Even though it is preseason the 49ers once again own bragging rights in the bay. The 49ers defeated the Raiders 17-3. Following are thoughts after the game.
Alex Smith finished 8 of 13 for 126 yards and an interception. He looked better than last week, but couldn’t get the 49ers in the endzone. Smith looked more comfortable in the pocket and seemed to handle the rush well. A few of his passes were dropped but the interception was all on him.
The offense line faired better than last week. Anthony Davis (Kwame 2.0) had a false start early, Mike Iupati was opening up huge holes and the rest of the line held its own.
The running game was the highlight this evening. Rookie runningback is putting pressure on Anthony Dixon for Gore’s backup spot. He finished the day with 9 carries for 105 yards and a touchdown. The difference between Dixon and Hunter is Hunter hits the hole and doesn’t dance like Dixon. Dixon needs to step up his game these last two preseason games or he might see himself as the 3rd back.
It was a quiet night for the wide receivers, the highlight was a nice one handed grab by Braylon Edwards. Once Crabtree gets healthy, he along with Edwards and Vernon Davis should give defenses something to think about.
On the defensive side of the ball, the line is looking solid. It is still early but I have to say looking better than last season. Ricky Jean is stepping up and playing well. McDonald coming off the end is getting good pressure and Navorro Bowman seems to fly to the ball.
The secondary is still hard to call, both Rogers and Spencer didn’t play so Brown and Brock got the start. Both seemed to play well and the two will continue to battle it out for the 3rd spot and perhaps the No. 2.
The only downside to the game was the injury to Andy Lee. Early in the 1st the 49ers attempted a FG. The snap was bad/bobbled and Lee threw it up in the air and while doing so he got knocked to the ground. Akers took over punting duties and the latest reports are that it looks like Lee may just have a stinger.
Overall the team looked good, they still have work to do, but by opening day they should be on the right track.