49ers @ Texans preseason live blog

This is the live blog for the 49ers preseason game against the Houston Texans. I’ll update this frequently with information and analysis from my living room.

4:45 These players will not play tonight:

WR Dres Anderson
ILB Nick Bellore
ILB NaVorro Bowman
RB Reggie Bush
TE Vernon Davis
DE Darnell Dockett
WR Bruce Ellington
RB Kendall Hunter
C Daniel Kilgore
OLB Aaron Lynch
WR DeAndre Smelter
DB Jimmie Ward
ILB Philip Wheeler
ILB Michael Wilhoite

4:51 Why will 34-year-old Anquan Boldin play tonight and 31-year-old Vernon Davis will not?

4:57 Shayne Skov will start at inside linebacker in place of NaVorro Bowman, according to Jayson Braddock of ESPN 97.5 Houston.

5:04 Here’s what you need to watch during tonight’s game.


5:06 Houston receives the first kickoff.

5:13 On third-and-8, Texans quarterback Bryan Hoyer completes a pass over the middle to wide receiver Cecil Shorts, who runs through San Francisco’s  zone defense for a 58-yard touchdown. The Texans go for the two-point conversion and Hoyer throws a fade pass to DeAndre Hopkins, who beats cornerback Shareece Wright for the score. 8-0 Texans.

5:17 Nick Moody gave up a 9-yard catch to tight end Garrett Graham on that drive. The run defense also gave up a 14-yard run to Alfred Blue on a draw.

5:20 The Niners start at their 5-yard line after an illegal wedge penalty.

5:22 Colin Kaepernick overthrows a deep pass to Torrey Smith on first-and-10 from the Niners’ 18. On third-and-7 Kaepernick scrambles to the sideline and throws the ball away.

5:23 On that drive the Niners ran twice, both times to the left. The results: First, a holding penalty by tight end Vance McDonald. Second, a three-yard gain by Carlos Hyde.

5:26 Ryan Mallett in at quarterback.

5:31 Running back Alfred Blue gains eight yards on a stretch run to the right on third-and-1, then gains 34 yards on a stretch run to the left on first-and-10.

5:33 Nose tackle Mike Purcell tackles Blue for a three-yard loss on second-and-goal from the 1.

5:33 The Niners blitz on third-and-goal, Mallett throws the ball up to a receiver in the end zone and Tramaine Brock is flagged for pass interference.

5:35 Nick Moody makes back-to-back tackles at the line of scrimmage on second- and third-and-goal.

5:38 The Niners run defense stuffed five runs from the one-yard line just now.

5:38 Make that six runs. Shayne Skov tackles Blue at the one-yard line on fourth-and-goal.  Unbelievable goal-line stand.

5:40 Blaine Gabbert in at quarterback.

5:42 Kendall Gaskins gains four yards on a lead run to the right on first down, and Jarryd Hayne gains just two yards on a stretch run to the left on second-and-6.


5:46 Jarryd Hayne runs through a huge hole on a stretch run to the left and gains 53 yards.

5:47 Two plays later, tight end Garrett Celek catches an underneath pass, breaks a tackle and runs into the end zone. The extra point is good. 8-7 Texans.

5:56 Mallett tries a quarterback snake on third-and-three, and gains only 2. Seriously? Houston punts to Hayne, who gains 11 yards.

6:03 Phil Dawson makes a 43-yard field goal and the score is 10-8 Niners. Jerome Simpson had a 25-yard catch-and-run on that drive, and Hayne rushed three times for eight yards.

6:07 Gabbert’s in rhythm against Houston’s second-string defense. Getting plays off quickly and throwing the ball on time.

6:10 Tank Carradine flagged for roughing the passer on second-and-9.

6:11 ILB Desmond Bishop tackles running back Jonathan Grimes for a three-yard loss on second-and-five.

6:14 Hayne makes two defenders miss and gains 13 yards on the punt return.

