Ah, preseason games are finally amongst us. It's time to crown our 4th string linebacker the next Lawrence Taylor. For the next 3 weeks, we will notice a trend: The people with the best stats will be the ones the farthest down the depth chart. There is a reason for this; It's because they are playing against the lower competition! With that being said, here are my Instant Reactions to tonight's game:
First and foremost... DUKE FREAKING IHENACHO!!!! Holy Cow, are you kidding me? This dude came to play! I was kinda made fun of in the staff chat room for saying he looks like Dennis Smith because of his nose for the ball, but man, Duke looks like Dennis Freaking Smith because of his nose for the ball. I honestly don't see how this kid isn't our opening day starter next to Moore. I think we are about to enter the Atwater/Smith golden years all over again! Way to go Duke, you sir, are the MVP of tonight's game!
Robert Ayers put on pretty good pass rush pressure. Had they been playing a team without a very mobile QB like Kaepernick is, he'd have at a minimum of 1 sack in the 1st quarter, and probably more. Ayers (as I predicted and reported) has really stepped up his pass rushing game. He looks a lot like Dumervil out there, but that is coming at the expense of the running game. It's appearing as if you really can't have the best of both worlds in today's NFL.
Hillman is what we thought he was... Not very impressive. Averaging 3 yards per carry, he really didn't impress me at all. Sure, it's the preseason, our OL is banged up, and he got limited carries in a vanilla offense, but he just didn't look to bring very much to today's matchup. While I'm on this RB kick, Montee Ball didn't show me much either, but that was more because the backup OL was so horrible that they damn near took the handoffs instead of Ball. He did have a nice gain on a run though, but man, our Offensive Line was atrocious!
John Fox is pissing me off by putting Holliday in harm's way. He took a very hard hit while running out of bounds on a punt in the 1st half, and he got blown the F up in the 2nd half. Then, in the 4th, he got horse collared (non call) and appeared for about 5 seconds to jog off the field a little funny. I've said it before and I'll say it again, he is much too valuable to be put in harm's way!
Man, how horrible was our offensive line? The term "horrible" doesn't quite describe it, as it is much too kind of a term for how they look. We need the starters to get healthy ASAP! If we trot out week 1 with the current offensive line, we're in trouble. it's a good thing Clady and Franklin will be back to 100% soon. Our 2nd string OL is a joke. I'd take pee-wee football players over our current crop of backups simply because I'm willing to bet that the defense would have pity on the little kids and thus ease up against them! Man, this is a sad sack of players we have as backups!
I came away impressed overall by Osweiller. It was hard to tell sometimes because our OL was so horrible, but he did throw good and didn't really seem lost out there, so I'll give him his props. When he could actually stand up and pass from the pocket, he was fairly accurate. He did get happy feet a few times, but hey, behind that line, who can blame him, right? While he isn't starting material yet, he appears to be on his way to being a good candidate to pass the torch to in a few more years.
11 first half yards... REALLY? REALLY?!?! (pointed out by alacy9513 that it was a graphic error and the Broncos really had 106 yards.
Julius Thomas seeing a LOT of playing time. He played into the 4th quarter. The coaching staff must really want to see what he has to offer, that, and like our offensive line, our Tight Ends are also banged up. Thomas did make the most out of his opportunities though. Dude stepped up!
CJ Anderson looked good, real good, but we need to temper our excitement by remembering that he was paying against 3rd and 4th string players. You know, the guys who only their parents could pick out of a lineup.
Last but not least... Matt Prater made a 46 yard Field Goal. No, this isn't a typo! There was a 40-49 yard FG attempt that Prater MADE! Wow! Just Wow!!! Way to go Matt! Keep it up and we just might win a playoff game!