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49ers vs. Ravens: We shouldn't draw conclusions from 1 preseason game, but let's do it anyway

Don't draw conclusions from preseason openers. Just don't do it. Anyway, let's draw some conclusions from Thursday's preseason opener.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Overreacting is part of being a sports fan. Being totally unreasonable in every way is also part of being a fan. Every single level-headed person here has moments of pure fanaticism. Sometimes it's bad and sometimes it's harmless. Taking the preseason opener as anything other than a mostly pointless exhibition game falls into the "harmless" category.

You know you've done it, and you know you probably did it to some extent during or following Thursday's loss to the Baltimore Ravens. It happens, and I want you to know that's OK. But I also want you to know that Blaine Gabbert is going to get another chance to show he can be productive under Jim Harbaugh, and I want you to know that Quinton Dial probably isn't going to make the Pro Bowl this year.

But say there was some sort of judgment we collectively passed. Of all the conclusions we erroneously drew from that dumpster fire of a football game, which of them is most grounded in potential reality?

I've given a couple examples above, but I suppose there's an endless stream of them we could talk about. I'll go ahead and list a few below.

- Carlos Hyde is going to be the next Frank Gore, in style and production.

- Tank Carradine is ready to start.

- Quinton Dial is the new nose tackle.

- Vance McDonald is going to break out this year.

- Blaine Gabbert will lose the backup quarterback job to Josh Johnson

- Chris Cook is going to be an interception machine.

- Jimmie Ward is a bust.

- Chris Borland is a special teamer and nothing more.

- Bruce Ellington, 49ers return-man for life.


I listed quite a few there ... in a nutshell, all of those things could be inferred after watching the first preseason game, if you were somebody who had no idea that what you were watching was a preseason game. Or maybe even what the preseason even is. But here's the point I'm getting at: which of these conclusions are most likely?

On top of which are most likely -- which ones do you want to be true? I'm trying to think of what would benefit the team the most, and I'm thinking it would be Hyde being successful or Carradine ready to start/step in for Justin Smith and fill his shoes. I'd like to hear your thoughts, dear readers.