6:19 The Niners go three-and-out after Hayne drops a pass on first down, and Gabbert runs into a sack on second down.

6:20 Rookie defensive end Arik Armstead gets pressure on first-down. He already seems better than Tank Carradine, who’s beginning to seem like a bust.

6:25 The 49ers’ pass defense gave up 10.5 yards per attempt in the first half. Poor coverage and an ineffective pass rush.


6:35 Hayne returns the kickoff to the 26.

6:38 On third-and-15, Gabbert throws a two-yard pass to running back Mike Davis, who drops the ball.

6:45 Jaelen Strong beats Marcus Cromartie for a 10-yard touchdown catch on third-and-7.  15-10 Houston. They have completed 14-of-18 passes in this game.

6:48 DeAndrew White returns the kickoff to the Niners’ 15-yard line.

6:48 Dylan Thompson in at quarterback.

6:52 Thompson takes a sack on first down, then takes a sack in the end zone on third down. 17-10 Texans.

7:00 Slot cornerback Keith Reaser blitzes and knocks down Tom Savage’s pass on third-and-four.

7:03 Thompson takes another sack, this time on second down, and the Niners go three-and-out.

7:07 Savage throws out of bounds on fourth-and-2.

7:11 Thompson throws a five-yard pass on third-and-6, and the Niners go three-and-out.


7:25 The Texans make a 41-yard field goal. 20-10 Houston. Texans’ quarterbacks have comebined to post a passer rating of 116.8.

  1. Well Moody got beat 1 time by Graham and 1 time by Shorts in coverage. Wright didn’t see the the throw on the extra point.

    1. Thank you !!! Ive been saying this since last year and he also misses tackles a lot. I laughed when I read that he was ready to compete for the starting job . SMH

    1. The commentators seem fixated on the Texans and its preseason so they aren’t tracking who’s on the field. They kept calling Purcell by the wrong name.

  2. so far looks like the Offense is tailored more to Gabbert compared to erratic #7

    Hayne is making the team…..

    Pass defense is very suspect

    1. B for hayne? The guys never played football in his life and is clearly best player on field tonight, and you give him a B.

      1. Daniners He was an A as a PR. He made a nice run with a huge hole but he runs way to up right. I see him as a ST player and a great punt returner this yr

  3. I must admit, I thought we were doomed after first series, but everyone started settling down and this is best our offense has looked in years. Receivers were open and Gabbert was hitting his mark. As far as Kaep. He was fine. Threw one nice pass, overthrew on bomb, and had no time in last throw.

    1. With starting MLBs (assuming Bowman and Wilhoit get healthy) many of the Texans early run plays would have been stuffed. The D-line is holding point!

  4. IMO, Tomsula has the team playing cleanly and efficiently in all phases compared to the Texans. A very noticeable improvement over Harbaugh. I did see T. Smith give Kaepernick the cold shoulder and walk away when Kaepernick started yucking it up with him on the sideline. I was impressed by Smith’s situational awareness and he knows the fans are watching. It also appeared Coach Logan was more attentive to Gabbert than Kaepernick on the sideline.

  5. It is really hard to conclude much out of these preseason games. I think any scheme based impressions are going to be wrong as neither team is going to put much on film. Individual performances like good catches, drops, accurate throws, running well are a little easier to make something of. Hayne for instance looks pretty athletic.

  6. Give us a break Grant. One blown coverage is what accounted for the bloated yards per attempt. I don’t think that was truly PI against Brock either. The d-line was getting quite a bit of pressure Grant, I am not sure which game you are watching. Williams and Purcell really stood out, and they were doing an adequate job collapsing the pocket.

      1. Sure, those aren’t great numbers, but it’s been against what I would consider tight coverage for the most part.

      2. It’s impossible to judge secondary in preseason. Vanilla d, lots of zone, no
        blitzing. Majority of passes have blown coverage by linebackers …moody and slob have been awful in coverage.

