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Chargers defeat 49ers in preseason finale 27-24

No more preseason!

Los Angeles Chargers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The game didn’t start as the San Francisco 49ers had envisioned, as the Los Angeles Chargers opened up the game with a 42-yard run. The defense was able to buckle down and hold the Chargers to a field goal.

D.J. Reed took the ensuing kickoff 56-yards, but the Niners weren’t able to do anything with the drive after C.J. Beathard missed Deebo Samuel wide open on a fourth down. After the Chargers scored another field goal, the 49ers were able to put together an impressive drive that went 75 yards on seven plays, capped off with this remarkable run by Jeff Wilson Jr.

Who knows what happens with Beathard, but that effort was awesome. That made it 7-6.

Dre Greenlaw had a big sack on the next drive, but also missed a pair of tackles, and was out of position in coverage. The tackling resembled that of a fourth preseason game. It was sloppy.

There were a couple of scares in this one. Antone Exum was pushed back into Mitch Wishnowsky on a punt in the second quarter. It was not a good look for Exum, but Wishnowsky was able to get up. It was a rough first half for players fighting for a roster spot. Exum, Marcell Harris, and Kendrick Bourne all made critical mistakes. I

It’s only one play, but that may have cost Bourne a roster spot. Into the second quarter, Jordan Matthews and Richie James were on the sideline without their helmets, while Bourne was still in the game. That has to be a sign, right?

Not so fast. On the next drive, Beathard made a nice throw after keeping the play alive, and Bourne laid out for a diving 21-yard touchdown catch. Consistency has to dive the coaches crazy. The 49ers trailed 20-14 heading into the half.

Nick Mullens came in. He left after five plays.

The highlight of the second half may have been Wilton Speight’s arm punt that should have been an easy interception. I’d be a surprise if Speight ended up on the practice squad. Jeff Wilson ran tough all night, but he also fumbled the ball. That’s been his biggest knock. That’ll be a difficult decision for the front office, especially with Jerick McKinnon’s recent setback.

After a field goal, a diving Mark Nzeocha interception put the 49ers in position to score, and Austin Walter punched it in to put the Niners up 24-20. Six minutes away from the dream living on. 23-0.

The Chargers answered with a touchdown and left just over a minute left for Speight to drive the field. The drive was stalled as Speight was intercepted in 49ers territory. Speight saved us from potential overtime, so thank you, Wilton.

Now we’re onto meaningful football.