The dress rehearsal did not go entirely as planned for the San Francisco 49ers, losing 23-17 to the Indianapolis Colts. While Kyle Shanahan’s squad out-played the Colts for the majority of the contest, ill-timed penalties, receiver drops, and poor red-zone execution killed their chances of winning.
In a single word, the 49ers couldn’t finish. They couldn’t finish plays, couldn’t finish drives and couldn’t finish sacks. Regardless, the 49ers’ skill players came up with highlight-worthy plays on Saturday. Let’s take a look at some of the best moments.
The 49ers’ defensive line was able to generate some early pressure on Saturday, thanks in part to defensive end Solomon Thomas’ return to the field. His rush up the field allowed the others to arrive to the party and finish off the sack on quarterback Andrew Luck.
For the defense’s opening drive, rookie linebacker Fred Warner was able to stop Colts’ running back Jordan Wilkins three yards behind the line of scrimmage, effectively ending the drive. Warner burst through the line untouched and reminded fans of linebacking partner Reuben Foster.
Right out of the gates, running back Alfred Morris broke out one of his longest runs of the game. The newly-signed 49er was patient behind the offensive line, zigging and zagging his way to an 11-yard gain.
Pierre Garçon, anyone? It seems like the Indianapolis defense forgot about the former Colt, who snuck behind the secondary for a 47-yard gain. Outside the 49ers’ building, many have pondered if Garçon could be a surprise cut with a bevy of young receivers in the mix, but this play shows his explosiveness on the field cannot be replaced.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t have the best box score today, but he wasn’t getting a ton of help from his pass catchers, either. On this play, wide receiver Marquise Goodwin made sure to help his signal caller out with a difficult catch, showing off his toe drag swag.
Fans were finally excited to see corner Richard Sherman make his debut with the 49ers on Saturday and he didn’t let them down. The ex-Seahawk was target once and didn’t allow the completion. Add this play to the highlight reel called “Vintage Richard.”
Seventh-round rookie receiver Richie James is making life difficult for Shanahan. No, it’s not because of poor play, it’s because James is forcing a tough receiver cut for the 49ers’ brain trust. Early in the second half, James shows off his ability to create yards after the catch (YAC), in this 42-yard completion.
Veteran wideout Aldrick Robinson’s chances of making the final roster are slim, but he’s trying to do everything he can, hauling in this deep ball from third-string quarterback Nick Mullens.
This may be the last time you see most of these players on the field ahead of the regular season opener against the Minnesota Vikings. They didn’t disappoint, racking up impressive plays in Indianapolis.