Our 49ers.com writers are back to break down four pressing topics as the San Francisco 49ers face the San Diego Chargers in the preseason finale.
Let's get to the four downs of what you should look forward to in this "Four Downs" update, brought to you by SunPower.
1st Down: Who scores the first TD for the 49ers?@Joe_Fann: Blake Bell
I expect the second-year tight end will play for a majority of the second half. Bell has four catches for 32 yards through the first preseason contests. "The Belldozer" only played 11 snaps last Thursday against the Green Bay Packers, but that should change with Garrett Celek and Garrett Celek unlikely to play much, if at all, on Thursday against the Chargers. I think he catches a second quarter touchdown from five yards out.
@TaylorPrice: Mike Davis
Pierre Garçon will not play due to the concussion he suffered in last week's loss to the Packers. Shaun Draughn has also been hampered by a back injury and hasn't played the last two weeks. Draughn appears to have a grasp of the backup running back job. It's more than likely that Davis, DuJuan Harris and Kelvin Taylor will be a three-headed running attack for the 49ers on Thursday. Davis has averaged 7.9 yards per carry (14 carries for 111 rushing yards). I'd assume Davis will get plenty of touches early on for San Francisco. He's also a good bet to punch in an early scoring drive for the offense.
2nd Down: Who is the rookie to watch?
@Joe_Fann: Rashard Robinson
There's certainly a theme with our responses here. Robinson has seen his strong play in practice carry over into the preseason contests. The fourth-round draft choice certainly doesn't look like a player who hasn't seen game action in over a year. In three exhibition appearances, the 6-foot-1 cornerback has seven tackles and one pass breakup. He played 25 snaps on defense and six more on special teams. Robinson's playing time could be similar, if not more on Thursday.
@TaylorPrice: Will Redmond
In just 18 defensive snaps last week, Redmond recorded five tackles and a sack in his preseason debut. The third-round pick has impressed in recent weeks with his performance at nickel cornerback. This upcoming fourth preseason game is tailor-made for young players like Redmond to shine. It's not known how much first-round picks DeForest Buckner and Joshua Garnett will play in San Diego. Therefore, the team's third draft choice has an opportunity to be under the spotlight representing this year's rookie crop.
3rd Down: What is the best part about the preseason finale?
@Joe_Fann: That it's the preseason finale
I'm all for watching young players develop and seeing position battles unfold, but I'm also ready for regular season football. Eric Reid said earlier this week that he's ready to begin gameplanning for the Los Angeles Rams. Most of San Francisco's starters and veterans will sit on Thursday as the team aims to avoid any more injuries to key players. Bring on Week 1, #BeatLA and "Monday Night Football."
@TaylorPrice: Final tuneup for key players, especially Aaron Lynch
Lynch, one of San Francisco's top pass-rushers, will be suspended for the first four weeks of the regular season. So this is his last chance to get valuable game reps will come against the Chargers. It'll likely come against reserve offensive linemen. Thursday's matchup is a chance for Lynch to build confidence going into the regular season. The same can be said for the rest of the roster. Last year's preseason finale featured numerous first- and second-year players looking to prove themselves. Lynch has proven he can rush the passer at a high level. Even so, the Chargers game will be critical for many on the team like Lynch who are looking to make an impact in the regular season.
4th Down: What is your bold prediction?
@Joe_Fann: Dres Anderson catches another touchdown
Anderson has the lone touchdown reception for 49ers wide receivers through three exhibition contests. His 30-yard, game-winning score against the Denver Broncos helped the 49ers secure a 31-24 victory in Week 2 of the preseason. Anderson, and the rest of the team's young wideouts for that matter, will use Thursday's game against the Chargers as their final push for roster spots. Starters across the board are likely to sit which means added snaps for the entire group.
@TaylorPrice: Jeff Driskel throws his first TD pass
The sixth-round draft pick has completed 14 of 27 pass attempts for 129 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions in three preseason contests. While much has been made about Colin Kaepernick's reps in this week's game and Blaine Gabbert being given the night off, there's another quarterback on the team that many are eager to watch in San Diego. The rookie signal-caller will get one last opportunity to state his case to make the 53-man roster. Driskel has yet to find the end zone in the preseason, but this feels like the appropriate time to predict his first touchdown pass. The playing time for each quarterback (Kaepernick, Driskel and Christian Ponder) will be the most talked about aspect of this game. One last solid performance could tip the scale in how Chip Kelly decides the full QB depth chart. But you already knew that...