With Preseason half way done here’s a look at what I took away from the game vs the Broncos and overall preseason so far.
1. Defensive Line Concerns
The 49ers will need Glenn Dorsey, Deforest Buckner and Arik Armstead to anchor the defensive line. On Saturday the d-line was pushed around and created no type of pressure on the Broncos starting Quarterback. C.J Anderson and rookie running back Devontae Booker had a few nice runs, as one resulted in a 19 yard touchdown. If the 49ers want to be anywhere close to competitive, they will need to sure up that defensive line.
2.Tank Carradine, Nick Bellore, Ray-Ray Amstrong, and Marcus Rush all were winners
Not one not two but three sacks for LB Marcus Rush. He definitely mad a case to be a serious contender for making the team. Per Pro Football Focus Rush also had four quarterback pressures along with his three sacks on 21 pass rushes. Nick Bellore continues to makes plays, but he did get injured. Ray Ray Armstong replaced Hodges Jr. after the first series on defense, he did not disappoint. Armstrong showed the ability to cover and get in on a few tackles stuffing the run. He may be the leading candidate to start with Bowman. Tank Carradine is a new man now that he’s playing his original position. Carradine recorded a sack and played a very solid game for the second time in a row. He shall make things interesting for the defensive coaches.
3.Christian Ponder was a big winner Saturday
Say what you want, yes it was against third stringers but Christian Ponder after only being in camp for less than a week had himself a game. He threw for a touchdown and ran for one as well. This has been the best the offense has looked all preseason. If Kaepernick plays well I would not mind seeing Ponder compete with Gabbert for the backup role.
4.Blaine Gabbert is who we thought he was
As some say Blaine Gabbert has not done anything to lose the starting quarterback job but he surely has not done anything to help his case on being named the opening day starter. In two games the 49ers offense has scored twice in six series with Blaine Gabbert at quarterback. On Saturday the offense under Gabbert failed twice to complete a thrid down, which makes the 49ers one for four in the preseason on third downs. Here are Blaine Gabbert numbers through two preseason games 10/19 52% 132 one TD and no interceptions. Gabbert is seven for eight when targeting tight ends but only three for 11 targeting receivers and running backs.
5.Biggest Losers: Harold, Mike Davis, Dujuan Harris, Quinton Dial
Eli Herold for the second game in a row showed nothing, absolutely nothing. He has yet to get any quarterback pressures and he looks lost out there. Dial not only was he slow off the ball vs Denver, but he literally got pushed around. Denver Running backs twice ran straight passed Dial. Mike Davis the big winner the week before now became the big loser after fumbling twice in Saturday’s game. Dujuan Harris depending on who you ask has now fumbled twice in preseason, both fumbles were in the redzone. Harris was a heavy favorite to land the number two running back role but now his chances are slim to none.