I made a brief mention of it in the comments of the game thread, but if nothing else, the 49ers certainly have had some entertaining preseason games. After failing in the final minutes against Denver, the 49ers bounced back to SURVIVE the Oakland Raiders 26-21 in the final minute of the game. After Shaun Hill and Thomas Clayton led the 49ers on a touchdown-scoring drive, the Raiders made a last-ditch effort that would have been successful if Alvis Whitted had not dropped a sure touchdown with 5 seconds left. Thankfully this was the preseason and some relative scrubs were in. However, this is definitely not something we want to make a habit of in the future.
So we'll do a quick rundown of the game, with more analysis to come.
Delanie Walker had another really solid game, including a big 15-yard reception in the fourth quarter. Through 2 games, Walker has 70 receiving yards and a touchdown while looking quite solid as the #2 tight end.
Thomas Clayton is quickly developing into one of "my guys." He definitely has a lot to work on before he can become a legit NFL running back, but for a rookie he's showing some skills. He still dances a little bit much, but he has definitely done enough to warrant some playing time with the better components of the depth chart. I'm not saying to start him next week, but I'd love to see him get even just 3 or 4 plays with the starting offensive line.
Ashley Lelie had a very solid game earning CBS Channel 5 player of the game honors (that's up there with league MVP obviously) with 4 catches for 57 yards and a touchdown. He certainly needs to show some consistency these remaining two games, but he's definitely earning some playing time.
Alex Smith followed up Week 1 with a very solid performance. He was efficient and while he did good work in the short game, he was able to mix up in some medium-depth passes to move the team down the field. 8/12 for 106 yards a touchdown is just about perfect for a preseason Week 2 performance. Considering his short history in the NFL I really could not be happier with his performance so far in August.
The defense definitely had its ups and downs. The first quarter was a solid showing, but they reverted to form in the second quarter. Poor tackling was the main problem. For those who didn't watch, CBS had Coach Nolan miked up and it was interesting to hear him coaching the rookies on the sideline. After two different defensive series he pulled Patrick Willis and Jay Moore aside to explain some situations to them. While I like that he is hopefully giving more duties to Manusky, he's always been a defensive-oriented guy and I'm glad he takes some time to do some teaching during the game. It will only make the rookies better.
Additionally, penalties were flying all over the place for both teams as this was a rather sloppy performance by everybody.
Shaun Hill reminds of Cody Pickett somewhat. He's running all over the place and while he's clearly not the most talented guy, he's made things happen. He was 2-for-6 but throw in the big rush and it just seemed like he did more than the stats would indicate. He's obviously the clear-cut 3rd string QB, but he certainly entertains the masses.
Speaking of QBs, Trent Dilfer looked really solid this week after a so-so week 1. If Alex Smith went down it would not be good, but Dilfer at least looks like he could make the occasional play, which is more than you can say for some teams backups (Jim Sorgi anyone?)
While we don't really care about the Raiders, I do think LaMont Jordan looked really good and aside from his fumbling problems, Daunte Culpepper looked pretty sharp. I still don't think they'll be all that good this year, but they could certainly surprise some people if Jordan and Culpepper continue this trend.
Maurice Hicks and Michael Robinson turned in some real stinkers combined for 17 yards on 7 carries, so we'll look at that little battle among other things.
There didn't appear to be any injuries of significance that I could see, but I'll keep an eye out for any injury news. Otherwise, we'll be back with more analysis tomorrow.