San Francisco 49ers QB Blaine Gabbert had a rough start as the offense went 3-and-out in the first 41 seconds. That was the 49ers' first series of their exhibition opener against the Houston Texans at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.
During their second series, RB Carlos Hyde fumbled the ball and it was recovered and run into the end zone by Texans OLB John Simon for the game's first score, putting Houston up 7-0.
The 49ers' third series of the night included a fourth-down conversion and was capped off by a 43-yard touchdown pass from Gabbert to TE Vance McDonald, which tied the score up 7-7. McDonald would lead the team in reception yards with 54 yards on two catches, including the touchdown.
Can't-Miss Play: McDonald dashes to the endzone
Gabbert finished the game 5 of 11 for 66 yards passing and a touchdown. He also had 18 yards rushing on three carries. On the other side of the ball, the Texans' biggest acquisition of the offseason, QB Brock Osweiler, finished 4 of 7 for 27 yards passing.
The 49ers starting defense, without FS Eric Reid and DE Arik Armstead, held their own and did not allow any scoring by the Texans offense. In fact, Houston managed just 54 total yards against the 49ers starting defense with only 20 of that coming through the air. Cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Jimmie Ward did well on the outside to slow down the Texans receivers.
|Penalties (Yds)||3 (20)||8 (59)|
|Punts (AVG)||7 (49)||7 (38)|
|Time of Pos.||32:52||27:08|
In the second quarter, QB Thad Lewis managed an impressive drive that started on the 49ers' own 43-yard line and go all the way to the Texans' 2-yard line with a chance to go up by 10. However, a fumble by RB DuJuan Harris, who finished the game with 29 yards on six carries, ended the drive by turning the ball over to Houston. The fumble occurred on first and goal from the two. The 49ers defense managed to eventually stall the Texans' ensuing drive and force a punt.
One 49ers player that was thought to be on the roster bubble was RB Mike Davis, the team's fourth-round selection in 2015. On Sunday, Davis did all he could to try and prove that he belongs on the roster after rushing for 72 yards on five carries.
49ers Mike Davis rushes for 44 yards
The first half would end on a Phil Dawson field goal that put the 49ers up 13-7 over the Texans. During the first half, San Francisco put up 302 yards of total offense with 161 coming on the ground and 141 through the air. The Texans managed just 89 total yards with 65 rushing and 24 passing.
The Texans offense finally scored in the third quarter when a Ka'imi Fairbairn field goal kick would bring Houston with three. That lead would not last long when on the next series, the Texans drove down the field and scored on a QB Tom Savage pass to TE Stephen Anderson that put Houston up 17-13.
49ers rookie QB Jeff Driskel entered the game after Lewis left for the locker room with a leg injury. He had a noticeable limp as he exited the field. Lewis finished the game 12 of 21 for 97 yards passing.
RELATED Thad Lewis suffers lower leg injury against Texans
In the fourth quarter, Savage tossed another touchdown pass, this time a 9-yard reception hauled in by RB Akeem Hunt. The score extended Houston's lead to 24-13, which would be the final score of the game.
Driskel finished the game 4 of 12 passing for 20 yards. However, he led the team in rushing yards with 61 on five carries. Hyde finished the game with 27 yards rushing on five carries. WR Jerome Simpson ended up being the only 49ers player with more than two receptions, ending the night with 29 yards on three catches.
|San Francisco 49ers Leaders|
Notes and Quotes
FS Eric Reid missed the game to be there for the birth of his baby girl.
"Colin [Kaepernick] isn't a 100 percent and it wouldn't have been fair to put him in and then to judge him on that type of competition," said head coach Chip Kelly following the game in regards to why Kaepernick did not suit up. Kelly stated that Kaepernick's shoulder soreness is not a long term issue and that he is hoping he can play against the Denver Broncos.
#49ers Colin Kaepenick declined comment (politely) when I asked him at his locker about his shoulder and if had MRI. "I'm not talking today"— Cam Inman (@CamInman) August 15, 2016
"We're just going to judge them on their opportunities to get in there and go," said Kelly. "So if Colin gets in there and does a great job when he's in there, I'm not going to say, 'Well, he didn't get as many snaps as Blaine.' It's still going to be judged on who moves our offensive football team the best. Who protects the football the best and gives us an opportunity to win games."
"It was up and down. Both Blaine and our first-team offense," said Kelly.
"Honestly, I was not real pleased with the turnovers and that was the biggest thing that really stuck out to me in the first half," said Kelly.
"We wanted to end on a high note. We wanted to go out – kind of set the tone for how the season's going to go," said Gabbert regarding the touchdown pass to McDonald. "Like I said, there were ups and downs in those first two drives. There's things that we can correct. Things that we inflicted on ourselves, but we got the touchdown. We strung a bunch of quality plays together. And like I said, the o-line gave me plenty of time out there."