3 negatives, 2 positives from 49ers preseason implosion vs. Raiders

The good thing about the preseason is that the games don't count.
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders / Michael Owens/GettyImages

28. 49ers Raiders final score. 7. 42. Final. 34

The 49ers began the 2023 preseason by being knocked out by the Raiders. Niner Noise breaks down some positives and negatives from the game.

It might've been preseason, but the San Francisco 49ers looked like a group still on summer vacation. All three phases of the game were dominated by the Las Vegas Raiders as they defeated the Niners by a score of 34-7.

If you're looking for a silly reason for this loss, it could be because Jimmy Garoppolo was on the Raiders sideline. All he does is win. Though he didn't play and this game means absolutely nothing in the standings, he still beat his former team.

It could also be said the 49ers just beat themselves. They had seven penalties for 55 yards (which is literally half a CFL field from the goal line to midfield), two turnovers, and were 20 percent on third downs. The offense was also 0-of-2 on fourth downs, but the Raiders also didn't capitalize on their only fourth-down attempt.

Negative: 49ers offensive line woes

San Francisco didn't play most of its starting lineup and it showed.

The offensive line was made up of depth players. This just means the starters will certainly have to play better and give whoever is behind center a greater opportunity to find open receivers down the field.

Quarterback Trey Lance had a rough time in the pocket. In the above highlight, the O-line just wasn't there. Almost as soon as the ball was snapped, they broke down which allowed the Raiders defensive linemen to collapse immediately.

They gave up four sacks on the day, including two on the opening drive.

Negative: Trey Lance looked extremely uncomfortable

Ever since the 49ers drafted him in 2021, Lance has been under an intense microscope. He didn't help himself one bit on Sunday. Despite a stat line of 10-of-15 for 112 yards, one touchdown and a passer rating of 111.0, he looked out of place.

The one touchdown he threw should've been picked off, but tight end Ross Dwelley was able to save Lance for the only Niners touchdown on the day.

Lance had his throwing mechanics redone during the offseason, but with a less-than-stellar O-line and literally no confidence in himself, it's tough to determine if the changes helped. He's also coming off an injury from last season and this was his first action since Week 2 of the 2022 campaign.

So it's understandable he'd have nerves.

However, this has to be a tad concerning for head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch. Yes, it's preseason, but the guy you gave up a bunch of first-round picks for is quickly falling down the depth chart. At best, Lance will be the third-stringer, which isn't terrible to have someone like him as your third option, but maybe it's time to listen to offers.

Positive: 49ers Sam Darnold makes debut

As of right now the backup QB spot is going to Sam Darnold.

He was only 5-of-8 for 84 yards with no touchdowns or interceptions. But the veteran looked right at home in the Shanahan system.

Darnold even connected with wide receiver Ronnie Bell for a huge play.

If you had kept up with updates during 49ers practices, it seemed like Darnold would be the third string. But after his performance in a game that was already out of reach, he did his job. He ran the offense effectively and didn't turn the ball over.

It'll be interesting to see how much playing time he gets next week, but he certainly proved he should start playing with some starters.

Negative: Rookie kicker Jake Moody missed both field-goal attempts

It wasn't the NFL debut third-round selection Jake Moody dreamed of. The rookie missed both field goals he attempted. His first shot was just before halftime when Lance drove the offense 61 yards in 34 seconds to give Moody a 40-yard try. Not like it would've helped much in terms of the final score, but going into halftime down three gives the team more hope than being down a converted touchdown.

All throughtout training camp and leading up to his draft day, the scouting report on Moody was he can nail long field goals.

Unfortunately, with a chance to redeem himself, he missed wide right from 58 yards.

This was Moody's first experience in the NFL. There's a lot more happening, the defensive special teams players are a lot quicker than in college, lights are brighter. So missing two deep field goals isn't something to worry about.

However, Robbie Gould is still a free agent. Just in case the 49ers are in dire need, which if the tapes and scouting reports are correct on Moody, won't be needed.

Positive: 49ers football is back!

It was great to finally see the Niners back on the field.

We've all endured a long offseason and to actually see some game action is great! We can finally move past the starting quarterback controversy and the NFC Championship game. The focus is on 2023 and with a healthy lineup, the 49ers are poised to contend for the NFC West title and home-field advantage in the postseason.

Trey Lance shaky in 49ers preseason loss to Raiders. Trey Lance was shaky in the 49ers loss to the Raiders.. light. Next

Read more from Niner Noise