To be perfectly honest, by the time Saturday's game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Denver Broncos was done, it was as dreary as the first preseason game ever at Levi’s Stadium. (Coincidentally, that game was also against DEN). That game was immediately after the death of comedian Robin Williams and commercial breaks meant clips of Robin.
Tonight was a different kind of blast from the past, though. Tonight was a flashback to the last 2 years where the Niners were an undisciplined group running around kind of within the rules of the game of football. The 49ers committed 11 penalties, on top of the 17 from their game Week 1. That’s also added on top of the five turnovers the 49ers committed. So how does this ugly game look and what can we take from it? Let’s discuss some of the positives (I promise there are some) and negatives from the 49ers loss.
Stock Down: First Team Offense
Remember those five turnovers I mentioned earlier? Four of them were from the first-team offense. While the whole of the team seemed like they didn’t show up to play, the first-team offense seemed like they were still asleep. Much will be said about QB Brian Hoyer's “Phantom Fumble” -- He says its never happened to him before. Its happened to every guy, Brian, it's okay -- but it wasn’t just him. TE Vance McDonald looked to be in normal season form, dropping the first pass thrown his way. RB Carlos Hyde was getting very little done on the ground. Which leads us to…
Stock Up: The Wide Receivers
WR Marquise Goodwin went from the purported deep threat at the time of signing to potential WR1. His 3 catches for 44 yards led the team and was the lone spark of offense towards the beginning of the game. After that OW Kyle Juszczyk had an amazing catch and run. WR Aldrick Robinson had a 39-yard catch and TE George Kittle had the lone offensive touchdown.
Stock Down: Rashard Robinson
CB Rashard Robinson is the presumed starting cornerback. He needs to look more like one. By its very nature, the new defensive scheme will require the cornerbacks to be that much more diligent in their assignments and locking down their perimeter. Robinson has shown flashes of greatness not just last year, but in the last two games as well. We just need to see more consistency and the attitude towards his play to match his confidence.
Stock up: Lorenzo Jerome
S Lorenzo Jerome was all over the place during the game against DEN. He started the game with the first-string defense, and stayed there through the entire first half, and was the only player to do so.. To go from UDFA to having a locked roster spot is hard enough as it is, but to come in and make a case for a second-string spot, and maybe even a first-string spot, depending on what happens with DB Jimmie Ward? Jerome continues to make his case for it, and it will be fun. To see how he does the next two preseason games.
Stock Up/Down: Mental Miscues
11 Penalties. Five turnovers resulting in 27 points. An inexcusable fumble. Numerous dropped passes that should’ve been either easy or for a decent gain. These types of things should happen less and less as we near the opening weekend, though the later cut-down from 90 men to 53 could result in it staying the same. The good news is, they should be easy to fix. In theory, at least. Once familiarity with the scheme sets in, a silly penalty like an illegal offensive lineman formation won't happen.
It should get better. Right?
Stock up: Beathard the Ringmaster
QB C.J. Beathard had himself a nice game with the second string offense. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan announced earlier in the week that Beathard would be the first QB off the bench and he took full advantage of the opportunity, marching down the field to the tune of 7-12 completions for 110 yards and a touchdown. Those aren't spectacular stats by any means, but they are stats that highlight what he showed on tape: A raw QB with poise and command of the offense. He likely won the backup spot tonight and may even start sometime this season.
Who did you think had a good or bad game? Let me know on twitter @FakeScottYoung and @49ersHUB and tune in for more great content here at 49ersHUB!