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49ers vs. Texans: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Aug 26, 2022 at 7:52 AM

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On Thursday night, the San Francisco 49ers lost 17-0 to the Houston Texans in their final preseason game of the 2022 season. There were many silver linings in this loss that show promise for the 49ers. Please do not panic, and let us get down to the Nitty Gritty.

The Ugly

I don't think there's anything more ugly than getting shut out. The 49ers failed to put up any points against the Texans. The ugliest part is that they were trying. Towards the end of the game, with nine seconds on the clock, quarterback Brock Purdy dropped back and threw a nice pass in the end zone to wide-open receiver Willie Snead IV, who dropped the ball in the end zone. The last time the 49ers were shut out in a game was on November 21, 2010, where they lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-0. Luckily, this was only a preseason game.

The Bad

There was a lot of bad to break down from this game. Just a reminder, this was a preseason game. I'll attempt to break down the bad in three phases instead of singling out specific players.

Phase one: The Penalties
The 49ers committed 11 penalties for 104 yards. This meant the 49ers were sloppy throughout the game. From the holding calls on offense to the pass interference calls on the defense, the 49ers couldn't figure out a way to stop the self-inflicted wounds. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said, "It was pretty rough, and we didn't play clean at all," during his post-game presser.

Phase Two: The Offensive line
If I were to grade the offensive line, my grade would be an F. The run blocking was terrible for the majority of the game. The longest run that wasn't nullified by a penalty was running back Trey Sermon's 12-yard run. Running back Jordan Mason had a long run in the third quarter but was negated by a penalty. The 49ers failed to rush for 100 yards because the offensive line couldn't get anything going. Most of the running backs were stopped in the backfield in tackles for loss. The pass protection was even worse. The 49ers were sacked three times for a loss of 23 yards. The line didn't have their two best players, tackles Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey, but the depth behind them didn't play well at all. We all knew the offensive line would struggle, especially with the losses of center Alex Mack and guard Laken Tomlinson, but the line looked atrocious. Perhaps the coaching staff will evaluate the film and realize they may need to bring in some help, mainly at swing tackle. Jaylen Moore, Justin Skule, and Colton McKivitz didn't look good out there.

Phase Three: The Defensive Interior
The defensive line was a problem as well. The 49ers won't have an issue rushing the quarterback from the edge. Samson Ebukam and Charles Omenihu finished the game with three sacks combined. The main problem was the interior line. From the beginning to the end of the game, the 49ers' defensive line struggled to stop the run. They allowed rookie running back Dameon Pierce to rush for 37 yards and a touchdown. Marlon Mack finished with 55 yards and had a long run of 24 yards. The Texans rushed for 156 yards on 36 carries. It's almost like head coach Lovie Smith took a page out of the 49ers handbook. Though the defensive line settled in, they were weak on the interior. The good news is starters Arik Armstead and Javon Kinlaw didn't play. The bad news is that the depth is weak, and the loss of D.J. Jones could affect the 49ers.

The Good

Even though the 49ers were shut out on prime-time television, I found some good takeaways from the game. First, Trey Lance had a rough start, but he had a strong finish. Lance finished the game 7-11 for 49 yards. He was resilient and overcame adversity during the three series he played. The quarterback room looks promising. Brock Purdy was the only quarterback that got the team into scoring position in the last few seconds of the game. Purdy looks like an NFL quarterback.

Ross Dwelley led the 49ers in receiving yards and reminded the world why he belongs on this team. Dwelley had three receptions on three targets for 42 yards. The tight-end competition is fierce because Tyler Kroft, Troy Fumagalli, and Charlie Woerner also looked good.

The depth at edge was a bright spot. It looks like the 49ers won't have a problem rushing the quarterback. The best part is they can get home without their starters. Rookie defensive end Drake Jackson was able to get a big hit on Texans quarterback Davis Mills, but he was penalized with a roughing the passer call in the third quarter.

Samuel Womack is a godsend. He played the nickel back position to perfection. He contributed to the 49ers' only takeaway when he tipped a pass in the end zone intended for the man he was covering, and safety Tarvarius Moore was able to make the interception.

Punter Mitch Wishnowsky looked immaculate. Wishnowsky finished the game with five punts for 246 yards. He averaged 49.2 yards a punt, and his long was 62 yards. Wishnowsky only had one touchback, and that was a botched play by the special teams, which should have downed the ball near the one-yard line. Flipping field position shouldn't be a problem for the 49ers in 2022.

Although it may be hard to see any good after getting shut out by a team, there's always a silver lining. The 49ers now have to make roster moves by August 30. The team has 17 days to work on and fix some of the issues we witnessed in the Texans game. Keep in mind it was a preseason game, and as 49ers quarterback, Trey Lance said, "There were some ups and downs for sure. It never feels good to lose, for sure. We're going to learn from it and turn the page, and we're not going to make a bigger deal out of it."
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
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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