Dress rehearsal night for the 49ers ended with a 21-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The third week of the preseason usually clears the fog of offseason rumors and position battles giving the fans a sneak peak at what the regular season will look like. In the case of the 49ers, this game left fans with more questions than answers.
For the first time this preseason, both members of the 49er’s uninspiring quarterback battle saw playing time. For the third consecutive week Blaine Gabbert played with the first team offense and delivered a performance that could be described as middling at best. He finished the night 2/3 for 14 yards. While he only had one incompletion, it was an overthrow of a wide open Quinton Patton up the seam that easily could have gone for 6. Gabbert has had three games now to prove he should be the starter and it is worrisome that he has failed to pull away from a quarterback group that sorely lacks talented throwers. Speaking of untalented throwers, Colin Kaepernick made his preseason debut and his poor play picked up right were it left off last November.
Kaepernick went 2/6 for 14 yards and couldn’t get the ball moving at all on his three drives. Preseason football may be a watered down version of the game but when you can’t make plays against a defense that isn’t scheming to stop you and is just going through the motions, it makes you wonder how he’d preform in regular season action. Third-string QB Jeff Driskel lead all 49er’s passers with 43 yards through the air and has ever so slowly improved each game. When given time to throw he put the ball were it needed to be, the receivers just couldn’t reel in the ball.
The running game again was the lone bright stop for the 49ers on offense. Carlos Hyde showed off his excellent ball carrier vision on an impressive 27 yard run and looks ready for the regular season. Hyde has the starting job locked up but both Mike Davis and Dujuan Harris have made strong cases for the number two role. Both guys have made plays all preseason and deserve to see playing time come September.
Early on the first team defense didn’t make life easy for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers forcing a punt on his first drive. The next time he got the ball, Rodgers did what he does to every NFL defense and lead the Pack to a touchdown. As a whole the defense looked like it has all preseason. Just decent across the board. Stand out pass rusher from last week, Marcus Rush, collected another sack but didn’t light up the stat sheet like last week.
The regular season is now only two weeks away and the 49ers still don’t have a legit option at quarterback. The running game can only do so much, and with the defense just playing decent, this season will live or die (probably die) by the quarterback play.