Last week I wrote how despite the fact the 49ers won the game, it felt like the team took the black to man the harsh northern wall in Game of Thrones. This game was still like that, but there were a few brighter moments than the last game. The 49ers capped off their first drive with a touchdown from Jimmy Garoppolo to Trent Taylor on third and goal. Trent Taylor continues to be a third-down darling, having converted on each of the starters’ first drives, though he did drop on late in the second quarter. But on the first two drives the starters were in the 49ers converted five of six third down conversions and one fourth down.
The offensive line did a good job at creating a clean pocket for Garoppolo to work his magic and when things seemed to fall apart, Garoppolo moved around in pocket to extend the play, especially on the 24-yard completion on fourth and one to Kyle Juszczyk. Garoppolo was 10-for-12 for 136 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Late in the third quarter rookie Tarvarius Moore had a nice tipped pass that led to an interception by fellow rookie Emmanuel Moseley, but a block in the back penalty negated what would’ve been a 52-yard return. Those were the bright spots, but when you have bright spots shadows do linger somewhere.
On Garoppolo’s last drive Weston Richburg had not one, but two penalties, one during the play and one in-between downs resulting in 25 total yards. In total, the Texans accepted 15 penalties for 140 yards. You cannot win games with that many penalties. On the following play Dante Pettis tipped a pass from Garoppolo, high but not uncatchable, which resulted in an interception. The running game still hasn’t really gotten going but the 49ers will be without Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida for the remainder of the preseason.
The defense could not get pressure on the quarterback all game, and they did not record a single sack; this is something that needs addressed sooner rather than later. The Texans found soft spots in the secondary on multiple occasions, some resulting in big gains.
Remember in “Return of the King” when Aragorn steps forward towards Mordor, looks back at small army behind him and says “for Frodo” before charging the orc army? That’s what the first preseason game was like when third string quarterback Nick Mullens led the 49ers to a win keeping Garoppolo undefeated. But there was no “for Frodo” as the 49ers gave up a touchdown with only 27 seconds left losing to the Texans 16-13.
You can follow Matt on Twitter here!
Stay tuned to 49ersHub for more great Preseason news!