Following the 49ers’ last-second victory against the Dallas Cowboys in Thursday night’s preseason game, it seems as though we’ve been left with more questions than answers. I’m sure most of us have been wrought with anxiety over the subpar performance of the offensive line, and the general ineptitude of the ground game. The defense wasn’t particularly impressive either, as the secondary was largely abused, and a few big runs from Cowboys RBs likely left a sour taste in the mouths of many.
Because of the rash of injuries sustained over the past two weeks, next week’s exhibition game against the Houston Texans may end up another ugly contest, especially early on. On the offensive side, the matchup to ideally avoid watching is everything that goes on in the trenches. The Texans have an incredibly talented front seven, and, although there’s no guarantee that J.J. Watt will show up, the 49ers offensive line will certainly have their hands full with the rest of the starting lineup. Guards Joshua Garnett and Jonathan Cooper are expected to return to practice today, so it’s a virtual certainty that neither will be playing on Saturday.
Defensively, it’s sure to be a long day for the secondary. Not only is DeShaun Watson healthy, but the Texans have a staggering amount of talent on the perimeters. A quick glance at SBN’s Texans site, Battle Red Blog, informed me that the battle for the FIFTH wide receiver job is currently between former 49er
Bruise Ailington Bruce Ellington and Braxton Miller - quite a favorable problem to have for them. Furthermore, the 49ers are expected to be without Richard Sherman and K’Waun Williams, meaning that we’re liable to see a lot of Jimmie Ward. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of Ward, but he’s been generally ineffective this year so far. I don’t agree with the decision to move him to outside corner, and I think he’s going to get picked on over and over next Saturday.
After today’s practice, the team will take Monday off, and depart for Houston after practice on Tuesday, where they will hold joint practices with the Texans. We’re almost there, folks, four Sundays from now we’ll have meaningful football back again.
The ebb and flow of pre-season roster building
Mike Person a person of interest in RG competition | Maiocco, NBC Sports Bay Area
Jullian Taylor has shown significant growth already | Branch, SF Gate
5 takeaways from Kyle Shanahan’s post-Cowboys game presser | Biderman, Ninerswire
Updated 53-man roster projection | Biderman, Ninerswire
How Kyle Juszczyk helped recruit Jerick McKinnon | Wagoner, ESPN