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Statistical takeaways from the 49ers’ preseason opener

Aug 15, 2021 at 5:00 PM--

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The San Francisco 49ers lost their preseason opener, 19-16 to the Kansas City Chiefs. Despite the game not counting and most of the starters inactive, it was still an entertaining game that came down to the final minutes. Here are the main statistical takeaways from the game.

Trey Lance's Debut: 5/14, 128 Yards, 1 Touchdown

On his second pass attempt of the night, rookie quarterback Trey Lance hit Trent Sherfield for an 80-yard touchdown that sent the 49er Faithful into a frenzy. This is the type of big play ability Lance is capable of and why the 49ers moved up in the draft to select him. After that, Lance showed that he still has a lot to learn before he is ready to take the helm.

Lance completed just 4 passes on 12 attempts for 48 yards the rest of the game, some of his passes were inaccurate and he also threw into coverage a couple times that should have been intercepted, fortunately the passes were dropped by Chief's defenders. Lance's overall stat line was hindered by receivers dropping passes, making it difficult for the offense to establish any momentum.

Offensive Line Allows Five Sacks

The offensive line struggled, allowing five sacks for -39 yards. Daniel Brunskill, Colt McKivitz, Aaron Banks, and Jaylon Moore were all beaten by defenders and looked shaky when on the field. The offensive line was without its starters, but the backups did little to earn confidence with their play. This could be a cause for concern heading into the season.

Third Down Efficiency: 5/15, 33%

With dropped passes and sacks stalling drives the 49ers constantly found themselves in difficult, third and long situations. The 49ers had 15 third down plays, 11 of those with more than five yards to go for a first down. The lack of success on first and second downs made it a challenge to sustain drives.

Turnover Differential: -1

The 49ers lost the turnover battle. Josh Rosen threw an interception in the third quarter and JaMycal Hasty fumbled the ball away in the fourth quarter. For a preseason opener, both teams did a good job of protecting the ball, but the two turnovers were costly. One concerning issue during the game was seeing Trey Lance and Trey Sermon both fumble the ball. Fortunately those were recovered by the 49ers.

Team Rushing: 175 Yards, 1 Touchdown

The 49ers were able to get the offense moving with the ground game, primarily through JaMycal Hasty. Hasty rushed ten times for 63 yards, including a 21-yard run, and added a touchdown in the fourth quarter. With injuries to Jeff Wilson Jr. and Elijah Mitchell, Hasty has an opportunity to prove he deserves a role in the 49ers backfield.

Trey Sermon was the starting running back and showed patience when carrying the ball but was unable to locate any holes, as he carried the ball nine times for 26 yards. Wayne Gallman, who was RB #2, fared slightly better with 21 yards on six carries.

Defense Displays Depth

The only defensive starters playing for the 49ers were Dre Greenlaw and Tavon Wilson. However, led by rookies and role players, the defense was solid as it held the Chiefs to 285 total yards on 65 plays, while sacking the quarterback four times and an impressive interception by rookie Deommodore Lenior. The 49ers defense did a good job on third downs, stopping the Chiefs on 11 of their 16 third down chances. Linebacker Justin Hilliard led all 49ers defenders with eight tackles.

Overall, there was good and bad on both sides of the ball for the 49ers, which is expected in a preseason opener. The 49ers played with intensity and showed flashes of why they can be a serious contender in the NFC. There are areas the 49ers need to address and improve on, but that is what the preseason is for.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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