I've been pretty vocal about how there was so little to actually care about when it comes to the San Francisco 49ers' game against the Denver Broncos, but I've done my best to break down the interesting things thus far.
Reggie Bush wasn't great as a returner, Dontae Johnson looked solid at outside cornerback but struggled in the slot, NaVorro Bowman had a big day while Michael Wilhoite was solid and finally, Colin Kaepernick needs to show better judgment on when to pass and when to run.
When looking for things to break down, I saw very little of interest on the defensive line, the outside linebackers were basically non-existent and the safeties were solid but didn't do anything spectacular. Kaepernick was mostly whatever, Blaine Gabbert was very Blaine Gabbert-y and there wasn't even anything approaching Eli Harold dancing levels of interest.
Then Dylan Thompson came into the game and ... that was something.
Thompson was not among the 49ers' opening round of roster cuts. Thus far, he's looked every bit the undrafted rookie quarterback that he is, but it hasn't all been bad. He's made a few good throws here and there. In his very limited role against the Broncos he ... didn't make any of those.
Here's a first down play, in which Thompson runs away from the pocket instead of stepping into it, and then throws the ball away despite rookie Mike Davis getting open for a solid gain in the middle and whatever else was happening on the other side of the field. Oof.
On second down, Thompson steps into the pocket and throws for Jarryd Hayne, but the ball looks like it's tipped at the line as Thompson tries to rocket a bullet to his guy. The biggest issue with this, other than him not accounting for the potential for a tipped ball (the guy who tips it doesn't have to jump to get the height he needs), is that he's pretty clearly looking right at Hayne the whole time, despite it being a 2nd and 15 with Hayne covered well by a linebacker a yard beyond the line of scrimmage.
That's fine, I'm sure third down will be a lot better, you guys.
Uh, well ... You can't win them all, I guess. I'm really not sure what happened on this play -- Thompson has all the protection he needs, he steps into his throw and heaves it downfield in the general direction of a 49ers player who has a bit of cushion from the safety and a step on the other defender. There's plenty of room for the ball to be dropped right in that hole for his guy but he ... doesn't do that.
Obviously, we're looking at these gifs with a little tongue-in-cheek analysis, given the circumstances. This was Thompson's first drive of the game, late in the fourth quarter while the 49ers were trailing, and the team had just had a false start before. I just thought it might be funny and interesting to look at three consecutive terrible plays, because I've been far too positive of late.