The 49ers started the 2014 season just like they did last season: with a solid win against a historical rival with a prolific offense and sub par defense. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were overwhelmed at the last season opener, and this time it was Tony Romo and the Cowboys on the losing end of a strong performance by the Niners. It wasn't a perfect performance, but they showed more than enough on both sides of the ball to quiet a lot of the preseason concerns:
- The defense relied on their young depth to keep the Dallas out of the end zone for most of the game giving up only a couple of garbage-time scores in the final minutes.
- The pass rush was inconsistent early on but did manage to get to Romo a few times. Justin Smith's bull rush looks like it is back to filthy-mode again and hopefully he will stay healthy all season.
- Dan Skuta forced the fumble that led to the defensive TD on the opening drive giving the team the early momentum that they never relinquished. The secondary was able to follow that up with 3 interceptions giving the team a robust +4 turnover margin.
- There are some injury concerns with 3 of the starting DBs leaving the game with various injuries, but Perrish Cox and Dontae Johnson were able to step in adequately. The biggest thing to take from this is that the 49ers defensive depth looks strong, and it needs to stay strong since it will be tested further in the first half of the season.
- Colin Kaepernick and the offense were able to silence all the critical nonsense that came up during the preseason. Kap was sharp in his passing, good with his reads, and was able to spread the ball around to his many targets. He looked comfortable in the pocket and was quite deadly when flushed out of it. We do have to note that they were up against what could be the worst defense in the NFL this year.
- Anquan Boldin looks like he's already in mid-season form, being the go to guy to get first downs.
- Frank Gore had another decent game and he does deserve a shout out for passing the 10,000 yard career mark.
- What does excite me more is the performance of Carlos Hyde. He was sneaky explosive bursting through those interior holes. Kind of reminds of a young...Frank Gore. If we haven't established an El Guapo Bandwagon yet, then lets get right on that. We need a logo!
Now here are all your glorious season opener links...
Game Recaps & Reviews
Cowboys cure 49ers' preseason ills (Gutierrez)
49ers get their groove back in Dallas (Barrows)
Congratulations Frank! | Frank Gore Crosses 10,000-yard Mark for 49ers Career (Pentis)
Ian Rappaport should work for a glass company. He has a talent for blowing hot air to make things. | 49ers' Harbaugh: I still have the locker room (Inman)
What, no vitriol this time? Ok maybe small veiled ones. | 49ers, Harbaugh stay strong on, off field (Kawakami)
Somebody buy Jerry Jones some eye-glasses. | Jerry unaware of fan ratio at AT&T (ESPN)