NFL News & Analysis

NFL Preseason Week 3 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 34, Las Vegas Raiders 10

Aug 29, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance (5) fakes a handoff against the Las Vegas Raiders in the second quarter at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers dominated against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday in typical fashion: using the run game to control the flow of the game and keeping QBs Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance out of harm's way. Oakland skipped the opportunity to play out a dress rehearsal, sitting all the players expected to be major contributors during the regular season.

The two QBs battling it out for the starting gig in San Francisco scored their touchdowns on the ground, and RB Jamycal Hasty took home the game ball with two touchdowns and 9.2 yards per carry on just six attempts.


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San Francisco 49ers

Quarterback

Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo split snaps in the first quarter, and it was evident that head coach Kyle Shanahan is preparing a package of plays for Lance while he gets comfortable with the scheme as a whole. Creating additional gaps in the run game is a key for the zone scheme Shanahan leans on, and Lance’s running ability accomplished that in ways that Garoppolo’s legs can’t. Lance took over in the second and third quarter, and while his 46 yards on 16 dropbacks won’t blow anyone away, three of his passes were dropped, and he was able to find the end zone as a rusher.

Player & Personnel Usage (Snaps/Total Snaps)
11 Personnel 12 Personnel 21 Personnel
Jimmy Garoppolo 5/14 1/14 7/14
Trey Lance 15/33 12/33 6/33
Running Back

Trey Sermon has settled into the San Francisco rotation as the bruiser to Raheem Mostert’s speedster role. Both backs had seven carries in the first half, combining for 90 yards and five first downs converted. Jamycal Hasty, Elijah Mitchell and Wayne Gallman took the rest of the reps at the position in the second half, battling it out for a role as a possible utility back and special teams player. Hasty punched in two touchdowns on the day.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

The third preseason game was more about Shanahan getting one last look at the variety of runs at his disposal in-season, but the starters at receiver and tight end got an opportunity to work in the first quarter. Deebo Samuel had a 24-yard reception and was only in the slot on one of his seven passing snaps. George Kittle had a reception as well before checking out, and Trent Sherfield continued his strong preseason by converting both his catches for first downs — he was targeted on half of his snaps. The role of WR3 is going to be key for SF if and when Lance takes over as QB in 2021.

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Offensive Line

Shanahan’s QB-friendly scheme persists, even when little of the playbook is on display. Jaylon Moore and Colton McKivitz were the only two linemen to allow pressures (hurries), but no linemen were beaten by their defender or surrendered unblocked pressure from a blown protection.

Defensive Line

Arik Armstead didn’t need many snaps to produce against the porous offensive line for Las Vegas, with two pressures in his five pass-rush snaps. Eddie Yarbrough picked up where he left off with a sack and additional hurry, and the position group totaled 12 pressures on the day. Almost the entire stable played, with 12 players logging at least five snaps up front.

Linebacker

Fred Warner was in and out before the attendees had found their seats in Levi Stadium. Marcell Harris had the best day of the bunch against the run, tallying one defensive stop. The 49ers couldn’t create much pressure with their linebackers as blitzers, but Justin Hilliard won in his only pass rush rep of the day.

Secondary

The duality of Ha-ha Clinton Dix’s career: forcing a turnover off of an errant Nathan Peterman pass, and allowing the longest completion of the day (32 yards). Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir spent the day working on his press technique, playing up at the line of scrimmage on 11 of his 20 coverage snaps; he was only targeted three times. Talanoa Hufanga created pressure on a Cover 0 blitz in the first half, coming unblocked as Peterman looked to extend the play.

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Las Vegas Raiders

Quarterback

The Raiders’ final preseason game belonged to Gruden QB Camp alumnus Nathan Peterman, taking all of the offense’s snaps at the position. True to his reputation, Peterman threw an interception late in the third quarter on a poorly placed ball up the seams. With the QB room in place for Las Vegas, Peterman wasn’t fighting for anything other than QB3 on the depth chart, so there wasn’t much to take away from his performance.

Running Back

The Raiders’ entire in-season RB rotation got the day off in San Francisco to get a jump start on the “dead week” period between now and opening kickoff. The three preseason depth backs, Trey Ragas, BJ Emmons and Garrett Groshek were in the lineup, with Ragas and Emmons splitting all but one of the carries on the day. None of the three scored, but Ragas’ 39 yards led the group, and he added 15 on his three receptions.

Wide Receiver/Tight End

It would be a shock if any of the players at WR or TE saw much time once the season begins in Las Vegas. Veteran John Brown made an appearance and was predictably targeted on a deep reception on one of his two opportunities. Dillon Stoner put up the most production of the group with 69 yards and three first downs converted on four targets. Tight end Nick Bowers put up the only touchdown of the day for the Raiders offense

Offensive Line

Demeco Ryans will likely bring an attacking defense in succession of Robert Saleh, blitzing on top of cutting San Francisco’s edge rushers loose. Raiders tackle Devery Hamilton caught the worst of it during the game, allowing five pressures and one sack in his 20 pass-blocking snaps. The rest of the position group combined to surrender five as well.

Defensive Line

The Gus Bradley scheme needs many things to function at its highest level, but nothing is more important than the ability to affect the passer with its front four rushers. Only one pressure forced on the day left the S.F. quarterbacks with clean pockets and the rhythm needed to find receivers, and the 49ers were able to move the ball on the ground with little resistance. None of the defensive linemen in black and silver had a tackle for loss.

Gus Bradley Profile 2017-2020
Blitz Rate (Rank) Cover 3 Usage (Rank) QB Pressure Rate (Rank) Tackles For Loss or No Gain (Rank)
Chargers Defense 16% (32nd) 43% (1st) 33% (13th) 345 (17th)
Linebacker

Max Richardson had an up and down performance but played aggressively against the run. His five missed tackles would be a long-term issue if he were asked to log snaps in the regular season, but he was the only Raiders linebacker to have a tackle for loss or defensive stop in the run game. He also logged a pressure as an unblocked rusher, forcing a QB hurry.

Secondary

While a few of the 49ers had a case of the dropsies, the Raiders defensive backfield only surrendered 48 passing yards on 14 targets against the S.F. offense. Damon Arnette ended the preseason on a high note, denying any receptions and only being targeted twice in his 10 coverage snaps. Every corner who played lined up in press today, evidence that Gus Bradley hasn’t been brought in to do anything but run the scheme that made him popular during his stint in Seattle.

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