Prior to Friday's preseason matchup with the Minnesota Vikings, the 49ers coaching staff told the media they would be sticking with primarily basic concepts throughout the game. Although there were a lot of personnel groupings, the offense did not attempt to blow things wide open. The first drive saw them pounding the ball down the Vikings throat, with the passing game mostly an afterthought.
It is not surprising that the game was fairly basic, but one has to wonder if it was even more so given that the 49ers will travel to face the Vikings in week three. The first preseason game is not a game where teams are making a big deal out of things, so I could be overreaching. I thought about this in part because of some mentions that some teams adjust their preseason game plans based on eventual opponents.
For example, the Eagles face the Cleveland Browns in week three of the preseason, which is the game where teams usually run a sort of dress rehearsal with their starters getting the most playing time. However, the Eagles and Browns also face off in week one of the regular season, so the Eagles are planning on using this weekend's matchup with the Patriots as their dress rehearsal.
This is a little bit different than the 49ers facing the Vikings in the preseason opener, and then again in week three of the regular season, but it still made me stop and think. Who knows what Coach Harbaugh and his coaching staff are cooking up for the regular season. It requires taking that much more of a grain of salt with some of these performances and game plans.