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Saturday, August 27, 2011
Three things revisited: 49ers-Texans

By Mike Sando


Looking back on three things discussed here before the San Francisco 49ers' 30-7 preseason defeat against the Houston Texans on Saturday night:

1. Quarterback rotation: Coach Jim Harbaugh bucked convention for the third preseason game by breaking up first-team reps between Alex Smith and backup Colin Kaepernick. The idea made sense, in my view, because Smith’s history suggests injuries or poor performance will lead to a quarterback change at some point during the regular season. Unfortunately for the 49ers, their pass protection and overall offensive performance wasn’t up to standards. This game lacked rhythm from the moment 49ers linebacker Ahmad Brooks returned the Texans’ first pass for an interception. The Texans got the ball back and played keep-away. Smith and Kaepernick both took too many hits. Both threw interceptions when pressure affected them. We'll presumably see more short timing throws against pressure when the games start counting. Pressure affects quarterbacks and that was the case here. Neither appeared comfortable. Kaepernick was off-target on a couple throws to Delanie Walker. Kaepernick averaged 3.3 yards per attempt on 16 passes. Smith averaged 2.8 yards per attempt on six passes.

2. Stadium safety. Team president Jed York, appearing in the 49ers’ television broadcast booth during the game, used the word "anomaly" to describe the shooting and general violence that marred the team’s home game against Oakland last week. York said he hung out with fans, including longtime season-ticket holders, before the game. He also said there were no plans to resume preseason games between the Bay Area rivals.


3. Snap counts at center. Jonathan Goodwin took over for Adam Snyder early in the game. I wasn't able to watch them closely while monitoring multiple NFC West games. Goodwin did not appear to be at fault when the Texans stuffed a third-and-1 run in the first half. What did you see from Goodwin in particular? I saw Tony Wragge playing center in the second half.