When Glen Coffee walked away from the 49ers three days ago, the news was shocking. Now it’s downright alarming.
With Frank Gore being rested in the preseason opener, Michael Robinson got the call at halfback, and things couldn’t have started worse. On the 49ers’ first play from scrimmage in 2010, Indy safety Antoine Bethea stuck his helmet on the ball and forced Robinson to fumble. Robert Mathis recovered for the Colts, and seven plays later the home team had a 3-0 lead.
The first-team defense was out of the game by midway through Indianapolis’ second offensive series. The Colts went ahead and finished that one on Joseph Addai’s 7-yard run.
The 49ers’ first-team offensive line played the entire first half, longer than expected.
Alex Smith was in for four of those possessions. He left the game with 3 completions in 9 attempts and an interception – his post pass to Delanie Walker bounced off the tight end’s hands and into the arms of Jerraud Powers. The interception was pretty catchable by Walker, but he was a little off on a couple short passes, too.
David Carr replaced Smith in the second quarter and quickly led the 49ers on a 7-play, 43-yard touchdown drive, Robinson finishing it with a 3-yard run that gave his team a 14-10 lead. Most encouraging was the performance by rookie RB Anthony Dixon, who looked able carrying the ball and catching it.
Before that, safety Reggie Smith got the Niners rolling when he snatched a pass that bounced off Colts receiver Sam Giguere and ran 91 yards for a touchdown. The 49ers got a field goal after taking over on down late in the first quarter, but not before Carr was sacked three times. San Francisco’s offensive line really struggled against Indy’s backups.
The 49ers got another field goal from Shane Andrus as the second-quarter clock expired, making the score 20-10. They went into the locker room with a misleading advantage – and a number of concerns.