Monday, August 26, 2013

Takeaways from Niners vs. Vikings

NFL regular season draws closer and Robert White looks at the 49ers’ latest outing…

harpin on usa

Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco 49ers’ defense continue to shine as they beat the Minnesota Vikings 34-14 in week 3 of the preseason.  Kaepernick started a bit slow but ended his night going a perfect six for six on an eleven play drive that ended with a 5-yard touchdown pass to Quinton Patton.  The 49ers defense looked as stingy as ever creating a fumble on the Vikings’ first offensive possession and allowing only 214 total yards, granted that Adrian Peterson only played a couple snaps and had zero carries.   The third game of the preseason is usually the one where the starters get the most reps and the fans and media get a more detailed sense of who is going to make the team of the guys that are on the bubble.

Colt McCoy works better under pressure:

McCoy struggled mightily in the first couple of of games so the 49ers signed veteran Seneca Wallace to compete for the backup role earlier in the week.  McCoy responding by having his best game going 11-15 for 109 yards and one interception.  McCoy also orchestrated a 10 play drive that resulted in a touchdown for the 49ers.  After the game Jim Harbaugh told reporters that he would be comfortable with McCoy being the backup quarterback.

Baldwin acquisition already paying off:

Jon Baldwin, the newest wide receiver for the 49ers (who was acquired in exchange for A. J. Jenkins) has already doubled Jenkins’ level of production this preseason with his first two catches in a niners uniform including a 19 yard grab.  It may not seem like anything spectacular but considering what Jenkins has done or not done, Baldwin’s good star is a positive.

Defense dominates:

Rookie safety, Eric Reid was tested immediately in his first start with a play-action pass play to Greg Jennings.  Although the pass was a bit overthrown, Reid was with Jennings step by step providing excellent coverage.  After the game, coach Harbaugh said that Reid is someone who continues to get better.

Justin Smith continues to dominate the line of scrimmage for the 49ers pressuring Christian Ponder on seemingly every play.  Smith also contributed with an impressive tackle for loss in the Viking backfield.

Linebackers Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks created havoc on the opening drive teaming up for to create and recover a fumble.  The secondary also created a turnover with a Tramaine Brock interception.

You can go from being praised to being yelled out relatively fast:

The highlight of the night belong to Lavelle Hawkins who returned a kickoff 105 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.  He was later flagged a couple of times for taunting when he pointed the ball at one of the opposing players while he was running toward the end zone and for taking his helmet off after he scored.  Harbaugh chewed him out instantly.  Although Hawkins is probably embarrassed, the entire ordeal was pretty fun to watch.

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