49ers Kick Off the Preseason vs. Raiders; Six Takeaways from #SFvLV
Posted By: Sophia Andrew
Posted On: August 14, 2023
Football is back in action! The San Francisco 49ers started their preseason games by playing against the Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday. Before this game, they practiced together with the Raiders for two days.
Even though many of the main players from the 49ers took part in these practice sessions, a lot of them didn’t play in the preseason game. This game was a chance for younger players, new draft picks, and newcomers to show their skills.
The head coach, Kyle Shanahan, said that they had good practices with the Raiders, especially on the second day when the main players practiced really hard. Because of that, they didn’t need to play those main players in the game on Sunday.
Even though the coach didn’t enjoy the game itself, he thought it was important because many players who don’t usually play got a chance to show what they can do. This helps the team decide who will stay on the team and gives the coaches a chance to help them improve.
Now, let’s talk about six important things we learned from Sunday’s game:
San Francisco’s quarterback competition continues.
In the game on Sunday, Trey Lance, who has been a quarterback for three years, started for the 49ers. After getting used to the game, he started doing even better in the second part of the game.
In the second quarter, he led the team down the field and finished a good drive by throwing a nine-yard pass for a touchdown to Ross Dwelley, a player who catches the ball well.
The interesting thing was that the ball hit a player from the other team first, but then Dwelley caught it for the touchdown.
Lance’s best move of the day was when he threw the ball to Chris Conley to get a first down on the third try. He ended the game with 10 good throws out of 15 attempts, covering 112 yards.
He also threw one touchdown pass and his score for how well he played was really high.
In the second half of the game, Sam Darnold took over as the quarterback. He led the team into the part of the field belonging to the Raiders two times out of three tries.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t score because of some mistakes like losing the ball on fourth down, dropping the ball, and missing a field goal. In the fourth quarter, Brandon Allen took over for Darnold and threw five good passes out of nine, covering 84 yards.
“I think Darnold did really well when he came in the second half,” Shanahan mentioned. “He was playing with players who aren’t the main starters, like the second and third-string offensive linemen and receivers.
We wanted to be cautious with Sam because of that, but we also wanted to give him some playing time.”
In the second half, Brandon Allen was the quarterback for most of the time. He completed five out of eight pass attempts, covering 36 yards.
Defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell recorded his first sack in a 49ers uniform.
The 49ers signed Ferrell, who was picked in the first round of the draft before, in March. He had played for the Raiders for four seasons before joining the 49ers. Now, he’s been doing well and making important plays for the 49ers.
Ferrell showed his skills by sacking the Las Vegas quarterback Aidan O’Connell, causing a loss of six yards. He did his special celebration after the sack, where he pretends to fish with an imaginary fishing pole. After this play, the Raiders had to give the ball back to the 49ers by punting it on a fourth-and-seven situation.
Cornerback Ambry Thomas continued his strong training camp performance with a slew of splash plays in Las Vegas.
In the first half of the game, Thomas played really well. He had two important moments where he stopped the other team’s plays and broke up their passes. He also made a strong stop when the other team was trying to run with the ball on a fourth-down situation.
Last year, Thomas had an ankle injury that stopped him from playing during the second part of the season. But now, he’s back on the field and showing how good he is.
Right after Ferrell made a play by sacking the Las Vegas quarterback, Thomas defended a pass aimed at a player named Tre Tucker. This helped stop Las Vegas from advancing further.
He did another pass breakup later in the first half when Las Vegas was trying to gain a lot of yards with their play. In the second quarter, Thomas and another player named Kerry Hyder Jr. worked together to stop a running play by the Raiders and caused them to lose the ball.
Rookie kicker Jake Moody made his NFL debut at Allegiant Stadium.
The 49ers made a big announcement during the 2023 NFL Draft by picking Moody in the third round as the 99th overall choice. On Sunday, he had his first chance to play in a big NFL stadium. The new player did really well when kicking extra points, but he didn’t do so well with two field goal tries from 40 and 58 yards away.
The coach, Shanahan, said that he’s not worried about the kicking situation. He understands that there’s a lot of pressure on Moody, especially because everyone was watching, and he missed those two kicks in the game.
But Shanahan knows that Moody has been doing great in practice, hitting all the kicks. The coach was happy that Moody got to try a long kick in the game, even though he missed. Shanahan trusts Moody and doesn’t have any problems with him.
Wide receiver Ronnie Bell made a case for himself to take over the 49ers punt returner job.
The team is considering three players to step in as the substitute for the punt and kick returner position. One of them is the seventh-round pick, and the other two are cornerback D’Shawn Jamison and wide receiver Willie Snead IV.
The regular return specialist from last year, wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud III, hurt his wrist in a practice session and won’t be able to play for around eight weeks.
In the first half of the game on Sunday, Bell, the seventh-round pick, took on the role of return specialist. He caught two punts for just one yard and returned three kickoffs for a total of 57 yards. He was also involved a lot in catching passes, making three receptions for 57 yards.
Shanahan, the coach, thought that Bell did well in the return game and also in the passing plays. He mentioned that Bell had a very good play where he caught a pass, but it unfortunately resulted in an interception. Shanahan also said that the young wide receivers, including Bell, showed some positive things in the game.
In the second half, Jamison and running back Jeremy McNichols had the chance to share the duties of the return specialist position.
Turnover troubles stalled the 49ers offensive production.
The Raiders took advantage of a mistake by San Francisco towards the end of the third quarter when they lost the ball and again at the beginning of the fourth quarter when a pass got deflected, leading to two turnovers.
They turned these opportunities into 14 points on the scoreboard. Along with these turnovers, the Raiders also got an extra chance to score because of missed field goals by San Francisco. All of these factors together were a big reason for the difference in points between the two teams on Sunday.
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