Another week, another rout for the San Francisco 49ers.
For the second week in a row, the 49ers were dismantled in the preseason, as the Denver Broncos cruised to a 34-0 win in the team’s first ever game at Levi’s Stadium. Stars like Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Ray McDonald and Vernon Davis played no part in the underwhelming display.
“It’s off. It’s off right now,” said head coach Jim Harbaugh. “There’s definitely off in little, correctable ways and that’s what I see.”
As Harbaugh explained, the team will have plenty on the agenda this week.
“We need work. There’s work to do. There’s no doubt about it. We need great work, we need a great week. “
Peyton Manning, who was in midseason form, carved up the 49ers defense, as he went 12-for-14 for 102 yards and a touchdown before exiting in the middle of the second quarter. Meanwhile, the 49ers couldn’t get much of anything going offensively.
Frank Gore impressed in a brief cameo. The veteran running back, who played just a single series, broke off a nine-yard rush to begin his afternoon. Gore ended up running for 12 yards on two rushes. No. 21’s understudy Carlos Hyde also had a productive first half. The rookie rushed for 11 yards on four carries and caught one pass for nine yards. In the passing game, Bruce Ellington was one of the bright spots, as he had four catches for 24 yards.
“A nice job by Bruce Ellington. He had a heck of a good game,” said Harbaugh.
Phil Dawson endured a forgettable introduction to the team’s new home. The 39-year-old pushed a 55-yard field goal attempt wide on the first drive, and then later missed from 44 yards out.
On the defensive side, both Michael Wilhoite and Chris Borland kept busy. The linebackers, who are angling to replace the sidelined NaVorro Bowman, each accounted for five tackles. Rookie Jimmie Ward, who is looking to lock up the nickel cornerback job, put in a strong showing as he recorded six tackles.
Kenneth Acker also stood out in the secondary. Late in the third quarter, the sixth-round pick broke up a potential touchdown pass on the goal line. Later in the same series the Acker hauled in an interception, but the play was called back after the 49ers were ruled offside. It won’t be easy for the sixth-round pick to land a spot on the team, but Acker is taking advantage of all of his chances.
“It’s an opportunity for us to make a play on any play. So, really I just took it as that. My first couple of weeks were a learning experience and now it’s time to play. I get more opportunities to get on the field and every time I get out there I just want to show what I can do.”
In the fourth quarter, David Reed fumbled a kickoff return on the 10-yard line and McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw an interception, as the 49ers ended the game with a -4 turnover ratio.
Note: In the first quarter, Antonie Bethea exited the game with an injury, which was later announced to be a concussion.