Starting quarterback Brian Hoyer needed a bounce-back performance after falling flat on his face against the Broncos last week. Hoyer did just that, coming out and playing his best game of the preseason.
The first drive for Hoyer was marvelous. Here is the passing progression:
- Short pass (middle) to Pierre Garçon for 10 yards
- Short pass (right) to Garçon for 16 yards
- Long pass to Marquise Goodwin for 46 yards — touchdown
It was exactly what Hoyer needed, coming out of the gates hot. The next drive was another thing of beauty, with Carlos Hyde, Matt Breida and Kyle Juszczyk all getting in on the action. The 10-play scoring drive was capped off by a nice play from Hyde:
For the game, Hoyer finished 12-17 for 176 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Quick note — while rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard didn’t have the most complete game, it’s looking more and more likely that Beathard is the definitive No. 2 quarterback. Will Matt Barkley be cut?
One of my X-factors on offense coming into the game was Carlos Hyde. While rushing the ball was still hard to come by, Hyde flashed some of his athletic ability to receive the ball. Hyde finished the game with 3 receptions for 45 yards and a touchdown, highlighted by the video above. It was impressive from Hyde, who has been struggling this preseason after a reportedly exceptional training camp.
But the attention-grabbing news tonight was undrafted rookie Matt Breida. It was Breida, not Tim Hightower or Joe Williams, who got the nod as the backup running back. The first-year running back was good in Sunday’s game, carrying the ball 7 times for 29 yards (4.1 yards a carry). The play of Breida has some predicting some lofty claims:
Also playing well was Raheem Mostert — on a screen pass from Beathard, Mostert took the ball 87 yards for a touchdown. Mostert finished the game with 2 catches for 104 yards and a touchdown, and ran the ball 4 times for 26 yards. The performance has raised questions about the depth chart. Out of Tim Hightower, Joe Williams and Kapri Bibbs, who are the odd men out?
Wide receiver/Tight end
Leading up to Sunday’s game against the Vikings, the wide receivers had been lackluster for the 49ers. That trend stopped in Minnesota, with the San Francisco wide receiving corps coming to life.
Pierre Garçon showed why he was the team’s top free agent signing, catching 6 balls for 64 yards. But one of the plays of the game came from Marquise Goodwin, who used his speed to blow the top off the defense:
Rookie wide receiver Trent Taylor also had a nice game too, hauling in a first-down conversion while taking a big hit. Taylor had 3 receptions for 36 yards.
While pass protection has mostly been satisfactory this preseason, the run blocking has not been there for the 49ers. We were reminded of that against the Vikings, again with the starting offensive line failing to provide much running room for Carlos Hyde. Hyde only had 19 yards on 7 carries:
It’s easily one of the weaker points of the team. Joe Staley left the game with a knee injury, but is going to be okay.