The lead: The regular season is finally here.
The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their four-game preseason schedule on Thursday night against the Texans. With just three projected starters opening the game on the team's offensive and defensive units, it was depth that showed through in a 40-13 victory.
Backups made big plays.
This game was for key reserves to shake off the rust; for backups to put their best on tape; and for rookies to prove they belong.
We'll see what affect this game had when San Francisco makes its Opening Day roster choices this weekend.
The injury report: Tight end
The scoring: Full stats here.
2. The starting defense comprised linemen Jerod-Eddie,
3. The starting offense comprised quarterback Blaine Gabbert; running back
4. James had the first crack at punt returns and kickoff returns. Wideout
5. Rookie cornerback
6. Defensive tackle
7. During their final series of the first quarter, Gabbert and rookie running back
9. In a two-play stretch before halftime, the 49ers extended their lead to 14-6. Cook picked off Keenum. On the ensuing play, Johnson replaced Gabbert at quarterback and threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Ellington. Gabbert finished the night 4-of-11 for 60 yards passing.
10. A 28-yard field goal from
11. Johnson, who threw a pick-six to Texans cornerback Andre Hal in the third quarter, redeemed himself in the fourth with a five-yard touchdown pass to tight end/long snapper
13. Veteran special teamer
The advance: The 49ers will be back home in Santa Clara on Friday before making a return trip to Texas for their Sept. 7 regular season opener opposite the Dallas Cowboys. In between, general manager Trent Baalke and Co. must decide on their 53-man roster. And the 53 that are still standing upon the NFL-mandated deadline on Saturday won't necessarily be the 53 that go to Dallas. You can bet that Baalke and his crew will be working the waiver wire just like every other front office around the league. Something to consider: Because of their record last season, the Texans enter this season with the highest waiver priority. Given the 49ers depth, some of the players they'll cut could end up in Houston.
The review: Readers, we're working on a new layout for game stories this season, and we thought the preseason would be good proving ground. What do you think of the "Gamer" as we have it now? What would you like to see? Let us know in the comment section below.
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