Last night J.T. O’Sullivan made his most significant claim to the starting QB job in a win over the Bears 37-30. O’Sullivan passed for 7-of-8, 126 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions with a perfect quarterback rating. His one incomplete pass was a shovel pass to Frank Gore. Not to be forgotten, Alex Smith made a modest claim to the starting job going 6-of-17, 83 yards, one touchdown with no interceptions. Head Coach Mike Nolan would not commit O’Sullivan to the starting job, but after last night’s performance it would be hard to argue he should not be the starting man under center. He led the 49ers on three scoring drives resulting in two field goals and one touchdown. On the touchdown drive O’Sullivan hit Vernon Davis with a 40-yard pass and on the next play he scrambled to the right, made sure he had his feet planted and fired off to Jason Hill in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown. The play made O’Sullivan look like a starting veteran as Smith was only able to lead the 49ers to a touchdown on a fumble from Bear’s Garett Wolfe on a kickoff return giving the 49ers great field position. Yes it is only still the preseason, but the 49ers offense seems to be grasping the Mike Martz offense more each week. They look poised to continue their newfound scoring ability into a tough regular season schedule. The 49ers have scored 73 points in the last two games which can be greatly attributed to the emergence of the offensive line that has only given up two sacks in three preseason games. The 49ers offense is looking great which all you can ask for in the preseason. Hopefully their confidence rolls over to the regular season.
The defense was not too impressive giving up 313 total net yards (109 rushing, 204 passing). Equally not impressive was the special teams unit which was the 49ers strong point last season. The Bears Devin Hester received a kick-off and then handed it off to Danieal Manning in a reserve in which he gained 60 yards. On the next kick-off Manning had a 75-yard return. The Bears only had to go 33 and 11 yards for 10 points. The special teams also suffered a block kick on a field goal and a punt. Special Teams mistakes like these can easily negate any positive results the offense and defense have gained in a preseason or a regular season game. The 49ers were lucky enough not to have this happen to them in the game providing the 49ers their second straight win.
Who: San Diego (Super) Chargers
Where: Candlestick Park (Walsh Field)
When: Friday, August 29, 2008; 7:00 PM (PST)