In what pundits call the most important game of the preseason, (Preseason Game 3), the 49ers will face the improving Oakland Raiders. In this game, expect the first team offense to play into the third quarter. The league’s top quarterbacks have played really well in their third preseason game so far (Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Tom Brady) and an eye has to be kept on how Alex Smith fares in this game.
The 49ers have played relatively well in their previous two preseason games. The rushing game and the defense have been fabulous. The receiving game has not impressed me yet.
Three things to look for:
1. What role does Brian Westbrook? In his first game action with the 49ers, it will be interesting to see how Westbrook fits into the offense. The Niners seem to have great depth at the running back position so far. Westbrook who had an injury plagued season last year is surely exited to be on the field and show that he still has some miles on his legs-even in limited action.
2. Can RB Anthony Dixon keep on rolling? So far in the preseason, Anthony Dixon simply has been great. The same was said of Glen Coffee last season but that did not really translate onto the season. Hopefully Anthony Dixon sees some action against the Raiders’ first team defense. The more reps he gets against seasoned veterans, the more prepared he will be for the season.
3. What changes will be made to DL? Now that it is guaranteed Aubrayo Franklin will play this season, Coach Singletary will probably shuffle the defensive line around against the Raiders. Here is hoping that Ricky Jean-Francois continues to see valuable reps going forward and move up the depth chart.