The 49ers’ preseason ended after a loss to the Texans, which served as a compelling case for further shortening the exhibition season.
San Francisco put together a sloppy, error-ridden effort in which they were flagged for 11 accepted penalties for 104 yards.
Trey Lance played three series, finishing seven of 11 for 49 yards, but rarely got into a rhythm amid consistently poor pass protection.
It was hard to take much from Lance’s performance, but there were some good and bad things to be gleaned from a game that would have left everyone who watched screaming for competitive regular season football.
The 49ers’ OL depth a major problem
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Lance’s final preseason game could perhaps best be described as uneven. He missed a few throws and his accuracy on passes where there should have been yardage chances after the catch was a bit long, but he looked comfortable throwing on the run when Kyle Shanahan was drawing plays to get him out of the pocket.
Shanahan was forced into such plays because an offensive line without starting tackles Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey struggled mightily to keep the pocket clean.
Lance was under near-constant pressure as left tackle Jaylon Moore and right tackle Colton McKeivitch each endured nightmare games as veteran Texans defensive back Jerry Hughes thrived on both.
It was also an up night for the Niners’ potential starters on the interior of the offensive line. Right guard Spencer Burford was called for a couple of penalties and left guard Aaron Banks was guilty of allowing penetration in the run game.
Both Barford and Banks look more comfortable playing alongside McGlinchey and Williams respectively. However, the lack of compelling options at San Francisco’s disposal when one of its starting tackles is missing is a major concern, particularly with McGlinchey’s status for Week 1 up in the air due to irritation in his surgically repaired knee.
The Niners can’t afford to have Lance running for his life when the games start to matter, and neither Moore nor McKivitz have inspired confidence that they’re ready to step into the offense if needed in the regular season.
Ross boss final audition TE3
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While Brock Purdy provided most of San Francisco’s explosive plays in the fourth quarter, it’s hard to judge whether he definitively did enough to usurp Nate Sudfeld as the second-string quarterback.
One position battle that may now be settled is the battle for the third tight end role behind George Kittle and Charlie Woerner.
Ross Dwelley led the Niners with three catches for 42 yards, most of which came on a 30-yard reception in the third quarter that saw him stretch out for an impressive grab.
That game, combined with the versatility he’s shown working as a fullback and his previous special teams experience for the Niners, should be enough to keep him on the roster ahead of free agent Tyler Kroft.
Samson shows his strength
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One of the few linebackers to play in this game for the 49ers, Samson Ebukam quickly proved too good for exposure.
The defensive end recorded a sack on San Francisco’s first defensive series of the game and later created a pressure that led to a sack of Davis Mills’ Jordan Willis.
Charles Omenihu also recorded a sack in another illustration of the depth San Francisco possesses on the defensive side of the trenches.
San Francisco will rely on its stacked rotation to throw waves of pressure at opposing offenses in a formula it has derived much success from in recent years.
But any talk of those further down the depth chart, like rookie Drake Jackson, threatening to take Ebukam’s starting role may be premature, with the former Los Angeles Ram looking like a solid bet to improve 4.5 of his layoffs from 2021 in this one. evidence.
This story originally appeared on Niners Wire