The San Francisco 49ers and Indianapolis Colts didn't put much of a premium on scoring the first half of preseason Week 3. But here are your scoring news, notes and analysis anyway.


The San Francisco 49ers offense dominated the first half of action in Indianapolis versus the Colts in Week 3 of the preseason, yet the first-half score ended 7-6 in favor of Indy.

San Francisco could have taken an early lead in the first quarter, although head coach Kyle Shanahan elected to go for it on 4th-and-1 on a red-zone drive. But the pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo intended for wide receiver Kendrick Bourne fell incomplete. Early in the second quarter, Garoppolo and the Niners could have taken the lead again after another impressive offensive drive. But No. 3 tight end Cole Hikutini dropped a would-be touchdown reception on a post route.

The 49ers had to settle for a field goal to take a 3-0 lead.

Still, it was encouraging to see veteran running back Alfred Morris, who got the start with runners Jerick McKinnon (calf) and Matt Breida (shoulder) out, establish the ground game early and often. Over the first half, Morris had 13 carries for 71 yards and averaged 5.5 yards per attempt. He looks to be in good shape to make San Francisco's 53-man roster.

Garoppolo went 8-of-17 for 118 yards over the first half. Overall, Shanahan's offense had 213 yards and converted four third downs on eight attempts.

The 49ers first-team defense looked much stronger than it had over its first two preseason efforts, limiting the Colts to just 148 total yards and the seven points. But a number of costly penalties, as well as a 15-yard third-down scramble by Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, led to the Niners surrendering their 3-0 lead, as Luck found tight end Eric Ebron for a 15-yard go-ahead touchdown. On the play, it appeared as if 49ers linebacker Reuben Foster gave up on coverage and likely thought he had safety help over the top.


On a positive note, however, cornerbacks Richard Sherman and K'Waun Williams each made their preseason debuts and has pass breakups in the process. Linebacker Fred Warner also showed plenty of reasons why he could start this season right away. He currently leads the 49ers defense with four tackles.

The Niners could have taken the lead late in the half. But Garoppolo nearly threw interceptions on back-to-back red-zone passes intended for Trent Taylor. A year ago, the 49ers finished 27th in red-zone touchdown efficiency, so it's looking as if that could still be a problem in the regular season.

At least it ended in another field goal.

On San Francisco's injury front, cornerback Jimmie Ward exited with a quad injury, while Marquise Goodwin suffered a hand injury. Goodwin returned, however.

The Niners open up the second half on offense, and we'll likely see the majority of Shanahan's starters subbed out after halftime.