The San Francisco 49ers opened their preseason with a loss to the Baltimore Ravens, and it was a forgettable evening for Blaine Gabbert. The 49ers backup quarterback played part of the first quarter, and all of the second quarter, finishing 3 of 11 for 20 yards, with one interception.
I think the best way to sum up Gabbert's evening is with this: At one point, he was 3 of 10 for 20 yards and an interception, giving him a QB rating of 0.0. On his next, and final attempt of the evening, he threw an incomplete pass. His QB rating went up to 1.7. 'Nuff said.
Gabbert struggled mightily, seemingly focusing in on his first read, and generally staring down his receivers. It was disappointing, and it took only a few seconds for people demanding the 49ers money back on the deal. The 49ers are on the hook for a little over $2 million, so that certainly is something to consider. At the same time, if he continues to struggle, it opens the door for some decisions.
Jim Harbaugh was asked after the game if the backup job was up for grabs. In Harbaugh fashion, he simply said "I think with our team, there are some spots up for grabs in the depth area." He would not say QB specifically, but Gabbert did not inspire much confidence. Harbaugh pointed out that he got the plays in and got the team to the line quickly, but other than that, it was not a good day.
It was a less than stellar day overall from the backup quarterbacks, although Josh Johnson had his moments. Johnson was 6 of 8 for 63 yards, with a 15 yard scramble. It was a little more inconsistent at times, but compared to what Gabbert and McBLT did, it should count as a win for him. McLeod Bethel-Thompson was 3 of 7 for 26 yards and an interception.
Of course, it also was just the first preseason game. You don't want to see poor performances, but hopefully we see some improvement next week against Denver. And for Josh Johnson, it would be nice to see him build on some positive moments against the Ravens. In the meantime, feel free to rage away about the backup quarterbacks if you so choose.