Since we're going to start looking at this weekend's matchup with the Baltimore Ravens, we might as well deal with the glaring elephant in the room. Trent Dilfer will be starting for the 49ers at quarterback. This willbe his first start since he was a Cleveland Brown, in Week 12 of the 2005 season. Dilfer's numbers that day:
23 for 35, 214 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs
So what can we expect from our slightly rusted quarterback? Considering he hasn't played a meaningful game since 2005, we'll start by looking at his preseason numbers. He mentioned in an interview in early August that he wanted to get more touches in preseason games on the off chance he had to step in for Alex Smith. Well, the off chance is upon us, so let's see what we're looking at:
- vs. Denver: 7/10 52 yards, 1 INT
- vs. Oakland: 7/11 77 yards, 1 TD
- @ Chicago: 9/12, 99 yards, 2 TDs
- @ San Diego: DNP - Coaches Decision
Now, Dilfer will get an entire week of first team reps, which should at least clean off some of that rust. Furthermore he knows he's playing as opposed to last week when he probably wouldn't have looked any worse if he'd been sitting on the sideline reading a newspaper. The downside to a rather solid preseason is that he was usually facing second team defenses.
I was looking at Dilfer's Scout's Inc. scouting report over at ESPN and am not sure if part of it wasn't written multiple years ago:
One thing in his favor is that if Hostler and Nolan are ever going to trust a QB it would be Dilfer. His passes were a little errant, but I think that comes with not seeing game action. I'm not expecting a dominate performance this Sunday from Dilfer, but I'd like to hope he could make some things happen. Looking at his career numbers, he's always been the game manager type and not the playmaking type. Even he can move the team down the field in any capacity it will obviously be a huge plus. The question is whether that will actually happen.
What kind of performance do you expect from Dilfer this weekend? As I think up predictions I always come back to the ineptness of the offensive line. It'd be nice to just say, all things being equal, what would Dilfer do for us, but that's not the case. The Browns raked the Ravens over the coals, which certainly gives me hope. Of course the Browns have also worked to improve their offensive line and seem to be showing some decent success at it. So considering the weakness of our line (and even any potential for improvement), what kind of line do you see from Trent Dilfer this weekend?