The 3rd preseason game for the San Francisco 49ers was by far the most impressive for the offensive unit. Offensively the 49ers were clicking on all cylinders by their second drive of the game. We witnessed solid offensive performances from the likes of Colin Kaepernick, who went 7/13 passing for 72 yards and a touchdown pass to rookie standout Quinton Patton, who himself performed well catching 4 passes for 35 yards. Patton had broken his finger in camp and was limited to only route running for a majority of the workouts, looks like practice made perfect as the rookie was Kaepernick’s main target for Sunday Night’s game.
The best part about Kaepernicks performance, by far, was witnessing him and Vernon Davis connect on 2 passes early, hinting their struggles to click last season may be long behind them. That connection could be key to opening up opportunities for the other 49er receivers, as Vernon will most likely command double teams from opposing linebackers and safeties. That is one of the impressive aspects of today’s game, the fact that ten different 49ers caught at least one pass from a 49er quarterback. Whether it was Davis, Patton, Vance McDonald, Marlon Moore, or Austin Collie, the 49ers were using every part of the field to establish their passing game, and spreading the ball to various receivers. That is something they will need to do this year as Michael Crabtree will not be available anytime soon, and Kaepernick needed to get away from tipping his hand and focusing in on Crabtree.
It was by far the most impressive offensive performance this preseason, and with the running game as solid as usual, now with the likes of Kendall Hunter back at 100 percent, Anthony Dixon playing well, LaMichael James a threat as always to take it to the house, and Frank Gore still one of the most reliable backs in football, this offense could be dangerous going forward. Jim Harbaugh brought out all his guns to play around, but did not shoot all his bullets. If you noticed the 49ers kept it pretty conservative, not busting out any tricks. Saving the bulk of the playbook for the season is a smart move, allowing the veterans and youngsters to master the fundamental aspect of the offensive system, and keeping opposing players, scouts, and coaching staffs on their toes. With one more tune-up versus San Diego next week, expect the playmakers for this offense to be ready for week 1 against Green Bay.