As we get set for a preseason week 2 showdown between the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers, let’s analyze the defense and preview their matchup.
There were quite a few intriguing storylines to kick-off the pre-season festivities. For instance, the battle in Baltimore for the backup QB spot is a must see. Robert Griffin the 3rd, aka. RGIII, looks determined to reclaim his football glory. However, rookie Lamar Jackson is trying to show the league why he belongs. Another young stud to keep an eye on throughout the season is, New York Giants rookie running back Saquon Barkley. He showed flashes of his potential which should be a pleasant sign for Giants fans worldwide.
Now that we covered those stories, let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The Niners enter this season with high expectations on their shoulders, mainly because of their latest franchise quarterback addition, Jimmy Garoppolo. Not to be out done by Kyle Shanahan and his prolific offensive game planning, Robert Saleh is now tasked with the defensive side of the ball. His main objective, is to return the Niners back to a dominant force (or at least back to relevance). Prior to the Lynch/Shanahan era, the Niners defense ranked dead last and quite frankly, became the laughing stock of the league. Allowing 30.0 points per game, while giving up a whopping 406.4 yards per game, makes for one heck of a task to turn that unit around.
It seems like defensive coordinator Robert Saleh is up for the challenge. By the end of 2017, the Niners jumped from bottom of the barrel to 24th overall. Now that’s not a dramatic leap but hey, there’s reason for optimism. Saleh has a young, hungry, physical group of guys who are eager to get after it. Looking ahead to game 2 against the Texans, I anticipate a strong(er) performance from guys who flashed signs against the Cowboys last week. Guys like Julian Taylor, Korey Toomer and that young secondary who may have a couple of hidden gems amongst them. I’m extremely excited to see their progress on Saturday and throughout the rest of the 2018 campaign. So sit back, grab a snack and enjoy the game. I’ll be back with a fresh outlook next week.
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