In what I’ll call the What-Could-Have-Been Bowl, the 49ers are facing off in their most meaningful meaningless preseason game against the Denver Broncos. You know, the team that signed some QB whose name I can’t remember. Under the shadow of darkness, the Broncos wrangled some guy named Manning, who hasn’t played in a while, to the mile high shitty from the depths of free agency in a move that was undetected by the media. Much like Bob Irsay moving the Baltimore Colts to Indy in the heat of the night.
Um, well, except for the fact that ESPN had 24/7 coverage of Peyton’s every waking moment, his plane rides all over the country, news of Jim Harbaugh and Trent Baalke hiding in the bushes in their camo hoodies watching Manning throw at Rutgers, Miami owner Stephen Ross offering him everything under the sun plus a baby’s arm holding an apple, and Arizona offering Manning all the sand he could crap in.
Anyhow, the Niners didn’t get him. To me, this was a non-issue, because their best opportunity to win now is with Smith. Mainly because, as we saw last week, Smith can take a hit. Manning would have been dead had he absorbed the hits Alex took last Friday. So, what do we take out of this game? Well, I guess we have to wait and see how Harbaugh plays it. Last year, Harbaugh bucked convention and didn’t play the starters very long for the 2nd-to-last preseason game. This time around, with a full camp and preseason, we should see Smith play at least the whole 1st half. Although you have to wonder, since the Niners dodged what could have been 2 devastating injuries to two of their running backs in Brandon Jacobs and LaMichael James.
What am I looking to see? Well, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks both returned to practice on Monday, and they may get some playing time, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. They are much more valuable if they are fully ready for the Green Bay game, not for this meaningless tilt. The offense? Well you know.