49ers 17 - Chargers 14: 1972 Miami Dolphins are on notice!

Well that certainly went down to the wire. The 49ers wrapped up their 2010 preseason with a 17-14 victory over the San Diego Chargers and completed a perfect preseason. A perfect preseason really has no meaning given some of the crappy teams that went undefeated in the preseason. Nonetheless, 4-0 is better than nothing.

The good news to come out of this game was that aside from Jason Hill getting poked in the eye, the team seemed to avoid any major injuries. And considering that's the real goal of preseason game #4, I'd say mission accomplished. The next step for the team will be to cut down to a 53-man roster and get ready for their season opener a week from Sunday at the Seattle Seahawks.

All in all I'd say it was a fairly enjoyable game. There was some ugly football at times, but we saw some backup guys make some plays and potentially improve their roster security. Of course, we also saw a guy like Karl Paymah take a big step backward. I had him all but in as the team's fourth corner, but now he might be bouncing around on the bubble. Even in a meaningless preseason game, he still had to make plays and he was blown up a bit too much for his own good.

However, given that this is the last preseason game before final cuts, let's focus in on the positives.

Anthony Dixon - He finished off what is probably enough to be considered a successful preseason. He struggled against first string defenses and saw great success against second and third string defenses. Considering he was a 6th round pick, I can live with that. There was little question that Brian Westbrook signed to be the primary backup, so the team can be patient with their young running back. He's got talent and he's learning from two of the best running backs of the last decade.

Dominique Zeigler - Man he can make some pretty catches, even when they're out of bounds. I don't think there was much doubt about him making the team, but I think he solidified whatever doubt was left tonight.

David Carr - While he wasn't fantastic, he did enough to bring back some confidence in him as a backup QB. The 49ers are hoping the only time he sees the field is in blowout victories so I simply wanted to see him show some improvement tonight.

Bruce Davis - He was a practice squad guy for the Patriots last year and put together a nice little performance tonight with five tackles, 1.5 sacks and a pass deflection. I'd imagine he's got a decent chance of landing on the practice squad.

Navorro Bowman - Showed some big hits and is developing at a nice pace. I feel very comfortable with where he could be after spending a year learning from Patrick Willis and Takeo Spikes.

Will Tukuafu - I honestly don't know what's going to happen with him on Saturday. He's really brought the heat in the preseason and had a huge sack tonight in the fourth quarter. While it wasn't against starters, it had to still impress the coaches. Now it's a question of whether he'll survive the numbers game.

After the jump I've posted some in-game quotations the 49ers sent out...

NT Aubrayo Franklin
In-Game Quotes - September 2, 2010
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

On how it felt to be back out there:

"Oh, it felt good to get around with the guys and get that game atmosphere, knock a little bit more of the rust off. But, it felt good just being out with the guys and just flying around to the ball."

On whether he felt it was necessary to be out there:

"Yeah I felt like it was necessary. Like I was saying earlier this year, you can't really simulate the game or whatever, so to get out here and get a couple plays and get that game-type feel, get those butterflies out is always good."

On his comfort level in the defense:

"I feel real good. I feel like we just picked up where we left off last year. You know, this is our fourth year playing as a unit, so we pretty much know the defense and know how each other are supposed to fit. So, you know, it felt good out there."

San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis
In-Game Quotes - September 2, 2010
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

On the importance of getting the first team out there:

"It was really important. The coaches want us to go out there. We got one of our key guys back. Everybody is key on our defense, and we have another piece of the puzzle back, which is [NT] Aubrayo Franklin. We just wanted to go out there and get a little taste for him as a defense. Honestly, just go out and get a little feel for it and get ready for next week."

On how it felt having Franklin back in front of him:

"Aubrayo is one of the best defensive tackles in the game - nose guard in the game. I've got a lot of respect for him. He loves being a part of this team, and I'm just glad to have him back."

On whether the defense is set for next week:

"I think we are. That's not my call, but I think, for the most part, we have the guys in place. Next week, it's going to be time to get it on for real, and that's when it's going to count."

On whether he's made any corrections on the defense:

"We went back in and watched the film and saw some things we've got to do better. We've just got to finish and start fast. I know today, we had one on third down, we've got to get off the field and we let them have a big run. We're going to be all right."

On whether he enjoys watching LB NaVarro Bowman making plays:

"Always. Like I said, Bowman's going to be a heck of a player in time. He's just got to continue doing what he's been doing, that's coming to practice each day ready to work and just listening. He's doing a heck of a job with that, so I'm excited to have him on our side."

LB Manny Lawson
In-Game Quotes - September 2, 2010
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

On his tip and interception:

"Man, first of all I got to give a shout out to my DBs and other linebackers for covering and allowing me time to get back there. I was just fortunate enough to, I got my hand in the way and tipped the ball and it floated in the air. All it was after that was just catching it."

On whether he thought he could outrun pursuing offense:

"I thought about it. I thought about it, but then my legs told me otherwise. My legs told me otherwise so, you know, great hustling play by their offense."

On how important it was to get the first unit on the field together:

"Man, it was really good, you know, to have [NT] Aubrayo [Franklin] back in the mix, let him get some time, get some snaps in, feel the run. And it was good for us to get a feel for him, you know. He's a key to our defense and he's going to be a key to our success. As for all of us to be out there, one unit, and showcase like we did, I'm happy for us."

RB Anthony Dixon
In-Game Quotes - September 2, 2010
San Francisco 49ers vs. San Diego Chargers

On his touchdown run:

"It was a toss and I was just reading my in man block. I was supposed to read the tight end and he was wide, but I just cut back and kept on cutting because the flow, it was overflowing and I found a crease. My receivers were blocking good for me downfield and I just found a crease in the end zone."

On whether he was excited after his touchdown run:

"Yes, I was excited. It's always exciting to score a touchdown and help the team out, getting everybody's blood flowing early and just being a playmaker."

On how he's feeling after playing during the preseason:

"Yes, I'm alright. It's been a grind and I'm going to keep on grinding. I'm learning how it is to be in NFL player. I'm glad I got a chance to go through this so I know what to expect down the road. I'm kind of bruising a little bit, but I'm alright."

On how the offensive line is playing:

"They've been playing great. The big boys up front, you can't ever say anything bad about them. They are playing great, they are fighting. That's all I can ask for. I want them do nothing special, but fight. As long as they fight, we're good."

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