  7. The offensive line looks better than expected and Gabbert looks far more comfortable in the pocket this season. The team speed is really jumping off my TV screen. What a dramatic difference compared to the last couple seasons. From the looks of it so far, Jarryd Hayne is not player we can stash on the PS. He will be claimed in a heartbeat!

    1. I’ve seen some good pushes by Armstead, but he needs work disengaging and finishing the play. ILB pursuit isn’t what us 49er fans are used to with Willis-Bowman-Borland gone either.

      So far Arik’s been good point of attack… but needs to locate+tackle better.

  8. A top 20 pick should be doing more against a bunch of third and fourth stringers. Just not seeing balance or strength right now.

    1. Armstead looks lost. Zero hustle and they are running past him left and right. For first outing extremely disappointing.

      1. He is 21 years old man give it time. He didn’t have OTAs this year due to being stuck at Oregon. He has collapsed the pocket a couple times. Give it time man he will be very good.

          1. He’s holding point well, rollerstaked the O-linemen a few times in passes. He needs work on disengaging blocks and tackling.

            Basically… he’s winning the first 2 seconds of the play, needs work on the rest.

            The 2nd and 3rd level pursuit sucked. Skov had a few nice backfield plays. Otherwise we desperately need Bowman back.

  9. They need bowman in the worst way or we will be bad this year. Moody and skov are not very good. It’s plain and simple, Kaep and Bowman must carrie this team because if they play okay we will finish 4-12 this season. If they play like they can we could challenge for a wild card spot.

    1. Yup. The D-line actually held point and had good push. The lack of 2nd level speed is stark. Easy to get spoiled watching Willis-Bowman for years.

  10. Nice stuff by Okoye. Its clear the 49ers have a long term plan for 3-4 DEs with length and drive with Dial/Armstead/Okoye all being tall, athletic guys.

  11. Niners may have lost by points, but they won my heart. That goal line stand was epic. 7 times. Purcell was a beast.

    1. Loved the goal line stand.

      Don’t care about the score. The Texans have dueling QBs which should make them a good 2nd half preseason team by default.

  12. Good
    – Good pace getting calls in on time.
    – Defensive line held point, got nice push on pass rush.
    – Tartt’s backfield tackle
    – Great goal line stand, even though Williams (and Dorsey?) was out
    – Hayne Plane
    – McDonald caught a pass
    – McCray is the thumper I expected him to be. Good ST work too.
    – Harold’s speed is evident. Heck, he’s probably faster than the MLBs. (sad when you think about it). He did set the edge nice on a few plays.
    – Love the run stunts. That’s a new wrinkle.
    – Okoye’s push and stack-shed tackle
    – Armstead’s push in pass rush, held point pretty good too

    Not too good
    – Armstead needs to improve disengaging from blocks, ball location and finishing tackles.
    – Expected deeper punts and better hang time (holding Pinion back?)
    – Very slow 2nd level pursuit. Snail slow.
    – Coverage
    – Overwhelmed 2nd unit O-line
    – Corner getting out muscled on several plays
    – Was Gabbert trying to kill Hayne on that swing pass?

    Premature Conclusion (Glenn Coffee was my preseason star)… haha
    – Hayne and Okoye made a case to get on the 53.
    – Bowman and Wilhoit better get well and stay well.
    – Backup O-line was as ragged as I expected, which is pretty dang ragged.

  13. Desmond Bishop (calf) is the only injury.

    That’s the best news of all. The D-line stuffed the Texans while Williams and Dorsey played cards on the sideline.

  14. I was severely disappointed with the pass coverage. Texans were wide open. Moody looked lost at times. Defense allowed way too many third down plays, especially third and long. Need turnovers.
    Otherwise, I am elated. Game management problems have disappeared. There were good plays from many players. I loved the variety and innovation of the play calling. Niners had the lead, only to lose it in the second half. There were no delay of game penalties. Niners came out of the game relatively unscathed. Glad there are 3 more preseason games to correct the problems and develop teamwork and cohesion.

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