The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 0-2 in the preseason, losing to the Denver Broncos 34-0 in the first game at Levi's Stadium. There were some highlights on the field, but for the most part, it was not a pretty performance by the home team. There were multiple turnovers, and generally poor play. The 49ers rested a lot of starters, or gave starters limited play, so we don't need to lose our minds at this point. Although, I'm sure plenty still will.
Colin Kaepernick and the starters got a solid two series of action. Some of the starters were in longer, but a good chunk went out for those two series. Kap finished his appearance 5 of 9 for 39 yards, and did some good work checking out his options. The best example came on a Carlos Hyde 9-yard catch and run in which Kap scanned through a couple options, then dumped if off to Hyde. It was limited work, but the patience was a good sign.
The offensive play of the day might have been the dart Vance McDonald caught from Kap. McDonald only has three receptions through the two preseason games, but he has looked solid thus far. If he can make the drops a thing of the past (or at least most of the time), he could become a solid part of short to intermediate offense.
The starting defense was limited in part due to the absence of several starters. Justin Smith, Ian Williams, Tramaine Brock, and Patrick Willis (as well as NaVorro Bowman, obviously) were not playing. Add in the defense not offering anything overly complicated for Manning, and it was easy pickings for the Broncos signal caller. Manning was 12 of 14 for 102 yards and a touchdown.
Of course, Brock Osweiler looked just as good as Manning, completing 10 of 13 passes for 102 yards and a touchdown. It was a disappointing performance from the secondary, but it is not as simple as saying the secondary sucks. The 49ers sat four defensive starters. Aldon Smith will probably sit out the early portion of the season with his eventual suspension, but even without him, they should have a full complement of defenders on display. It doesn't make this a good performance by any means, but there are reasons not to lose our minds quite yet. Of course, if this happens again Week 7, maybe there will be a problem!
All that being said, one standout in the secondary was Kenneth Acker. He should have had a pick, but Aaron Lynch's head was offsides. He was all over the field, breaking up passes. The only time anybody found real significant success against him required offensive pass interference for a touchdown that was called back.
Blaine Gabbert was once again another story of the game. He completed 8 of 14 passes for 40 yards, and also had an interception on a deflected pass. Prior to the interception, Gabbert had a run of 4-consecutive completed passes, but other than that, it was another poor performance from Gabbert. He was not helped by some drops, but even on some of the drops, the passes were too high or lacked touch.
Josh Johnson was better than Gabbert, but it is not like that was a high bar. While Johnson was better, he took a step back from a solid performance last week. Right now, the 49ers backup quarterback situation is not looking particularly good. I've already started getting tweets about trading for every player under the sun. I even got a couple Tim Tebow tweets!
The 49ers will be back next Sunday against the San Diego Chargers. That game will be at 1 p.m. PT on FOX as the national game of the week. I should not be concerned about impressing other fans, but it would be nice to put together a decent effort. Or maybe the 49ers will just keep things close to the vest once again, and just wait for the regular season.