As you may have heard, the San Francisco 49ers had a much better showing offensively in their second preseason game than their first. Yes, things ended in an interception, but before that we got it all; fourth down plays, passes, non-existent running game. All the things you see a great quarterback work with.
We’ll do the same thing we did last week and look at each of Jimmy Garoppolo’s snaps on Saturday.
1st and 10, San Francisco 22-yard line
Garoppolo attempts play-action and rolls out to throw a quick strike to Garrett Celek for 8 yards. Decent opening play to the day.
2nd and 2, San Francisco 30-yard line
Garoppolo fakes a handoff to the running back and instead gives the ball to a charging Dante Pettis for a sweep. Pettis doesn’t get very far and is tackled in the backfield for a loss of five yards. The play was executed fine in the backfield, it was just the blocking that ruined the fun of it. Credit also to the Texans linebacker Duke Ejiofor for not biting on the first handoff and making himself free for Pettis it was as much a good defensive play as it was a bad offensive blocking. Had Pettis been granted another second, he could have been off and running.
3rd and 7, San Francisco 25-yard line
Now we’re talking! Garoppolo takes a snap from shotgun against a five-man front that after a delay turns into six men (with help from the backfield) coming for Garoppolo. After a small step forward, Garoppolo unloads a perfect-dropped dime into the arms of Marquise Goodwin who is wrestled out of bounds. The 49ers gained 40 yards on the play. This was easily the play of the night from Garoppolo and a nice check-in on his perceived deep ball issues that were reported on at training camp.
1st and 10, Houston 35-yard line
Garoppolo hands it off to Jeremy McNichols who gets a solid yard. Looked like a miscue from the offensive line as McNichols had nowhere to go on the play.
2nd and 9, Houston 34-yard line
From the gun Garoppolo takes one or two reads and tries to throw to Pierre Garçon in the middle of the field. Garçon is quickly brought down before he can get his hands on the ball. Just a simple vanilla play. Nothing more. Garçon would have gained at-most five yards and wouldn’t have gone anywhere if caught.
3rd and 9, Houston 34-yard line
Again from the gun. Garoppolo takes two steps back and finds Goodwin in stride. Goodwin is stopped one yard shy from the first down and the 49ers are going for it on 4th down.
4th and 1, Houston 26-yard line
Garoppolo goes under center and takes a few steps back looking onto the left side of the field. He switches targets and looks on the opposite end to find a wide open Kyle Juszczyk. Garoppolo gets rid of the ball just as getting hit and Juszczyk takes it all the way to the two-yard line.
1st and goal, Houston 2-yard line
Joe Staley gets flagged for false start. Welp!
1st and goal, Houston 7-yard line
Under center, Garoppolo goes back and does a quick toss to Juszczyk who regains the five yards the 49ers were penalized for. Simple dump off throw.
2nd and goal Houston 2-yard line
Garoppolo hands the ball to McNichols who slips into a pile of football players. This is a pretty good indication of the running game for Saturday night.
3rd and goal Houston 2-yard line
Garoppolo takes a snap in an empty backfield. Everyone looks covered and Garoppolo tries a pump fake while staying somewhat in the same pocket. Trent Taylor comes flying in from the left side and Garoppolo throws a perfect ball for the touchdown. This play was just stupid on so many levels. Taylor was running one way and then the other while Garoppolo threw the ball with anticipation you don’t see often. If you can get a good look of it on coaches film you’ll see where Garoppolo was looking and it’s just a nuts throw.
1st and 10, San Francisco 22-yard line
Garoppolo goes under center and flicks a quick toss to Garçon who has enough room to gain 17 yards. Simple, quick, efficient. Not sure why Garçon was that open, but I won’t complain.
1st and 10, San Francisco 39-yard line
Garoppolo pitches it to Joe Williams who barely makes it a yard past the line of scrimmage before getting clotheslined by Zach Cunningham.
2nd and 9, San Francisco 40-yard line
Garoppolo hands it off to Joe Williams who gets a cool two yards before getting tackled this time. Progress.
3rd and 7, San Francisco 42-yard line
Garoppolo takes a snap from the gun. Six Texans come running in and Garoppolo looks the other way to get the ball quickly to Goodwin who is beelining to towards the sideline. 13 yard gain and that will teach those nasty J.J. Watt-less Texans not to blitz Jimmy G.
1st and 10, Houston 45
Garoppolo hands it off to McNichols who busts out a four yard gain. One of his better runs of the night.
2nd and 6, Houston 41-yard line
Another handoff to McNichols who nets two yards this time.
3rd and 4, Houston 39-yard line
From the gun, Garoppolo has a four man rush, but quickly gets the ball out to Trent Taylor on the side of the field who is tackled during the catch. Taylor’s catch just barely gets the 49ers a new set of downs.
1st and 10, Houston 34-yard line
A shotgun snap where Garoppolo hands it to a accelerating McNichols. The burst worked because McNichols got six yards, his best yardage of the night. It’s the Jimmy G effect.
2nd and 4, Houston 28-yard line
A toss to Williams who got pushed out of bounds just as he crossed the line of scrimmage. Williams looked like he could have turned his body downfield sooner and kept on his feet. Had he been able to, he would have been able to pick up a first down. As it is, it’s a two yard pickup.
3rd and 2, Houston 26-yard line
Garoppolo goes play action and rolls out to throw to a wide open Cole Hikutini. It’s green grass for Hikutini who takes it for 14 yards. It’s such a simple play but so so beautiful to watch.
1st and 10, Houston 12-yard line
McNichols gets a handoff and achieves an even better feat: seven yards. Too bad Weston Richburg got called for holding. The negative yardage continued as Richburg was then flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.
1st and 35, Houston 37-yard line
Garoppolo takes a shotgun snap and waits a few moments before throwing a deep strike that hits Dante Pettis’ hands and bounces into the arms of Johnson Bademosi. Garoppolo’s night is done.
Much better showing than last week. Sure, the running game was atrocious, but when you’re out your top two running backs, that might be expected. Even with that, the 49ers managed to get yardage and points despite some setbacks. Well, until Richburg knuckleheaded the team into a 35-yard deficit. Had Pettis caught that pass, the team probably could have gotten out with a field goal. Despite those issues, there’s a lot to get excited for with this 49ers team with what we saw Saturday.