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49ers struggle to end preseason, fall to starter-less Chargers 23-12

Rohan Chakravarthi
Aug 25, 2023 at 10:08 PM--

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
LAC 7 3 10 3 23
SF 6 0 6 0 12

After news of a trade for quarterback Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys broke just hours before the team's preseason game, the San Francisco 49ers could not pull through in their final outing before the season, losing a 23-12 game to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Brock Purdy started the game for the 49ers at quarterback, playing for two series, which was one more than last week, and completing 5-of-9 passes for 73 yards.

However, the Chargers elected not to utilize any of their starters, as Easton Stick got the start, completing 9-of-11 passes for 38 yards.

With Trey Lance off the team, Sam Darnold took the majority of the snaps with the backups, completing 6-of-11 passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Brandon Allen finished the game for the 49ers at quarterback.

The 49ers were dominated in time of possession, as well as the penalty game, controlling the ball for just 24:44 minutes, as opposed to 35:16 for the Chargers.

First Half

For the second consecutive game, the 49ers moved the ball downfield on the opening possession with a 10-play, 74-yard drive that got the team to a 1st & Goal at the Chargers two-yard line. However, Jordan Mason fumbled one play later, leading to a costly turnover that killed a promising drive.

Purdy and the offense rebounded with a nine-play, 53-yard touchdown drive on their ensuing possession, as Jordan Mason redeemed himself, doing most of the work, while the quarterback punched in the score on a five-yard scramble for a touchdown. However, Mitch Wishnowsky, who was the team's main kicker after Zane Gonzalez and Jake Moody both suffered injuries, shanked the extra point, leading to a 6-0 49ers lead.

Then came the ugly for the 49ers, as Joshua Kelley found paydirt on a 75-yard touchdown carry, with Tayler Hawkins whiffing on a tackle as the deep-end safety, allowing the running back to go all the way to the endzone, providing the Chargers a 7-6 lead on a two-play, 81-yard drive.

The scoring was minimal from there on, as Sam Darnold went three-and-out to start his game, while seeing minimal success on his final two drives, with the latter being killed by several penalties.

However, the Chargers did compile a 15-play, 62-yard touchdown drive, dominating the pace of the game over the 7:11 minute drive, which provided them a 10-6 lead heading into the half.

Second Half

Sam Darnold and the 49ers started strong after the half, scoring a touchdown on a seven-play, 67-yard drive to provide San Francisco the lead on a run-dominant set of plays.

The Chargers, however, started to turn the tides on their next few drives, following San Francisco's score with a touchdown of its own on an 11-play, 77-yard, 6:42-minute drive to retake the lead.

Then, capitalizing on a Brandon Allen interception on the quarterback's first dropback, the Chargers converted a field goal immediately after, despite not moving the ball more than one yard past the line of scrimmage on the drive.

Punts were the story of the game from there, as Allen and the offense couldn't amount to much either, leading to a comfortable Chargers win after kicker Dustin Hopkins nailed a 27-yard field goal with under 1:30 to go, effectively sealing the deal for Los Angeles.

Game Notes: After many didn't suit up over the past two weeks, the 49ers returned several key pieces to the starting lineup Saturday night. The 49ers will now place their focus on their Week 1 opponent: the Pittsburgh Steelers, with the preseason behind them.

LAC Team Stats SF
38 Passing Yards 185
267 Rushing Yards 125
305 Total Yards 310
2.65 Avg Yards per Pass 7.12
6.51 Avg Yards per Run 5.21
0 Fumbles Lost 1
0 Int Thrown 1
2 Sacks Allowed 0
00:35:16 Time of Pos 00:24:44
1 Penalties 6

Chargers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Easton Stick 9/11 38 0 0
Max Duggan 4/9 15 1 0
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Joshua Kelley 2 78 39 1
Max Duggan 6 51 8.5 0
Elijah Dotson 6 33 5.5 0
Derius Davis 2 19 9.5 0
Isaiah Spiller 5 14 2.8 0
Easton Stick 2 7 3.5 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Quentin Johnston 2 2 15 0
Keelan Doss 3 3 14 0
Elijah Dotson 1 1 9 0
Terrell Bynum 2 4 8 0
Hunter Kampmoyer 2 2 7 1
Stone Smartt 1 2 6 0
Tre' McKitty 1 2 -5 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Max Duggan 1 0
Kicking FG Att Lg XP
Cameron Dicker 2 2 35 0
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
J.K. Scott 4 47.3 2 61
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Derius Davis 2 1 0 1
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
J.T. Woods 7-1 0 0 0
Amen Ogbongbemiga 5-2 0 0 0
AJ Finley 3-1 0 0 0
Brevin Allen 2-2 0 0 0
Andrew Farmer 2-2 0 0 0
Deane Leonard 2-1 0 0 0
Matt Hankins 2-1 0 0 0
Christopher Hinton 2-0 0 0 0
Ja'Sir Taylor 1-1 0 0 0
Jerrod Clark 1-1 0 0 0
Nick Niemann 1-0 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
Sam Darnold 6/11 89 1 0
Brock Purdy 5/9 73 0 0
Brandon Allen 2/6 23 0 1
Rushing Att Yds Avg TDs
Tyrion Davis-Price 10 61 6.1 0
Jordan Mason 9 59 6.6 0
Brock Purdy 1 5 5 1
Brandon Allen 2 -2 -1 0
Receiving Rec Tgt Yds TDs
Brandon Aiyuk 1 3 35 0
Chris Conley 1 3 34 0
Isaiah Winstead 2 2 32 0
Willie Snead 2 3 21 1
Deebo Samuel 2 3 18 0
Tyrion Davis-Price 2 3 16 0
Jordan Mason 1 1 13 0
Kyle Juszczyk 1 1 7 0
George Kittle 0 1 0 0
Jauan Jennings 0 1 0 0
Cameron Latu 0 1 0 0
Tay Martin 0 2 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost
Jordan Mason 1 1
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
Mitch Wishnowsky 5 39.6 1 49
Punt Returns Att Avg TDs Lg
Ronnie Bell 1 16 0 16
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
Samuel Womack 6-2 0 0 0
Dee Winters 6-1 0 0 0
Jalen Graham 5-2 0 0 0
Isaiah Oliver 5-1 0 0 0
Alex Barrett 4-3 0.5 0 0
Kerry Hyder 4-2 0 0 0
Qwuantrezz Knight 3-2 0 0 0
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 3-1 0.5 0 0
Austin Bryant 2-2 0 0 0
T.Y. McGill 2-1 0 0 0
Curtis Robinson 2-1 0 0 0
Kalia Davis 2-1 0 0 0
Ji'Ayir Brown 2-0 0 0 0
Drake Jackson 1-1 0 0 0
Kevin Givens 1-0 0 0 0
Marlon Davidson 1-0 0 0 0
Tre Swilling 1-0 0 0 0
Fred Warner 1-0 1 0 0

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