What to Expect from the Starters in the 49ers Final Preseason Game
Image Credit: Getty Images
The 49ers are set to enter their third and final preseason game Sunday, August 29 at 1:00p.m. against the Las Vegas Raiders. The third preseason game is traditionally the dress rehearsal for most teams. This will be their last chance to enter week one of the season game ready. Here are a few things I would expect to see from the team in their third preseason game:
Jimmy Garoppolo will get extending playing time: Thus far in the first two games, Garoppolo has played very sparingly, only appearing in a series or two per game. I expect Shanahan to get him some reps and to get a touchdown drive, potentially even playing him the entire first half. Rookie quarterback Trey Lance has been playing well enough to push his way into the QB1 conversation, so if Garoppolo wants to start week one as the starting quarterback, he will need to put together some nice drives and put some points on the board.
All the starters will play: Coach Shanahan has already announced that all the starters will be on the field this Sunday, even the ones who have yet to play a preseason game thus far. We will get to see the preseason debut of players like George Kittle, Trent Williams, Alex Mack, Fred Warner, etc. I’m personally excited to see the quarterbacks get some snaps with their first-team offense.
Clarity on some of the camp battles: There are a few positions in which a starter has not officially been named. One of those positions is the starting safety opposite Jimmie Ward. The safety position has experienced numerous injuries this offseason and has been a revolving door. The 49ers currently have Jaquiski Tartt, Tony Jefferson and Tarvarius Moore on either the injured reserve or PUP lists. The current battle for the starting position appears to be between Tavon Wilson and promising rookie fifth-round pick Talanoa Hufanga, who has flashed throughout camp and preseason. Kyle Shanahan has indicated that Hufanga is “definitely giving himself an opportunity” to compete for the strong safety job in Week 1.
Another position that we do not have complete clarity at is wide receiver. Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel are going to be the Nos. 1 and 2 receivers, but the remaining spots are unclear. The 49ers signed Trent Sherfield, who looks like he deserves the third wide receiver spot from his excellent play this preseason; however we should get some clarity as to who Shanahan views as the starter at both the wide receiver and safety positions by how he sets this week’s depth chart.
Image Credit: 49ers
Shanahan will open up the playbook a bit: Thus far, the 49ers’ play calling has been extremely vanilla. Shanahan has kept everything close to the vest and has called basic plays. Although I do not expect Shanahan to completely show his hand during this preseason game, I do highly expect him to call some plays that he will utilize throughout the season and get his offense moving and going the way we all know that it is capable of.
A 49ers victory: The Las Vegas Raiders, currently 2-0 in the preseason will look to go undefeated by beating the 49ers this weekend.However, if you are a gambling man, the 49ers are currently favored to win. The 49ers will have home-field advantage during this game and are favored to win with a probability of 66.67 percent,according to USA Today’s SportsBookWire.
The 49ers’ depth chart for their final preseason game will be released soon, however it will likely still change for Week 1 of the season. We can use this depth chart and glean some information, however until the final roster and depth chart shakes out we will have to take it with a grain of salt. For now, we will look forward to the 49ers’ third, and final, preseason game.Watch and enjoy!
You can follow Rob on Twitter here!
Stay tuned to 49ersHub for more great 49ers coverage and analysis!