The San Francisco 49ers managed their first touchdown and first win of the preseason, improving to 1-1 with a 15-13 comeback win over the Kansas City Chiefs. B.J. Daniels turned into the player of the game with a dynamic fourth quarter drive, capped by a beautiful 14-yard touchdown pass to Chuck Jacobs. Daniels finished the game 6 of 9 for 72 yards and the touchdown, along with 13 rushing yards. Two of those incompletions came on the previous drive. It was only the fourth quarter, but it was pretty impressive stuff from the rookie.
The 49ers defense also put together another strong performance, with the starters and reserves looking good for the most part. The only touchdown came on a Chiefs kick return. Other than that, the 49ers defense has now put together eight strong quarters of football.
The story of the first half was the Chiefs starters spending most of the time facing the 49ers second string offense and defense. Frank Gore made his preseason debut with a big 52-yard run, and Colin Kaepernick got in a series of play, but after that it was about the backups at those positions. The 49ers gave Colt McCoy and Scott Tolzien multiple opportunities with the first string offense. Neither was able to do much, which was a bit disheartening.
Once the 49ers starters got off the field, the game provided us a chance to see some strong play by the 49ers defensive depth. Michael Wilhoite has been starting, but we also know that he will be a reserve when they regular season starts. Wilhoite looked strong with big plays against the run, and some great coverage of Dwayne Bowe on a pass. Wilhoite seems to be solidifying that primary backup inside linebacker role. Corey Lemonier also had a strong first half, getting a sack and consistently applying pressure once again.
A.J. Jenkins struggled to do much in the first half, although to be fair, he was facing a tough corner in Sean Smith. It seemed like Jenkins could not get any separation, and the one time he did, Colt McCoy underthrew the ball off his backfoot for an interception.
The second half was pretty meh into the fourth quarter, before B.J. Daniels entered the game. The 49ers offensive reserves looked meh, but Daniels seemed to energize the group. The offensive line reserves are looking fairly abysmal right now, so let's just hope for the best from the first string offensive line.
Offensive player of the game: B.J. Daniels - We'll have plenty more on Daniels, but for now, the rookie QB made his debut under center and looked strong. It was against reserves, but a strong performance builds confidence. Daniels brought excitement as he led the 49ers on a 12-play, 90-yard drive for the go-ahead touchdown. He showed elusiveness, a strong arm, and an ability to make things happen on the run. Gotta love it!
Defensive player of the game: Perrish Cox - The 49ers second string nickel back has had a pair of strong games. Tonight he picked up two sacks on blitzes off the edge. He benefitted from some poor pass protection, but making plays is making plays. He also had a nice pass break-up, and I'm tempted to move him from strong bubble to lock pretty soon.
Special teams player of the game: Phil Dawson - The 49ers free agent acquisition put together a strong performance, connecting on two separate 55-yard field goals, hitting on all three of his field goals for the day. The big test will be back at Candlestick Park next Sunday when the 49ers host the Vikings. It's all about those swirling winds.
We'll be back with plenty more on this, and plenty of B.J. Daniels threads for you!