SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Drew Brees completed all five of his
passes, engineered two touchdown drives in one quarter and watched
rookie Philip Rivers struggle until San Francisco put in its backup
Despite that, Brees still hasn't been anointed San Diego's
starting quarterback by coach Marty Schottenheimer.
"It's not my decision. It's obviously a decision Marty is going
to make," Brees said after San Diego finished the preseason with a
31-15 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Thursday night.
Schottenheimer was pleased with both quarterbacks but wasn't
ready to pick a starter for the season opener at Houston on Sept.
"We'll sit down and look at film and evaluate everything and
make a decision Sunday or Monday," Schottenheimer said.
Brees, whose poor play last year contributed to San Diego's
decision to acquire Rivers, made his case for keeping the job. He
went 5-for-5 for 71 yards, including a 35-yard TD pass to Eric
Parker, and led San Diego to 14 points on three drives.
"That's what we wanted to do -- score two touchdowns right
away," Brees said. "It was nice to be able to do that."
Rivers, the fourth pick in this year's draft, missed the first
two exhibition games in a contract holdout. Rivers went 5-for-14
with two interceptions in his debut against Seattle and didn't look
any better in the first half against San Francisco.
Rivers had just three pass plays in the half -- a sack when he
held onto the ball too long, an intentional grounding penalty and
"It was kind of a slow start. ... I forced something when it
wasn't there," Rivers said about his interception.
But he quickly settled down, going 8-for-8 for 43 yards on the
opening drive of the third quarter. He exploited San Francisco's
defense with short throws on a 16-play drive, capped by rookie
Michael Turner's 2-yard run.
A fumble by punt returner Arnaz Battle set up Rivers' first
touchdown pass as a pro -- a 4-yarder to Kevin Dyson that made it
31-15 early in the fourth quarter. Rivers completed his first 13
passes of the second half and finished 13-for-16 for 85 yards.
"I still have a ways to go to be where I need to be as a
successful quarterback in this league," Rivers said. "Obviously,
I'm not where I'll be after 10 years as a starter."
San Francisco's defense couldn't stop San Diego on the ground or
in the air and the 49ers finished the preseason winless for the
first time since 1974.
With star running back LaDainian Tomlinson sitting out once
again to stay fresh for the regular season, Turner ran for 116
yards and Chatman had 65. Both also scored touchdowns.
"We need to have some kind of concern because nobody wants to
go into the season losing all of the time," said All-Pro
linebacker Julian Peterson, who played his first game after a long
holdout. "It doesn't look good."
The 49ers know Tim Rattay is their starting quarterback, and are
happy to see him on the field performing well. Rattay missed the
first two preseason games with a sore arm and was limited last week
"I was a lot better than last week," Rattay said. "The arm
felt better and I felt that I could make all of the throws. I feel
good. My body is getting healthier and my arm is real close to
being 100 percent. Now I have 11 days before the first game, so I
will be ready to go."
San Francisco's sloppiness was evident on one series in the
second quarter. Ken Dorsey had three touchdown passes -- to rookie
Rashaun Woods, Battle and Aaron Walker -- called back by penalties
before the 49ers settled for a 19-yard field goal by Todd Peterson.
Woods, who missed the first two preseason games with a hamstring
injury, made his first two catches as a pro on that drive and
finished with three receptions for 33 yards.
"That is why we have Rashaun here," coach Dennis Erickson
said. "We wanted to get him in a position to see if he can make
some plays. He's been hurt and it was good to see him do that."
The 49ers struggled on the ground with starter Kevan Barlow
resting, gaining only 33 yards on 20 carries.
San Diego's Donnie Edwards, who severely cut his left calf in an
accident at home just before training camp, had three tackles in
his first game of the preseason.
Chargers TE Justin Peele left the game in the first half
with a dislocated left thumb. ... The 49ers went 0-6 in the
preseason in 1974.
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