Final score: The 49ers came up just short, losing 23-16. Nick Mullens threw an interception on the team’s final offensive drive, and the Colts could kneel it out. The 49ers drop to 1-2 on the preseason. They host the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday to close it out.
Nick Mullens is back at it: The 49ers trailed 20-9, but Nick Mullens has made his presence known once again. Mullens completed a 35-yard pass to Aldrick Robinson to set up a Mullens QB scramble for the touchdown. Jeremy McNichols ran in the 2-pt conversion, and it’s 20-17 with 4:07 to go in the game.
Reuben Foster out with a concussion: The 49ers linebacker suffered a head injury in the third quarter, and was quickly ruled out with a concussion. He is unlikely to be available this coming week for the Chargers game, which means he will not be in game action again until Week 3, after his 2-game suspension.
Second team defense: The 49ers starting defense played the first half, and then were replaced by numerous reserves. Greg Mabin and Tarvarius Moore came on at cornerback, with Antone Exum and Tyvis Powell in at safety. D.J. Reed is playing nickel back. Reuben Foster and Brock Coyle are handling linebacker work. The defensive line includes Ronald Blair, D.J. Jones, Sheldon Day, and Dekoda Watson.
Halftime: The 49ers trail 7-6 at the half. The defense gave up an Andrew Luck touchdown pass to Eric Ebron, but the Colts averaged 4.3 yards per play with Luck in the game, which is a solid showing by the 49ers defense. The 49ers offense got into the red zone near the end of the half but a pair of dropped interceptions resulted in the 49ers kicking a field goal. Andrew Luck has departed the game, and we’ll see if Jimmy Garoppolo joins him on the sideline to start the third quarter.
First score: Neither team got on the board in the first quarter, but the 49ers managed a field goal early in the second quarter. With 13:37 to go in the quarter, they have to be impressed by Alfred Morris. He has nine rushes for 61 yards, and had a 17-yard run called back due to an illegal formation penalty. The Colts are not a good team, but Morris is showing out in a big way. The 49ers lead 3-0.
Strong run defense: Coming out of college, there were concerns about Ahkello Witherspoon’s physicality. On this Colts run play, he came on strong for the stop. One of my favorite plays of the first quarter.
Ahkello pic.twitter.com/0YmoZVFLv9— Fourth and Nine (@fourth_nine) August 25, 2018
Starting offense: No surprises to the starting line, with Mike Person in at right guard. Alfred Morris got 17 yards on his first carry, but it was called back due to illegal formation. He grabbed 11 yards on his second carry. The offense had a shot at a first down on a screen pass, but Raheem Mostert dropped the pass. They eventually had to punt.
Starting defense: The 49ers starting defense on the opening drive: DL Arik Armstead, DL DeForest Buckner, DL Solomon Thomas, DL Earl Mitchell, LB Malcolm Smith, LB Fred Warner, CB Richard Sherman, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, nickel back K’Waun Williams, FS Adrian Colbert, SS Jaquiski Tartt.
The opening drive for the defense was a good one, forcing a three-and-out of the Andrew Luck led Colts. The drive closed with a sack of Luck. Solomon Thomas made a nice move to get inside, but missed the sack. At least four other 49ers converged on Luck, wtih Jeremiah Attaochu getting credit for the sack.
Coin toss: The 49ers won the toss, but elected to defer. That means their offense will open the second half with the ball. As Matt Maiocco pointed out, that could mean Kyle Shanahan wants his first team offense to get some snaps into the third quarter.
Team captains: The 49ers captains for preseason Week 3 are Laken Tomlinson, Jaquiski Tartt, and Elijah Lee. The team has a captain each of offense, defense, and special teams. I don’t know that we can take much from Lee serving as a special teams captain, but with Reuben Foster’s two-week suspension looming, Lee has a shot at a roster spot.
Starting lineup notes: The 49ers are expected to start Mike Person at right guard, Fred Warner at MIKE linebacker, and Mark Nzeocha at SAM linebacker, per Joe Fann. Joshua Garnett has been getting praise for his work the past two weeks, but it would seem to not be enough to get him into the starting lineup. Does this mean person is the starter Week 1? Also, Warner is likely getting the start because Malcolm Smith is in his first game back from his injury.
