The 49ers lost to the Minnesota Vikings 32-31 after a spirited comeback by the Vikings' reserves. However, much of the work by the starters was of note.
The 49ers' first-team offense set the tone early by starting quickly and scoring on its first two drives. Quarterback Brian Hoyer completed his first eight passes (including two touchdowns) and was 12-17 for 176 yards with those two aforementioned touchdowns in a solid tune-up for the regular season.
Pierre Garçon was targeted seven times and had six catches for 64 yards to lead all 49ers. Most of the catches were off of quick-hitting plays over the middle. Marquise Goodwin had a long touchdown catch of 46 yards on a play-action fake, beating Xavier Rhodes by several yards. Goodwin again got deep later in the first half, but the ball was underthrown and incomplete.
Trent Taylor was again impressive, with three catches for 33 yards, a couple of which were very tough catches. He seems to have solidified his spot on the roster.
The running game was again stagnant, with Carlos Hyde managing to gain just 19 yards on seven carries, as most of the runs were outside zone runs. Despite the struggles on the ground, the 49ers used play-action fakes early and often as Hoyer looked comfortable delivering the ball.
Matt Brieda was the first running back off the bench and had seven carries for 31 yards. He continued to play with the backups through the beginning of the second. Raheem Mostert followed and had an impressive touchdown run after catching a short pass and taking it 87 yards to the house as well as a four-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. He had over 100 yards receiving to lead the team in that department.
The first-string defense fared well, pitching a shut out in the first half and limiting the Vikings to less than 150 total yards. Arik Armestead and DeForest Buckner had back to back sacks at one point in the first half. Elvis Dumervil and new starter Eli Harold were also impressive in bringing pressure off the edge.
Reuben Foster was the story of the defense, though. Foster was all over the field and made several big hits. He was also solid in coverage and was asked to blitz a handful of times. Navorro Bowman played well, showing no ill effects of the Achilles injury that caused him to miss most of the 2016 season.
Eric Reid seemed more comfortable in his new role as a box safety. He also had several big hits and was around the ball regularly. Jaquiski Tartt started at free safety and had three tackles (including one for a loss). Training Camp standout Lorenzo Jerome played with the second unit.
The rest of the secondary again struggled. Sam Bradford completed his first nine passes against the 49ers as the defense was seemingly bending but not breaking. 49ers corners were getting beat regularly, but were helped by two big Stefon Diggs drops. This may be an area of concern moving forward, as the pass defense has struggled for most of the preseason.
C.J. Beathard was not as effective as he has been in the first two weeks of the preseason. He seemed a little out of rhythm as he started 1-5 for 13 yards and an interception. Beathard also held the ball a bit too long and took a sack. He bounced back to throw a touchdown pass on a checkdown to Mostert, but was otherwise not as effective this week.
Overall, it was a slightly disciplined game by the 49ers, who had nine penalties for 75 yards after having more than 10 penalties in each of their first two preseason games.
The 49ers finish up the preseason against the Chargers next weekend.
|9 (75)||Penalties (Yds)||7 (50)|
|5 (34)||Punts (Avg)||5 (40)|
|29:54||Time of Pos.||30:06|
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