- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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1. Tolzien's time. Scott Tolzien had recently appeared on his way to becoming the third quarterback at Josh Johnson's expense. This game was a tough one for him. Tolzien completed 3 of 8 passes for 42 yards with one sack and one interception. His stats suffered from at least one drop, but that was small consolation. Johnson completed 9 of 14 passes for 125 yards and two touchdowns. He scrambled effectively, picking up 50 yards on five carries. Johnson rose to the occasion. Tolzien did not. This game might make it easier to get Tolzien onto the practice squad, should the 49ers decide to go with Johnson. But there's always a risk when a team exposes a player to waivers.
2. Aldon Smith's return. This one won't take long. Smith, who hasn't played in a game since injuring a hip against Minnesota on Aug. 10, did not play in this game either. Coach Jim Harbaugh had indicated Smith would be available. Instead, Harbaugh rested all his defensive starters. Nothing to see here.
3. Dixon's opportunity. Running back/fullback Anthony Dixon continued his resurgence with what appeared to a solid performance. Dixon carried 12 times for 55 yards and a touchdown. He ran hard in the open field, breaking a 17-yarder early. He ran tough around the goal line, including on a 1-yard scoring run. Dixon also had a 6-yard run on first-and-goal from the 9. Dixon was still battling late in the game, including when he threw his body into the path of a charging pass-rusher to protect his quarterback. Dixon has improved his chances for earning a roster spot.
Looking back on three things discussed here before the San Francisco 49ers' fourth and final exhibition game, this one a 35-3 victory over the San Diego Chargers at Candlestick Park:1.