On the night they were competing with the Game of Thrones Finale, the San Francisco 49ers were also competing with the Minnesota Vikings in their third, and most important, preseason game. The 49ers lost 32-31 in a last-second, er, battle with Minnesota, but there was plenty of good for the Niners to be excited about.
The First Team Offense was on Dragon Fire
After two pretty dismal showings, the 49ers’ first-team offense looked the part. With Kyle Shanahan doing some game-planning for this one, quarterback Brian Hoyer looked like a serious QB!, leaving the game 12-of-17 for 176 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a passer rating of 143.3.
Hoyer threw a beautiful 46-yard touchdown pass to the very speedy Marquise Goodwin, while connecting with Pierre Garçon for six receptions totaling 64 yards. Hoyer’s second touchdown pass was a 24-yarder to Carlos Hyde. The running game was still stalled early on, but the Niners have to be happy with the overall performance of their offensive starters.
Defend the Wall
The 49er defense continues to look like it’s going to be something special. Reuben Foster is like a one-man wrecking machine, ending the night with five solo tackles, eight total and one for a loss. He set the tone early with a monster hit and it just went from there. Defensive lineman Arik Armstead had a sack and DeForest Buckner‘s ankle looked all better, as he had three tackles on the night.
We got to see some of the defense’s tricks as well, as it looks like the 49ers will be playing around with linebackers and additional safeties depending on the situation at hand. Fun!
Eric Reid Before and During
Eric Reid knelt for the National Anthem, while a number of his teammates stood around him in support.
Per Cam Inman, Reid said he decided to resume the protest, because, “I feel I needed to regain control of that narrative and not let people say that what we’re doing is un-American, because it’s not. It’s completely American,” said Reid. “We’re doing it because we want equality for everybody. We want our country to be a better place. So that’s why I decided to resume the protest.” You can see full transcript of what Reid said here.
On the field, Reid continued to look like a man in his contract year. The safety had two tackles and after a particularly big hit in the first half, he Kaepernicked. I smiled.
Eric Reid on Kaepernicking: “Just a little shout-out to my brother. I miss him and, hopefully, I see him on the field one day.” #49ers
— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 28, 2017
Joe Staley’s Bend-the-Knee
Joe Staley left the game in the first with a knee injury, but Shanahan said after the game that he was optimistic about it. Hopefully, it’s nothing serious but the last thing that offensive line can handle is the loss of Staley.
Running back Raheem Mostert continued his quest for a roster spot with another impressive showing. He had a 87-yard touchdown catch from C.J. Beathard and then a touchdown run. He finished the night with a total of 104 yards receiving and 26 yards rushing.
Thanks for reading and for indulging my attempts at Game of Thrones references. The 49ers close out the preseason at Levi’s Stadium Thursday night, August 31, at 7 p.m. against the Los Angeles Chargers. Expect pretty much every starter to be bubble wrapped. Go Niners!