With three pre-season games behind them now, the San Francisco 49ers have made their first round of player cuts and are eyeing their season opener against the Green Bay Packers. Thus far the team has looked very efficient and very motivated in their pursuit of a championship for Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Regardless of whether or not most of the players that see extended playing time in pre-season games are ultimately not the feature player for that position, the 49ers players that have taken the field have played quite well.
The first pre-season game against the Minnesota Vikings saw a 17-6 victory for the San Francisco 49ers. Alex Smith saw limited playing time in favor of Colin Kaepernick and Scott Tolzien, both of whom were very efficient. Reserve running back Anthony Dixon led the running game with 12 carries, and the receiving unit was well rounded as 12 different receivers caught a pass.
Pre-season game two was a losing effort to the Houston Texans 20-9. But there was a silver lining to the cloud. Alex Smith was as efficient as ever, though again in a limited role. Running back Kendall Hunter also displayed his worth, rushing for 46 yards on only six carries. The real standout of the game was none other than Randy Moss, who in very limited playing time caught three passes for 24 yards. Moss is proving to be worthy of another year in the NFL.
The third pre-season game was a come from behind victory for the 49ers against the Denver Broncos. In which the Broncos inexplicably kept their superstar quarterback Peyton Manning in the game for quite a long time. Conversely, the 49ers chose to keep their reserves in for the majority of the game. Dixon again led the rushing attack and again the passing was spread out to a multitude of different reserve receivers.
Their fourth and final pre-season game will be tomorrow against the Chargers from San Diego. While most of the starters for the 49ers will probably not see much playing time again, it does stand to reason that they should. The Green Bay game is right around the corner, and one can never be too prepared for them.
With so many of the reserves playing at such a high level during these pre-season games, this no doubt leaves coach Harbaugh with some very difficult decisions to make. The first round of cuts made saw 14 make their exit, with quite a few more to come. Those left fighting for a spot in the receiving and running back groups will not have an easy go of it. A few names from last years squad just might see the door.
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