The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their trio of exhibition games on Friday night against the Los Angeles Chargers. The team fell short in its preseason finale, however, the final outcome was overshadowed by injuries to several position groups that materialized over the course of the week and through the game's final whistle.
The 49ers biggest area of concern is now special teams. San Francisco is in search of a placekicker with rookie Jake Moody (quad strain) and veteran Zane Gonzalez (calf strain) both working through injuries. Neither are expected to be ready to go in time for the start of the regular season.
Bright spots from Friday's game include a solid showing by the first-team offense led by Brock Purdy. The second-year pro went five-of-nine for 73 yards and ran in a five-yard touchdown to give San Francisco the early lead. Quarterback Sam Darnold, who played through most of the third quarter also showed good command of the offense, completed 6-of-11 for 89 yards, a touchdown and 111.6 passer rating. On the other side of the ball, linebacker Fred Warner set the tone for the defensive unit, notching a sack on third-and-12 for a loss of ten yards to force a three and out on the Chargers first offensive possession.
Here's the breakdown of this week's preseason playmakers:
Conley played in a limited capacity on Friday and topped all offensive performers against Los Angeles, earning an 88.8 overall grade for his five snaps of work. The wideout's one reception was arguably the most impressive grab of the entire preseason finale. Conley caught a dime from Darnold near the right sideline to move the sticks 34 yards.
The other top performer on offense was third-year tackle Jaylon Moore who graded out to an 87.1 for his 34-snap outing versus the Chargers. He's been steadily ramping up this preseason and capped off the exhibition slate with a clean stat sheet. Moore did not allow a sack, pressure or quarterback hit in Friday night's matchup.
Top Defensive Performer: LB Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles
The linebacker was the highest-graded defensive performer for the red and gold, recording a 92.6 overall grade in the team's third preseason game. Flannigan-Fowles and defensive lineman Alex Barrett teamed up for a sack of Chargers quarterback Easton Stick in the first half. He finished with 3.0 total tackles and was targeted once for a loss of five yards.