The third preseason game is usually the most exciting. You can certainly make an argument for the first game, since it's - well - first. After the dull offseason, you get to watch football once again. But, the third game is when the starters get the most time, teams run plays that aren't only vanilla (Chocolate? Strawberry?), and you still get to see guys like Jarryd Hayne and Mike Purcell.
So, just like we have done the last couple of weeks, we are going to rank and discuss our top five position groups we want to watch in anticipation of the San Francisco 49ers preseason matchup with the Denver Broncos. It's easy: just list out five (or as many as you want) position groups that you are exciting to see tonight and offer some explanation.
Here's my list for tonight:
It's always going to be tough for me not to want to watch the QB position group heavily during the third game of the preseason. Traditionally, this is the game in which the starters play the longest, so seeing what Colin Kaepernick brings to this game is intriguing. The fact of the matter is, we haven't really seen Kaepernick do much of anything this offseason besides hand the ball off, miss Torrey Smith downfield, and have a nice run up the seam. I'd like to see Kaepernick get more than seven plays tonight. In my mind, at least, this is the season in which Kaepernick either proves that he is the guy going forward or the team needs to think about drafting and grooming a new QB.
I have DBs next simply because of whom we are playing. Peyton Manning is one of those QBs who actually doesn't need much time in the third preseason game, so he might not play as long as other starters, but I've seen some indication that Manning will play at least the first half. That's a good chunk of time for our DBs to be tested. I hope that they can respond (looking mainly at you, CBs!).
I'm including TEs this time around, although I hadn't really before, simply because I want to see how Vernon Davis is going to respond to his down year. Moreover, with the TE situation still a bit of a quandary, it'll be interesting to see how much of a difference certain players can make in game. Will they be able to have an impact on final roster cuts based upon the remaining two games? Perhaps, though I suspect that the coaches already have a pretty good sense of whom they want to keep on the roster.