Niners Live recently provided you the Faithful with a post-game analysis against the Kansas City Chiefs. Now we go further inside the game to analyze the performance of the tight ends and the wide receivers and tell you who made a mark and who needs more work.
I’m going to be blunt, there was a lot left to be desired when it came to the overall performance of the tight ends and wide receivers Friday Night against the Kansas City Chiefs. The units combined for a total of 10 catches out of 23 targets. Obviously, there are things that still need to be fine-tuned before the regular season begins, but that’s not necessarily due to the receiving corp.
Marquise Goodwin was the lone starter with a catch for 14 yards. We did see instances, where he got open, but was either underthrown or not thrown to at all. For his part, Pierre Garcon only received one target. Jeremy Kerley did have a catch for 15 yards on the first drive, but it was called back due to a penalty. While neither of these guys are in danger of losing their spots, it was a lackluster debut to say the least.
Spots 4 & 5
Both Aldrick Robinson and Trent Taylor strengthen their cases to get significant playing time. Robinson, as you see in this video clip, was particularly explosive on this 63-yard catch from Matt Barkley in the 2nd quarter. He had two catches for 83 yards. Trent Taylor was able to work his magic in the 2nd quarter on a key reception, which got the 49ers out of deep territory. He finished with three catches for 33 yards.
The Last Spot
Rookie Kendrick Bourne made his case for that final receiver spot with two scoring catches; one of which was a 46-yard touchdown from C.J. Beathard seen in this video. The other one was on this two point conversion seen here. DeAndre Carter did have two catches, but only for 4 yards in an otherwise underwhelming performance. DeAndre Smelter, one of the guys pushing for that final spot was only targeted once and nearly came down with a spectacular catch in the back of the end zone on an overthrown ball from Matt Barkley. Neither Aaron Burbridge, Louis Murphy nor Tim Patrick saw action at wide receiver against Kansas City.
The Tight Ends: Is there a Clear Number One
Coach Kyle Shanahan gave the 49er Faithful an assessment of the completion for the tight end spot earlier this week (via 49ers.com). Vance McDonald has put together consistent practices and has gone from being shopped, to being number one on the unofficial depth chart. He was targeted only once on Friday. Logan Paulsen, whom the 49ers acquired in the offseason from the Washington Redskins, was primarily used as a blocking tight end on Friday, a role he excels in. Garrett Celek, a tight end who hasn’t been mentioned much in the competition was the lone tight end with a catch on Friday night. The catch was for 14 yards. Blake Bell was targeted once this past Friday, but had no reception. We did not see debuts of rookies Cole Hikutini or George Kittle.
We are through the first preseason game and while the race for wide receiver spots looks all but certain; the competition at tight end is wide open and it’s anyone guess as to who will suit up against the Carolina Panthers in week one. We cannot blame anyone for a blatant dropped pass, because that wasn’t the case against Kansas City. One thing is for certain, it won’t get any easier this Saturday when the 49ers face the Denver Broncos at home. The secondary has legitimate playmakers like T.J. Ward and Aqib Talib that will surely test the San Francisco 49ers receivers and tight ends. Make no mistake, despite it being preseason, there are no cupcake games. This is a very talented ensemble of playmakers compared to last season. The question will be how to best maximize their potential.
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All records, statistics, and accolades are courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com, Pro Football Focus, 49ers.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com unless otherwise indicated. Author and new Staff Writer @NinersLive.net, David Edmondson. Co-Author, Content Creator, Editor, Sequoia Sims