The San Francisco 49ers have finished their first preseason game and it’s apparent in all phases that they have a lot of work to do. The defensive starters allowed the Cowboys running game to roll all over them. On the offensive side, pocket collapses and mistimed throws took what looked liked a promising drive from Jimmy Garoppolo into a punt. The team did manage to win the game, by a final score of 24-21, courtesy of a 14-point comeback in the fourth quarter led by Nick Mullens.
Too. Many. Injuries.
And then there were injuries. Solomon Thomas and Gary Gilliam left the field with concussions. George Kittle and Matt Breida have what is reported as shoulder injuries, and there’s numerous other dings and bangs too numerous to list.
Here’s six things we learned:
Jullian Taylor isn’t a bad 7th round pick
The 49ers seventh round pick took the starting reigns tonight and for a rookie, held his own, not letting himself get pushed around too much at the line. 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has said Taylor has work to do in uncovering his game, but for a seventh round pick who played very little in college, Taylor was a nice surprise. He also managed to play the entire game, which is rare for preseason and notch a crucial sack in the 4th quarter.
Richie James was a good seventh round pick too.
The 49ers wide receiver caught some nice balls, some in tight coverage and others where he could easily step out of bounds. But nothing was as good as his catch with 18 seconds to go and win the game. James has some nice wheels on him and now is showing he has some nice hands. He’s somebody to keep an eye on.
Jimmy Garoppolo/Marquise Goodwin connection still going strong
The 49ers starting offense showed promise early in the drive, but wound up laying an egg. One of the few highlights was the return of the Garoppolo/Goodwin connection. The ‘double G.’ Garoppolo continued to fit a a couple nice throws to Goodwin, providing the only highlights of the offense.
The 49ers offensive line is still a work in progress
A couple Jerick McKinnon runs seemed to break down earlier than preferred, but the starting offensive line isn’t a source of misery (for once). Instead it’s the backups. Second string quarterback C.J. Beathard was under duress for his entire evening and threw at least three tipped balls that I counted. Speaking of Beathard, it wasn’t his best night. He completed a nice ball to Aldrick Robinson,
Given all the injury issues, pray that one doesn’t happen to the offensive line.
Dante Pettis is fast
The 49ers wide receiver is like a fluid cartoon when he runs routes. He managed to get past several Cowboys defenders and catch a nicely spiraled pass from Beathard to give the 49ers a trip to the redzone. Unfortunately, the ball came out a bit late or Pettis would have crossed into the endzone. Watch some of Pettis’ practice tape where he runs routes, he’s so darn fluid.
Raheem Mostert getting a lot of work
The 49ers special teams ace got a lot of snaps at running back Thursday night. Mostert looked better than Joe Williams did at several points. In 2017, Mostert was a reliable special teams player and could be called upon in emergency for running back. If WIlliams makes the team Mostert could be out of a job and vice versa. Right now it looks like Mostert may still be hanging on.
Up Next: The 49ers get the Houston Texans a week from Saturday, August 18th.