Trey Lance Led the Offense for Three Up-and-Down Series
As expected, the 49ers QB1 got his reps – 22 total snaps – in the preseason finale. Lance finished 7-of-11 for 49 yards. No. 5 was also sacked once on the first play of the second offensive series. While most of the expected starters on offense played in a limited capacity, the absence of left tackle Trent Williams was felt in this game, especially in pass protection.
"We wanted him (Lance) to get just two drive, and I ended up giving him three because I wanted to give him a little bit more there," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "There weren't too many opportunities, and we got into some long down and distances which made it tough."
"We almost got the whole gang back together on offense this week," Lance said. "We were close. There's a couple guys getting healthy. These 17 days will be super important for us before Chicago."
Malik Turner is Making the Most of the Preseason
Turner followed up on his strong performance in Minnesota with more splash plays versus the Houston Texans. The 49ers opening drive ended with a punt, and Turner allowed no gain on the play, tackling Texans returner Desmond King immediately following the catch. Turner also connected with Lance on the 49ers third offensive series for a nice 14-yard catch. The wide receiver closed out the night with three catches for 32 yards.
The D-Line Stacks the Sacks
The 49ers defense recorded its first multi-sack game of the preseason in Houston. Samson Ebukam, Jordan Willis and Charles Omenihu each accounted for one sack. Willis' second quarter sack of Texans quarterback Davis Mills set Houston back seven yards and helped the defense force a quick three-and-out. Omenihu's late third quarter sack cost the Texans eight yards and set them up for a third-and-long keeping them outside of the red zone. Houston settled for a field goal to gain the 17-0 advantage.
Ross Dwelley Emerges as the Receiving Yards Leader
View game photos from the San Francisco 49ers preseason matchup vs. the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium.
Tarvarius Moore Notches Another Interception for the Defense
Moore's second quarter interception brought the defensive unit's pick total up to six for the preseason. With some help from rookie Samuel Womack III on a pass deflection, No. 33 picked off Mills in the end zone on a pass intended for Texans wideout Chris Moore. Despite the injury bug hitting both the 49ers cornerbacks and safeties, there's been good production by the secondary this preseason.
Linebackers in Short Supply
With the 49ers trio of starting linebackers not suiting up for this game, San Francisco entered the finale with five options at the position: Oren Burks, Segun Olubi, Curtis Robinson, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles and Marcelino McCrary-Ball. Burks suffered a knee injury and Robinson was ruled out with an ankle injury, leaving the remaining three to play the bulk of the game.
Penalties Continue to Plague the Offense
San Francisco racked up seven penalties for 54 yards in the first half — with four of those flags belonging to the offense. A holding call and two false starts jammed up the 49ers last offensive drive before the half. The 49ers finished with total of 11 penalties for 104 yards in their third and final preseason game, topping their previous penalty count of 10 in last week's contest in Minnesota.
"Offensively, we had just way too many penalties," Shanahan said. "I think offense especially, but it was also defense and special teams. I also think we struggled to execute, so that was pretty sloppy play. I wish it could have been cleaner."
Growing Pains in the Secondary
As the rookie corners adjust to the speed of the NFL, there will be mistakes, and the newest 49ers cornerbacks got a bit of a crash course in pass coverage in Houston. Womack III got called on defensive pass interference in the first quarter that set the Texans up on San Francisco's 1 yard line. The Texans scored a touchdown on the next play. Tariq Castro-Fields was also called on a DPI in the third quarter. The 26-yard penalty allowed Houston to enter San Francisco's territory, and the drive resulted in Houston's second touchdown.