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It is evident that the 2012 San Francisco 49ers will have plenty of offensive weapons after a strong performance that culminated with a decisive defeat of the Minnesota Vikings in their first preseason game. The 49ers dominated time of possession and rushed for 260 yards en route to a 17-6 victory that showcased their signature defense and a plethora of competent running backs.
Alex Smith continued to build on an impressive 2011 season as he lead the 49ers on a 12 play 84 yard drive that chewed up 7:21 of the game clock highlighted by a 4 yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Brett Swain. Newcomer Brandon Jacobs who played for the Super Bowl champion New York Giants last season excelled in his role as a short yard specialist while incumbent backup Kendall Hunter consistently gained positive yardage running to the outside.
Second year quarterback Colin Kaepernick contributed to the rushing total when he outran the entire Viking defense during an exciting 78-yard touchdown run on a quarterback draw in the 2nd quarter. Second round draft pick and former Oregon Duck LaMichael James averaged 5 yards a carry in his first taste of NFL action while special teams ace Rock Cartwright and Anthony Dixon received a lion share of the carries to lead the 49ers' potent ground attack.
With our first glimpse of 49er football this season, it is clear the 49ers have addressed numerous concerns from last season that cost them a trip to the Super Bowl. Red zone efficiency and quality play from the wide receivers must be maintained if San Francisco is to meet expectations after a strong 2011 campaign. First round draft pick A.J. Jenkins showed good speed and separation while making two impressive receptions but also dropped two easy passes.
Although many of the veterans saw limited action or did not play at all, it is clear San Francisco has depth at all positions and are beginning to resemble 49er squads from the team's glory years. The 2012 San Francisco 49ers have talent across the board from defense to offense and will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
A 6th Lombardi Trophy may be in the cards for the 2012 San Francisco 49ers.