Well, all I can say is thank God that one didn’t count. Even if the Niners did win the battle of the scrubs. They won the battle but lost the war. In a game that looked eerily reminiscent of the old regime, the 49ers laid a pretty big egg in the high altitude of Denver, Colorado. Peyton Manning got little pressure put upon him, and Willis McGehee ran untouched through the line, and thus shredded the Niner defense like it was a block of swiss cheese. Manning hit a couple of long passes, and lots of short ones on the way to his first 2 scores of the preseason. Still and all, the Niners were not stunting or blitzing. They were as vanilla as can be. It was base defense all first half. Plus, they were missing their biggest weapon. One Aldon Smith.
Offenseively, well, not much good to say there as well. Crabs caught a couple passes. A slant, for God’s sake, and Crabs did work his was back toward Alex on a play where Smith broke contain, and Smith hit Crabs for a 1st down. See what a little preseason can do? Of course that was followed by a botched center/QB exchange that seemingly everyone on the offense couldn’t gather in, which resulted in a quick Denver score. Smith did throw a perfect wheel route pass to Randy Moss, oh yeah, I’m sorry, Vernon Davis, for a score, but the rest was fairly forgettable. The O line did little to nothing. The play calling was bland, and the WRs were once again pretty much ignored by the first team offense. Smith did throw a pass for Randy Moss. However, he was triple covered. If that’s how the teams play him in the regular season, well, I guess he’s worth it. But he ain’t going to like being a decoy 4/5ths of the time.
All and all, this WAS a preseason game. It was disconcerting to me to see Denver march up and down the field early on. But, again, the defense was vanilla. A Smith wasn’t playing. This one didn’t count. I think a steady diet of blitzes will get to Manning over the course of a game, and a season. Some folks are ready to annoint Manning the league MVP based on one preseason game. If that was the case, then Ryan Leaf would share that award with him. In other words, I’m not going to truly worry until it is truly warranted. Could this be a wake-up call to the defense? Are they merely riding their accolades to a big letdown? I don’t think so. But the importance of a healthy Aldon Smith in the lineup cannot be understated. Offensively? Well, that is to be determined. The Niners were awfully bland in their play calling yesterday. But I think they still have to work in their new weapons. This may take the better part of September (or more) to accomplish. For all the glowing accolades regarding practices, I have yet to see anything resembling consistency on the field. Worrisome? Sure. But, when the real bullets fly, we’ll see what we got.