much less get any separation between himself and Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith while he was being covered by the former Miami Dolphin. While Jenkins did make a 21-yard catch which was wiped out because of a holding penalty, he still failed to show any reason to believe that all the talk of his play in practice actually means anything when it comes time to taking that into game action.
49ers Lacked Offensive Rhythm With Backup QBs
In the 49ers first preseason game, the offense failed to look like it was capable of stringing a scoring drive together once Colin Kaepernick exited the game after he led the first-team offense on a scoring drive in his one and only drive of the game last week. In addition, backup quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien are in a battle to see who will be the second quarterback on the depth chart. The hope was that with some game action under their belt and another week of practice, that the play of the offense once the first-team players were no longer in the game would be much improved from their outing from last week.
Well, it turned out to be more of the same as the offense, whether it was run by McCoy or Tolzien, failed to show any rhythm or ability to sustain drives. Both McCoy and Tolzien failed to connect on some passes, failed to sustain drives for more than one first down and in general, looked hurried and rushed a number of the times when they dropped back to pass. It was not until fourth-string quarterback B.J. Daniels came into the game, did the 49ers offense show or have any sustainability at putting together a scoring drive when it did not have the benefit of playing with a short field. While McCoy and Tolzien are not completely responsible for the lack of rhythm, the reality is that as the quarterbacks, they bear a large fault in this being the case.
Phil Dawson connects on two long Field Goals
Last season, the struggle of kicker David Akers was a worrying one for the 49ers and their fans as the player who was so reliable and dependable during the 2011 season was anything but in 2012. While Akers did have a 63-yard field goal make, which took place in Week 1, he was not reliable for the rest of the season from anything over 40 yards out. As a result, new kicker Phil Dawson will be under the microscope as the last thing the 49ers need is (another) unreliable kicker during the season.
Well, on Friday's game against the Chiefs, Phil Dawson showed that he has the leg, accuracy and ability to be trusted with field goal attempts over 45 yards out. Dawson was successful on three field goal attempts in the game with two of those makes coming from attempts that were over 50 yards out. This is certainly the type of performance and assurances early on that 49ers fans are looking for that the kicking situation will be much improved this season as opposed to last.
49ers Defense With Another Strong Showing
Even thought the 49ers lost last week in their first preseason outing, one of the best things to come out of it was the performance of the defense who only surrendered three points scored against them. Aside from a number of impressive individual performances, they looked really good collectively with each string more than holding its own. On Friday against the Chiefs, the defense was once again impressive and delivered a strong showing in this game.
The 49ers defense only surrendered six points as the lone touchdown this game was surrendered by the special teams unit who allowed a 104-yard kickoff return. Aside from only allowing the six points scored against them, the 49ers defense looked sharped and did a great job of putting pressure on Alex Smith, who was 7-of-16 passing for 62 yards and was sacked three times by the 49ers defense. They were constantly in the face of Smith, giving him little to no time to be able to step in and throw the ball without pressure. Individual performances that stood out were the play of Eric Reid, who in each of the first two games has had a nice boom hit on an opposition player, Nnamdi Asomugha, who continues to get comfortable and make a case for being a starting cornerback, and Parys Haralson, who was a menace from the linebacker position.
49ers win game and don't suffer any injuries
At the end of the day, you want to win any game you play whether it is preseason or regular season. Therefore, for the 49ers to have a game-winning touchdown drive and then have the defense not allow the Chiefs to drive down with a chance to win on the subsequent drive was nice to see because winning feels good. So, the 49ers go back home feeling good about the fact that aside from getting in some quality game action for all players, they also happened to win. Additionally, as I always say, any preseason game in which no one, especially your first-team players, gets injured is a good preseason game and the best outcome. Knock on wood, the 49ers did not suffer any injuries in their game against the Chiefs on Friday night and with that, preseason game No. 2 was a double win for Jim Harbaugh and his coaching staff.