Whatever life permeated Lucas Oil Stadium in the first half slowly drained away in the second as the 49ers’ backups beat up on the Colts’ backups.
As Curtis Painter and Tom Brandstater were slogging along in place of Peyton Manning, rookie running back Anthony Dixon was stealing the show for the 49ers. On one run, he juked three Colts on the way to a 23-yard gain. A little later, he took off around the left edge and absolutely threw Indy safety Mike Newton to the ground before scoring on a 5-yard run. Dixon finished with 98 yards on 20 carries.
The quick feet. The burst of power. The three receptions. No one will question Frank Gore as the 49ers’ lead back, but there is certain to be a groundswell of support for Dixon after today’s showing. It would be interesting to see how he does against NFL starters.
Meanwhile, David Carr and No. 3 quarterback Nate Davis moved the offense with some efficiency. And young defenders like OLB Diyral Briggs, ILB Mike Balogun and DT Khalif Mitchell were leading the charge against a bunch of guys who probably won’t make the Colts’ final roster.
Tony Curtis’ wide-open, 8-yard touchdown catch from Carr with 4:11 left in the third quarter gave the 49ers a 27-10 lead, and Dixon made it 34-10 at 12:40 of the fourth quarter. Shane Andrus later capped the scoring with a 44-yard field goal.