NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 2 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 15, Los Angeles Chargers 10

Aug 22, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) sets to pass the ball in the first half of the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Los Angeles Chargers 15-10 in a game where the main focus was on the QB1 battle between Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance.

While Garoppolo got the start, Lance had the better day, overcoming a slow start to throw for 102 yards and two touchdowns.


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San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback

Garoppolo got the start over Lance for the second straight week, though Lance did take the field for the second and third series.

Lance’s first drive ended in an interception. His second ended in a coverage sack. He struggled with ball placement, showcasing some of the issues that plagued him coming out of North Dakota State.

Quarterback Adjusted Completion % Avg. Depth of Target PFF Grade
Jimmy Garoppolo 50.0% 7.0 38.2
Trey Lance 84.6% 8.8 67.9
Running Back

Hasty got the start for the 49ers. He struggled to make much happen on the ground but made an impact in the receiving game, catching three of his targets for a total of 21 yards.

Running Back Attempts Yards Yards After Contact
JaMycal Hasty 19 58 44
Wayne Gallman 15 72 36
Receivers

Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and Mohammed Sanu all got reps with the starters, but each dropped a pass across the middle of the field. The drops from Aiyuk and Sanu both resulted in an interception. Sanu later made up for his drop with a touchdown grab from a Trey Lance red-zone pass.

Trent Sherfield showcased his big-play ability for the second week in a row, catching a 41-yard pass from Lance on a busted coverage.

Offensive Line

Jaylon Moore had a rough night at left tackle. He was beaten by his assignment four times, and he ended the night with a 43.1 PFF pass-blocking grade on first review.

Laken Tomlinson and Daniel Brunskill got the start at left and right guard, respectively. PFF's first-run analysis didn't charge a QB pressure to either player.

Defensive Line

The 49ers' defensive line had themselves a night against the Chargers' offensive line. Four players finished with a PFF pass-rushing grade of 80.0 or higher on first review of the film — Maurice Hurst, Arik Armstead, Jordan Willis and Samson Ebukam.

Willis made one of the best plays of the night by sacking Easton Stick for a safety on a nifty speed rush. 

Linebacker

The 49ers linebackers struggled to make a significant impression. Jonas Griffith and Justin Hilliard were the only players at the position who recorded a run stop.

Secondary

Jared Mayden came away with a nice pick-six in the fourth quarter, which was unfortunately negated by a holding penalty on the return. Marcell Harris also delivered a couple of big hits.

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Los Angeles Chargers

Quarterback

Easton Stick struggled, and his offensive line did him no favors. It seemed that he was locked onto his first read — the checkdown, more often than not — and his first completion to a wide receiver came on a textbook scramble drill where he found Josh Palmer in the end zone for a touchdown.

Chase Daniel‘s night wasn't all that better. The veteran threw a bad interception in the third quarter, and he really struggled to move the offense in the second half. Playing behind the third-string offensive line didn't help matters, either.

Quarterback Adjusted Completion % Turnover-worthy plays EPA/Play
Easton Stick 75.0% 3 0.042
Chase Daniel 70.0% 1 -0.416

EPA=expected points added

Running Back

Joshua Kelley got the start for the Chargers today. He wasn’t that efficient on the ground, though, averaging 1.3 yards per carry.

Running Back Attempts Rushing Yards Receptions Receiving Yards
Joshua Kelley 7 9 2 12
Larry Rountree III 8 12 4 15
Darius Bradwell 1 6 4 9
Receivers

The battle for the Chargers' WR3 spot is heating up, and multiple players made a claim for that spot tonight. Josh Palmer found a soft spot in the 49ers' goal-line defense to catch a pass from Stick for a five-yard touchdown. Jalen Guyton showcased his speed on a 39-yard completion, beating the corner off the line on a go route. 

Tyron Johnson is also in contention for the third receiver spot, but as PFF’s Nathan Jahnke noted, he didn’t see the field much in the first half.

Offensive Line

The Chargers' offensive line was missing its top three starters in Rashawn Slater, Corey Linsley and Bryan Bulaga. As a result, Easton Stick was under heavy duress early on.

Trey Pipkins had an especially rough day. He allowed Jordan Willis to sack Stick for a safety and ended the night with two pressures allowed. He was beaten by his assignment four times in total, per PFF's first-run analysis, good for a 49.2 PFF pass-blocking grade pending review. 

Defensive Line

Kyler Fackrell recognized a couple of play-action passes and was able to pressure the quarterback four times. He ended the night with an 89.7 PFF pass-rushing grade on first review.

Outside of two penalties, Jessie Lemonier flashed with two pressures and a sack on Lance in the third quarter. Willie Yarbary also led both teams with three run stops, all coming in the second half.

Linebacker

Rookie sixth-round pick Nick Neimann played 44 snaps, and it was his lapse in coverage that allowed Mohammed Sanu to catch a touchdown. However, he finished with eight tackles overall, including two run stops, and was everywhere on the field today.

Secondary

Asante Samuel Jr. came away with an interception on the 49ers' first drive today, quickly capitalizing on a Brandon Aiyuk drop.

Tevaughn Campbell was the other Chargers player with a pick, but he moved inside to the slot later in the game and let former Charger Travis Benjamin to beat him on a crossing route for a 16-yard touchdown.

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