The result of Sunday’s Fox Game of the Week was an unexpected result for some prognosticators across the country. For others, it was the result we expected. Jim Harbaugh and the Machine pushed forward with business as usual. So, let’s do the same and cover some things (I think) I know.
The Preseason….what’s that?
It really does mean next to nothing. The San Francisc0 49ers made the meaningless seem well, meaningless. With diminished pieces, the 49ers defense looked stout for the most part. There were times when it bent but didn’t quite break. Demarco Murray ran successfully for a majority of the game, but the Niners main focus was taking away the success of Dez Bryant and Jason Witten. In that, they succeeded.
As an offense that sputtered during the preseason, Colin Kaepernick and crew moved the ball proficiently through the air. The combination of Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde ran effectively for a combined 116 yards. It was a solid showing for Week 1 of the regular season.
Colin Kaepernick has (re) arrived.
There’s been some major maturation with face of the franchise for the 49ers. His decisions were impressive. The arm was as lively as ever, and he had that illusive step from two seasons ago. Keep in mind, the Cowboys defense is one of the weakest of the weak, but take nothing away from Kaepernick. He was excitingly good yesterday.
Bruce Ellington has made LaMichael James even less valuable.
The fact that Jim Harbaugh and Special Teams Coach Brad Seely put Ellington on the field in the opening week as both kick and punt returner spoke volumes. In reality, it shouldn’t surprise those that follow the Niners closely. He’s more allusive and quicker with his change of direction. He needs to garner more experience, but overall, his first game as the head return man was positive.
*LaMichael James has been granted his release
Aaron Lynch will take the majority of Corey Lemonier’s playing time.
Personally, I think Dan Skuta will continue his role as Aldon Smith’s replacement. In watching the game, Aaron Lynch just plays the game better than Lemonier. He was effective at squeezing down on his blocker, which eliminates large gains in the running game. Lynch appears stronger and better at managing leverage. Aaron Lynch is going to be a special player, and his time on the field will only increase from week to week.
Jonathan Martin has been a pleasant surprise.
I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t see this coming. While following Martin’s story, he appeared mentally fatigued. The man that once was completely obliterated by Aldon Smith on the field, is now a comrade. And, he’ a formidable one at that. Once the situation on the 0-line is finally settled, Martin will be an outstanding option in relieve.
Frank Gore, Anquan Boldin, and Justin Smith refuse to age.
Their combined NFL experience exceeds 30 years.
Stat Lines Read:
Frank Gore 16 carries for 66 yards
Anquan Boldin 8 catches for 99 yards
Justin Smith 6 tackles and 2 sacks
There’s plenty left in the tank for these three NFL relics.
Phil, you’re making me nervous. There’s something about aged kickers in their second year with the 49ers that puts me at complete unrest. NFL kickers don’t miss mid range field goals inside controlled environments.
Take this win for what it’s worth.
The 49ers just won a game on the road against a decent NFL team. In this league, you take a win any way that you can get them. Without Aldon Smith, NaVarro Bowman, Glenn Dorsey, Chris Culliver (partial game), Jimmie Ward (partial game), and Tramaine Brock (partial game), the 49ers made the Cowboys offense look pathetic. On the flip side of the ball, the 49ers offense excelled with Joe Looney and Jon Martin making their first starts for the red and gold. Yeah, I’d say this was a statement win. Let’s move on to the Bears!