The entire NFL world was watching as the San Francisco 49ers hosted the Denver Broncos. Although this kind of audience is unusual for a week two preseason game, the world was anxious to see the 49ers’ brand new stadium. The stadium, named Levi’s Stadium, looked dazzling in the sunlight as its first ever game began. However, the 49ers’ play did not match the look of their new venue.
Although Colin Kaepernick and the first team offense seemed to drive the ball with relative ease, the rest of the team didn’t seem to be on the same page.
The 49ers’ struggles began with two missed field goals by Phil Dawson. Dawson does receive a pass though, mostly because of the unfamiliarity with the new stadium during game situations.
The starting defense struggled slightly by allowing Peyton Manning to practically walk down the field and score ten points. Fortunately for the 49ers, the defense that started this game will be vastly different the the defense that starts in week one. A high number of starters were held out of this game for numerous reasons.
There was almost no saving graces when the second and third teams took the field. The offenses, led mostly by Blaine Gabbert and Josh Johnson, struggled more-so than the defenses. Since it is the preseason, fans shouldn’t worry too much about how the team looks led by second and third stringers. However, positions like the back-up QB are becoming more of a concern with each new week.
Losing 34-0 is not pretty to look at, even during the preseason, but the most important thing is evaluating the players.
For instance, Chris Borland looked much better than he did last week against Baltimore. Besides one bad play that led to the Broncos’ first touchdown, Borland seemed to make good decisions and always be around the ball. This game should help him in his competition against Michael Wilhoite in their battle for the starting spot next to Patrick Willis.
On the other end, Gabbert continues to struggle. Gabbert was traded for to be the back-up behind Kaepernick, but with the way he is playing, he might not even make the team. Luckily for him, his competition isn’t playing much better either, so he still might a slight nod over the other QBs.
With two more weeks left in the preseason, the team will try to iron out its kinks and develop a better look of how the team will be at the beginning of the season. Two extremely disappointing weeks in a row doesn’t instill hope, but it shouldn’t initiate panic mode either.