The San Francisco 49ers fell to the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24 in their preseason finale. Roster cuts are right around the corner. We’ll have all weekend to talk about that. For now, here are four winners and losers from Thursday night’s game.
Dwelley is a winner for not suiting up. Unless there was an injury that we aren’t aware of, that’s a good sign for Dwelley’s chances to make the roster. Dwelley isn’t the blocker that Levine Toilolo or Kaden Smith is, but he’s a superior receiver. When George Kittle is your starter, it makes sense to keep a better receiver as a backup. After the game, Kyle Shanahan was asked why Dwelley didn’t play, and Shanahan said that Dwelley had “showed enough.”
He missed Deebo Samuel on the games first third down, but other than that Beathard played well. He had a nice touchdown pass to Kendrick Bourne after extending the play with his legs, but the play everyone will remember was him springing a block for a Jeff Wilson 41-yard touchdown. His effort was fantastic on the play. If Beathard is on the roster Sunday, that may be the reason why.
I don’t understand how you can tell Mayo he made the team after Thursday night. I understand that he’s known for being a special teamer, but he looked out of his depth on defense. Missed tackles, giving up catches, giving up running lanes. It was a night to forget for Mayo.
It’s not what he did, but it’s what he didn’t do. Colbert didn’t see the field until the final drive in the first half, and that wasn’t until the defense was on the goal line. Colbert came out with the defense to start the third quarter but left after a play. He had been dealing with a hamstring injury and was visibly upset. Several players were checking on him. He was questionable to return, it doesn’t seem likely he’ll return to the roster. An unfortunate way to go out for Colbert.
It seems silly to put a player that ran for over 100 yards, and 41 of that came on a spectacular touchdown run, as a “loser.” Wilson has always been fast and agile. He ran angry. He also put the ball on the ground. There was another exchange that wasn’t on him, but he was involved. This will be a difficult decision, but ultimately, I believe the fumble cost Wilson his job. Having 20 carries in a preseason game doesn’t usually bode well for a player, either. Shanahan said after the game, “we’re not going to keep five halfbacks.”
There was a lot of ugly football being played Thursday night. There were double-digit penalties, but it wasn’t even that. The drop off in efficiency from the starters to the third-team in the NFL is staggering. Last week the game was a shade over two hours long. The preseason finale was over three hours, and not the enjoyable type to watch, but we knew that already.
To me, Deebo’s preseason usage is a sign that Kyle Shanahan is high on the rookie and expects to use him early and often in the regular season. Think about his touches this preseason. He touched the ball eight times this preseason for 163 yards. Six of those eight touches went for first downs. He’s already shown that he can be a playmaker, and we’ll find out soon what Shanahan has in store for Samuel.
The 49ers were able to get out of the preseason, and the only new injury was backup offensive tackle, Shon Coleman. That’s a win. Players have been nicked up, and have been cautiously held out of practice, but to avoid a serious injury to a starter during these meaningless games is what every team wants.
Somebody is going to make it from a numbers standpoint, with Kentavius Street likely headed to the IR. Damontre Moore had an opportunity to lock in a spot, and aside from pushing the pocket on one play, he was relatively AWOL. Jeremiah Valoaga had two sacks, but he played his way off the roster last week. Kevin Givens finished with a pair of quarterback hits, but he didn’t stand out, either. Jay Bromley was the only other player to register a QB hit. On a night when there was plenty of opportunities for someone to step up, all of the players mentioned above may have played themselves off the roster.