Although all eyes were on San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in Thursday’s final preseason contest, several Charger players managed to capture the spotlight with incredible plays. Players like Kenneth Farrow, Isaiah Burse, and Swain showed off their skills, in the hopes of surviving another round of cuts.
The 49ers received the ball first, and Kaepernick went 6 of 8 for 58-yards, along with two rushes for 30-yards. His initial drive ended in a goal-line rushing touchdown by DuJuan Harris, however Harris failed on a 2-point conversion forcing the 49ers to settle for six. Most starters sat out of tonight’s contest for obvious reasons, leaving Kellen Clemens to command the offense for the Chargers. Clemens first drive ended on a turnover on downs, after a failed 4th- and-1 situation.
In the second quarter Clemens and wide receiver Isaiah Burse looked as if they were just playing catch, as the two put together a terrific 76-yard scoring drive. The drive ended in a Chris Swain 2-yard touchdown run, putting the Chargers up 7-6. Kaepernick ended the night with an array of good passes, and elusive scrambles on his final drive, eventually falling short and the 49ers electing to kick a 32-yard field goal giving the 49ers a 9-7 lead at half time.
Mike Bercovici entered the game in the beginning of the second half, but it was running back Kenneth Farrow who stole the show. Fighting for a roster spot, on one attempt Farrow gained 44-yards, putting the Chargers in scoring distance. Farrow carried the ball again for a 6-yard rushing touchdown, and it seems as if the Chargers may have found their answer to the hole left behind by Branden Oliver’s season ending injury. This touchdown increased the Chargers lead 14-9 early into the 3rd quarter.
The defense also had some key plays. Chargers safety Adrian McDonald intercepted a pass thrown by rookie quarterback Jeff Driskel, but was almost instantly negated when defensive back Rashard Robinson intercepted Bercovici. The Chargers defense persevered again moments later when Driskel was intercepted again, this time by corner back Trevor Williams. The Chargers would capitalize on this takeaway when wide receiver Isaiah Burse caught a 17-yard catch and run from Bercovici. After the catch, Burse shook a defender to get into the end zone, and after a short extra point the Chargers increased their lead to 21-9 in the 3rd quarter.
After a few uneventful drives by both sides, along with a Phil Dawson miss from 47-yards out, quarterback Christian Ponder composed a good drive. The drive was capped off with a successful option run where Ponder kept it, resulting in a rushing touchdown, bring the score to 21-16 at the end of the 4th.
On the ensuing drive, Bercovici was under a lot of pressure from both sides, eventually leading to him getting hit, and losing a fumble. The turnover gave the ball back to the 49ers deep in Chargers territory. After two good runs by running back Kelvin Taylor, Christian Ponder scrambled for 11-yards for his second rushing touchdown of the game. After a successful 2-point conversion run by Taylor, the 49ers took the lead 24-21.
The misfortune for the Chargers was not over, during their final possession, Bercovici was intercepted again deep in Chargers territory. To add insult to injury, Taylor scored again on a 10-yard run to put the 49ers up 31-21 after a short extra point. The depth looked soft, and gassed, allowing for the 49ers to score 22-unanswered points in the fourth quarter. We will see which players impressed enough, to survive the next round of cuts, and make the final 53-man roster.
-Kenneth Farrow had a good showing, arguing his case for the 3rd running back spot.
-Isaiah Burse looks like he can fill in at the slot position, and in the return game. He continues to impress when given the chance.
-Depth looked questionable, players looked gassed, with a lack of fundamental tackling.
-Joey Bosa still has yet to see the field.
-The media will have another week full of headlines focusing on Colin Kaepernick decisions on the sideline.