Let the Chip Kelly era begin. The San Francisco 49ers hosted their very first preseason game under new head coach Chip Kelly where they fell to the Texans 24-13. I will breakdown the positives and negatives of this game. As many people know exhibition games do not count, so don’t get caught up on the final results. When assessing preseason games you look at first team vs first team, who’s being held out, players improvements from last season. It can be a bit confusing because some teams will leave their first team players in much longer than others, so focus on that when watching the game.
Positives from the game
The running game came to play, the 49ers ran the ball for 236 yards, most of it came in the first half. Mike Davis showed out yesterday running the ball five times for 72 yards, including a long run of 44 yards. The second year running back looks vastly improved from last years rookie campaign. Carlos Hyde added a long run of his own in the beginning of the game.
Last year the offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL giving up 53 sacks. On Sunday the 49ers Offensive line only surrendered one sack and pushed around a Watt(less) Texans defense. Blaine Gabbert was not sacked yesterday which is a good sign from the first team offensive line. Overall the 49ers offensive line played extremely well.
The 49ers from 2011 to 2014 was consistently top five defense, they were one of the leagues most feared units, then 2015 happened. The 49ers defense went through major changes last year due to retirements, players leaving for other teams, and off filed issues resulting into unfortunate cuts of key players. The 49ers defense young but very talented looked much different yesterday than they did a year ago. Last year in the first preseason game vs the Texans the 49ers first team defense got carved up and scored on from the jump. Yesterday the 49ers defense was doing the carving, the Texans new quarterback Brock Osweiler did not look comfortable at all. The 49ers will need this defense to step up a lot this year and from the looks of it, they will do just that.
Negatives from the game
There is a quarterback battle between Colin Kaepernick and Blaine Gabbert, according to most of the reporters its Blaine Gabbert’s job to lose. Yesterday Gabbert did nothing to shut the door on Kaepernick as he struggled mightily with his accuracy on several passes. Gabbert finished the game four of 10 for 63 yards and a touchdown. The 49ers also had two lost fumbles, including one that went for a touchdown. The 49ers have to make sure they are not shooting themselves in the foot if they want any shot at competing with teams this year.
The 49ers next presason game is Saturday, August 20th against the Denever Broncos at 6:00 PM