The San Francisco second preseason game against the Houston Texans is currently going on and we’ve gotten our glimpses of the starters for both offense and defense. The offense got two series this week, which meant we got an extended look of Jimmy Garoppolo while defense will start pulling starters as plays go on. We’ll get to the defense, let’s first break down the offense:
Last week, the offense was a bit uninspiring while the defense broke down at crucial moments. This week, the offense overcame mental mistakes and miscues to put together a beautiful opening drive, capped by a Jimmy Garoppolo to Trent Taylor touchdown. Not to be outlooked, there was also this dime by Garoppolo that netted the 49ers 40 or so yards.
The 49ers had some issues on the first drive, namely no running game, but that changed in the second series with some nice runs by Jeremy McNichols and Joe Williams. The 49ers were closing in to score a second time, but then a series of events happened. First Weston Richburg got flagged for holding. Following that, he was subsequently slapped with an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. That put the 49ers at 1st and 35, and as you might guess, killed the drive. Garoppolo threw a pass that was high and redirected by Pettis’ fingers into the arms of the Texans, ending his night. Garoppolo finished the night 10-12, 136 yards, with a touchdown and an interception. A QB rating of 102.
The 49ers defense had its good and bad. Reuben Foster was all over the field again, stuffing runs and batting passes, and I don’t care if it was Brandon Weedon he was doing it to—he still looked good.
Beyond Foster though, the 49ers bent and bent until they were at 4th and goal with only inches to go, all the while being beneficiaries of dropped passes by the Texans wide receivers. Not like it mattered because the Texans scored anyways. Former 49ers wide receiver and draft pick Bruce Ellington gashed them with some nice catches and gifted them some of the aforementioned drops. Ellington was able to catch the 4th down touchdown pass to tie the score up. The defense didn’t look horrible, and given some of the personel out, it’s understandable. They were able to bottle up the run game several times and besides a long gain by Bruce Ellington, they were able to keep big plays from breaking out. Still, the offense is the clear winner tonight. If Weston Richburg didn’t knucklehead the team into a 25 yard loss, it’s not out of the realm of possible Garoppolo finds a way to get some of the yards back and at least net the 49ers a field goal.
Both sides still have some work to do, but both looked much, much better than last week. The offense wins out, but it’s not even close. Take away those two penalties and it’s almost unfair. If you look at the way the Texans drove down the field vs the 49ers, you see the difference.