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49ers-Colts preview: Scouting report on Jacoby Brissett

We talked Jacoby Brissett with the folks at Stampede Blue.

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Seattle Seahawks Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Indianapolis Colts this weekend, in a matchup of two teams stumbling through the first quarter of the 2017 NFL season. The reasons for stumbling differ for the two franchises. The 49ers are in the early stages of a rebuilding process, while the Colts are trying to tread water until Andrew Luck returns.

The Colts QB had shoulder surgery this offseason, and finally returned to practice this week. He is out for Sunday, but he could be back in the next week or two. In the meantime, Jacoby Brissett is getting the start against the 49ers. The Colts acquired Brissett on September 2, and after coming on in relief of Scott Tolzien in Week 1, he was starting in Week 2.

We took a few minutes this week to chat with the folks at Stampede Blue. Naturally, we wanted to know more about what Brissett brings to the table. The Colts offensive line is a bit of a mess, which could bode well for the 49ers pass rush. The 49ers got big-time pressure on Carson Palmer last week, and considering a turtle is more mobile than Palmer, they piled up the sacks. Two weeks prior, they got pressure on Russell Wilson, but his legs helped him make plays and evade the 49ers pass rush.

Brett from Stampede Blue offered some thoughts on Brissett’s strengths and weaknesses:

For Andrew Luck’s entire career, Colts fans knew that if anything happened to him, the whole season would be over. While veteran Matt Hasselbeck represented a legitimate backup quarterback for a couple of years, filling in when Luck missed time, he was a stop-gap solution whose career was nearing its end. Rookie quarterback Jacoby Brissett represents something fans in Indianapolis haven't had in quite some time.

Brissett is a second-year, former third round draft pick, who was forced to start in New England last year during Tom Brady's suspension and Jimmy Garoppolo's injury. He carried that experience into preseason and closed out this preseason with one of the most impressive game four performances that I can remember. The Colts were able to unload former first round wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who never carved out a legitimate role on the team, and look like the early winners of the trade to this point.

There are positive attributes to Brissett's game that might allow him to have a future as an NFL starter. The most obvious is that he has a legitimate NFL arm. He can get the ball down the field and does an excellent job putting touch on the ball so receivers can go up and get it. On short or intermediate passes he shows the arm strength to fit the ball into tight windows and make completions some quarterbacks can't.

He also has the ability to extend plays with his legs and had two rushing touchdowns in the Colts win against the Cleveland Browns. I suspect that his legs will play a role in the outcome of this game at some point.

His weaknesses include a yet unrefined pocket presence. He is not afraid to stand in the pocket and make throws with pressure coming in his face but sometimes he is a statue. You can't get away with holding onto the ball for very long in the NFL and that leads him to taking hits, sacks, and sometimes leads to turnovers. He must learn to better navigate the pocket or he will make life infinitely more difficult for the Colts offensive line.

He has also displayed the propensity to make silly mistakes. The two biggest mistakes he has made to this point is throwing an interception in overtime against Arizona on a pass he never should have let fly and throwing a horrible pick six last week against the Seahawks to Kamar Aiken, who was blanketed by a defender. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have confidence in yourself and in your receivers but you have to know when to pull the ball down and move on to the next play or even the next set of downs.

All told, the nice thing about Brissett is that he's good enough to win football games. When your franchise quarterback is down, that is about all you can ask.