49ers vs. Colts: Previewing Preseason Week 3 for San Francisco

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San Francisco 49ers Indianapolis Colts 2018 NFL Preseason Week 3 preview

Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images

The Indianapolis Colts host the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 of the 2018 NFL Preseason. Niner Noise previews the matchup, including key stats, players to watch, position competitions, injury news and how to watch the game live.

Both the San Francisco 49ers and the Indianapolis Colts enter today’s “dress rehearsal” for the 2018 NFL regular season with one victory in two preseason games. Check out Niner Noise’s game recap and post-game grades and analysis for a breakdown of the Niners’ Week 2 matchup with the Houston Texans, including highlights of the game and full position grades.

Last week, the 49ers’ first-team offense, led by quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, was in mid-season form. Garoppolo looked extremely sharp over two drives, throwing for 136 yards on 12 attempts, including a perfect 40-yard pass to wide receiver Marquise Goodwin, and a third-down strike to wideout Trent Taylor in the back of the Houston end zone:

Unfortunately, the 49ers’ second-string offense was unable to move the ball throughout the game. With backup QB C.J. Beathard under center, San Francisco started three straight possessions with excellent field position, but went three-and-out on each possession.

The 49ers’ first-team defense did little to stop Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, who marched the team down the field on Houston’s opening drive. The Texans finished the series with a touchdown reception by former 49er wideout Bruce Ellington, who was Watson’s go-to receiver on the drive:

https://twitter.com/NFL/status/1030975922692747264

San Francisco’s defense played well over the remainder of the game, until the Texans’ final series. After 49ers third-string quarterback Nick Mullens brought San Francisco down the field to take the lead, Houston responded with a game-winning drive that culminated in a 41-yard touchdown pass from QB Joe Webb to wide receiver Vyncint Smith.

Last week, the Colts also played a mixed game, which ended in a 20-19 loss to the Baltimore Ravens. After playing well in his first game since the 2016 regular season in Week 1, quarterback Andrew Luck went 6-for-13 for 50 yards and interception in over a quarter of play in Week 2.

After turning the ball over three times and giving up four sacks to the Ravens, the Colts’ main focus today will be ball security and protecting their quarterback as he continues his return from injury.

The 49ers hope their first-team offense sees continued success, while their defense will look to get back on track after giving up opening drive touchdowns in each of their two preseason games.

Let’s break down some important statistics for this afternoon’s regular season dress rehearsal:

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