49ers inactives: The 49ers announced their inactives, and the defense will get a look at most of the expected 2018 starters. Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, K’Waun Williams, and Malcolm Smith are all active for the game. The starters are expected to play the first half, but we’ll see what some of these guys get given their game-day inactivity previously. Here’s the full list of 49ers inactives for the game:
RB Matt Breida, OL Garry Gilliam, DB Marcell Harris, TE George Kittle, OL Erik Magnuson, WR Max McCaffrey, RB Jerick McKinnon, RB Joe Williams
Colts inactives: The Colts announced their inactives. Most notably, running backs Marlon Mack and Robert Turbin will not play, which means we won’t see the 49ers run defense getting quite the test. Additionally, left tackle Anthony Castonzo is inactive, which could help the 49ers pass rush. Here’s the Colts full list of inactives for Saturday:
DL Denico Autry, WR K.J. Brent, OT Anthony Castonzo, LB Jeremiah George, RB Tion Green, CB Nate Hairston, DL Tyquan Lewis, RB Marlon Mack, RB Branden Oliver, RB Robert Turbin, LB Anthony Walker, CB Quincy Wilson, WR James Wright
Pre-game: The 49ers are out on the field warming up for their 1:30 p.m. PT kickoff against the Colts. They will have a host of inactives for the game, which we’ll find out in the next hour or two. In the meantime, Jerick McKinnon (calf), Garry Gilliam (concussion), George Kittle (shoulder), and Matt Breida (shoulder) are taking care of pre-game workouts, according to Chris Biderman. They won’t play, but the workouts are still a good sign for the injured players.
We’re back once again for game day, y’all! The San Francisco 49ers have traveled east to face the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. PT, and will air locally on KPIX/CBS 5. Unfortunately it will not be broadcast nationally. It is worth noting however that NFL Network will re-air the game Sunday, August 26th at 9:00 p.m., and Tuesday August 28th at 7:00 a.m.
This is the third game of the preseason, which means it is the “dress rehearsal” game. The starters could play the entire first half, although head coach Kyle Shanahan acknowledged it would depend on how things are going whether they play less or more than that. But, we’ll likely get at least three or four series of the starting lineup.
The 49ers will welcome back cornerback Richard Sherman and defensive lineman Arik Armstead, and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas has a good chance of playing as well. Offensive tackle Garry Gilliam has been ruled out while he remains in the concussion protocol. Cornerback K’Waun Williams is questionable with an ankle injury, and sounds like a game-time decision.
The 49ers opened as a 1.5-point underdog, but the line has come down to a pick ‘em as gamblers have bet heavily on the 49ers. The 49ers are 1-1 in the preseason, but 0-2 against the spread. I have them winning this one and the point total going UNDER the point total of 43.
Nuts and bolts
Location: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN
Game time: Saturday, August 25, 1:30 p.m. PT
TV channel: CBS/KPIX-5, (Do I get the game in NorCal or Texas area?)
Online streaming: NFL Game Pass, DirecTV Now, Sling TV
NFL Network Replay: Sun Aug 26 9:00 p.m., Tues Aug 28 7:00 a.m.
Radio: 680-AM, 107.7 (Bob Fitzgerald, Keena Turner, Dennis Brown) | Full listings
Spanish Radio: KTRB 860-AM (Jesus Zarate, Luis Landero)
Matchup history: 49ers lead preseason series 1-0
Announcers: Ted Robinson, Tim Ryan, Dennis O'Donnell (sideline)
Enemy blog: Stampede Blue
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Week 1 (Aug 9): vs. Dallas Cowboys — 24-21 W
Week 2 (Aug 18): @ Houston Texans — 16-13 L
Week 3 (Aug 25): @ Indianapolis Colts, 1:30 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)
Week 4 (Aug 30): vs. Los Angeles Chargers, 7 p.m. - KPIX (no national coverage)
Regular season schedule
Week 1: @ Minnesota Vikings, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, September 9
Week 2: vs. Detroit Lions, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, September 16
Week 3: @ Kansas City Chiefs, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, September 23
Week 4: @ Los Angeles Chargers, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, September 30
Week 5: vs. Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, October 7
Week 6: @ Green Bay Packers, 5:15 p.m., ESPN, Monday, October 15
Week 7: vs. Los Angeles Rams, 5:20 p.m., NBC, Sunday, October 21
Week 8: @ Arizona Cardinals, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, October 28
Week 9: vs. Oakland Raiders, 5:20 p.m., NFL Network, Thursday, November 1
Week 10: vs. New York Giants, 5:15 p.m., ESPN, Monday, November 12
Week 11: BYE
Week 12: @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 10:00 a.m., FOX, Sunday, November 25
Week 13: @ Seattle Seahawks, 5:20 p.m., NBC, Sunday, December 2
Week 14: vs. Denver Broncos, 1:05 p.m., CBS, Sunday, December 9
Week 15: vs. Seattle Seahawks, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 16
Week 16: vs. Chicago Bears, 1:05 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 23
Week 17: @ Los Angeles Rams, 1:25 p.m., FOX, Sunday, December 30