Know Your Enemy: How the 49ers Fared in Preseason Week Two

The 49ers - Raiders game was obviously pretty trivial when taken in context of what happened in the parking lot following it. Nonetheless, here is a recap of how the Niners looked, from the people who cover them.

Three things revisited: 49ers-Raiders - NFC West Blog - ESPNProgress on offense. The 49ers opened the game with a 16-play drive to the Oakland 2. Their first four drives in the preseason opener totaled 12 plays. That is progress. Alex Smith completed 8 of 13 passes for 126 yards and one interception. He made good use of timing throws to beat pressure early in the game, another improvement. One pass for Vernon Davis on a quick slant drew a pass-interference penalty. Another found Braylon Edwards after the 6-foot-3 receiver pushed off without officials noticing. On the down side, Smith didn't see Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy dropping into coverage on a third-and-8 play. Schaughnessy picked off Smith's pass intended for Davis, killing the 49ers' second drive. The highlight for Smith and San Francisco: Edwards' one-handed, diving grab for a 32-yard gain. Overall, the 49ers can feel better about how their offense is performing.

49ers 17 - Raiders 3, Recap: Starters Look Considerably Better - Niners NationStarting this recap a bit early so I can get out of the pressbox, but I have stuff to say regarding things that have already happened. For one, it was a pretty entertaining game, even sitting at 3-0 through the first half. The first teams for San Francisco looked strong, both on offense and defense. Offensively, things stalled out in the red zone and Alex Smith had a bad interception, but the red zone offense is one you're not going to reveal a whole lot of in the preseason. They just called basic, simple stuff at this point, which is totally understandable.

49ers-Raiders: Alex Smith, Braylon Edwards Connect On A Thing Of Beauty - Niners NationThis past Monday I put together a post breaking down Alex Smith's first pass of the 49ers-Saints game and described my frustration at what seemed like a fairly basic mistake. Although a single play is too small a sample size to take a whole lot away, I'm kind of liking the idea of breaking down some specific plays each week. Accordingly, I wanted to break down a play that will be on the highlight reels all week.

49ers vs. Raiders Analysis: Kendall Hunter And Anthony Dixon, Backup Running Backs Show Off - Niners NationSan Francisco's running back depth is all over the place right now - that is to say - there is no measurement of exactly how much depth there actually is. At least not yet, but after last night, we have a much better idea of where we stand. Rookie Kendall Hunter lit things up, punctuated with a 53-yard run, seemingly out of nowhere. Everyone had their eyes on Colin Kaepernick (fresh off a couple big completions), and nobody expected the big run to explode across the field, but that's what happened.

49ers Preseason Game 2: Game In Review - Niners NationBattle of the backup running backs – the battle for the backup spot at running back is underway, but it seems like the finish line is on the horizon, and a winner is starting to form. Both Anthony Dixon and Kendall Hunter looked good last night, but there was one major difference between them. Kendall Hunter showed the same decisiveness that Frank Gore shows when running into the whole. He read the blocking quickly and immediately exploded into his hole. At times Hunter seemed to glide, not run, because his footwork was so quick and good. Dixon on the other hand, had a severe case of "happy feet", a known problem with Dixon. He seemed to always take a couple of extra steps in the backfield which slowed him down. To Dixon’s defense he did have some good runs, and he showed great vision on a few plays, finding a different hole to go through. All in all, the play was good from both running backs, but Kendall Hunter seems to be slowly separating himself from his competition.

Posts - Niners Nation - For San Francisco 49ers FansThe 49ers wrapped up a strong performance on Saturday against the Oakland Raiders in which the entire depth chart contributed to the victory. The rushing attack was strongest top to bottom, but they also received a consistently strong pass rush, solid wide receiver performances and I could really go on and on. The question following this kind of performance is how to compare different members of the depth chart when they were playing against different members of the opposing depth chart. For example, let's just look at the running backs after Frank Gore:

New Kids on the Block: 49ers Rookies Showcase Ability - Niners Nation: The San Francisco 49ers added a lot of new faces to their franchise this offseason. Coach Jim Harbaugh has been gaining credibility already as someone with an eye for talent. There have been flashes of greatness from a number of 49ers newcomers this season, and at a variety of positions.

49ers vs. Raiders: Analyzing the Run Game - Niners NationI believe I am the last of the flurry of new front page writers on Niners Nation. I’ve been reading this site for years and finally registered an account about a year ago. My name is Derek Evans and I currently attend a community college in Sacramento, where I was the sports editor for the school newspaper last semester. I was born into the 49ers fan base. My mom was a huge Joe Montana fan. Ever the rebel, I decided that Steve Young was my favorite 49er quarterback of all time (closely followed by Shaun Hill). This lead to many tense moments between my mother and I. I loved (and still love) to tell her that Steve Young is better. I am very excited for the chance to write for my favorite blog, Niners Nation. I’d like to thank Fooch for the opportunity. For my first post I will be looking at the 49ers running game against the Oakland Raiders.

First Impressions - Raiders @ 49ers | ProFootballFocus.comSan Francisco – Three Things of Note . ●   Seeing Alex Smith appear settled-in makes me uneasy – purely because it’s not what I’ve come to know of him. In this game, the offensive calm that I mentioned at the top began with a forceful run game, but Smith handled his role without major error … scratch that, with just one major error. Driving into Oakland territory, Smith and Co. arrived at a 3rd-and-8 situation. With safeties Huff and Stevie Brown blitzing from his right, Smith blindly fired to Vernon Davis on an out route to the left without noticing Matt Shaughnessy’s unexpected drop directly into the ball’s path. The Raider defensive end hauled in the pass and Colin Kaepernick’s name leapt back to the minds of 49er fans. The rest of Smith’s night, though, wouldn’t be summed by negatives on his part; he suffered from three drops on his first two drives and did pull off a well-placed throw with Tommy Kelly barreling down on him. The team’s inability to score will surely be attributed to him, but he attempted just one pass in six redzone plays and a botched field goal took away three likely points. The interception may cost him more with Smith-fatigued fans than with Harbaugh who seems plenty patient with and optimistic about the idea of him leading the team’s version of the West Coast Offense.

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