5 takeaways from the 49ers win over the Green Bay Packers – Niners Nation

5 takeaways from the 49ers win over the Green Bay Packers - Niners Nation

San Francisco 49ers football is officially back, and the 2022 campaign began with a 28-21 win over the Green Bay Packers in the preseason opener. Here are five takeaways I had from the game.

1. This offense finally has the vertical spacing it has sorely lacked

It’s no secret that Trey Lance has terrific physical attributes, including an arm that allows him to make throws only a handful of quarterbacks in the league can even think about attempting. The ability to threaten defenses vertically with Lance under center will only create more spacing underneath and clear things up in the box to open up the run game.

Lance was 4-5 for 92 yards in this game, but 76 of those came on a slot fade thrown deep down the left side to speedster Danny Gray. As important as Lance’s arm talent is in the equation, it can’t be complete without skilled possession players who possess the requisite speed to stress defenses on the back end.

Gray proved he has the ability to contribute immediately in that role, utilizing his 4.3 speed to beat the outside on a Spartan route and create enough separation to not only make a big play downfield, but also have the room to take off without being run down. .

Speaking of the slot fade, it’s clearly a route they feel comfortable going back to the well while Lance is under center. They ran a lot of them during training camp, and it was something Lance had success with going back to last season.

This play was from the 49ers’ preseason matchup with the Chargers last season, and it’s the same route combination that Lance and Gray connected against the Packers. It pairs a fracture route with the crack topping and indicates the crack origin as the primary reading.

Now here is Gray’s touchdown from the Packers game. (Sorry for the broadcast angle, I don’t have the All-22 yet). Check out how the smash route sits below to open up a one-on-one for the slot to fade to the boundary.

This is just one example of a concept that Kyle Shanahan can now comfortably implement to open up the field for his offense. Now that Shanahan has the pieces to execute these looks, expect a lot more shots downfield this year and a much more aggressive attack on the back end of opposing defenses through the air.

2. Spencer Burford looks like a polished veteran

Burford getting the starting right guard job to start camp was certainly a surprise, but the more I watched Burford, the more I understood why that move was made. The physical traits are there, long arms, firm base, and able to pull and move well in space.

But the thing that impressed me most about Burford was the composure and composure with which he played in his first game action at the NFL level. Even when Burford was beaten early on, he showed tremendous ability to recover and find a way to win the rep.

The durability Burford showed on some of these reps was that of a longtime NFL starter, not a rookie playing in his first NFL game. The physical attributes Burford possesses are phenomenal (more on that in a second), but the resilience he displayed was more impressive than anything else.

Back to the physical features, which were also on full display in this game. Ignore the outcome of this play and instead focus on Burford’s individual rep from the right guard. Look what he does to the 2 technique on this play.

Burford is the type of player who can hurt a phone booth while also having the skill set to get to the second level in an aggressive out-of-zone scheme. I was beyond impressed with the composure he showed against the Packers, and I look forward to seeing how he follows that up next week in Minnesota.

3. Kemoko Turay will be the steal of the offseason

When the 49ers signed Turay to a 1-year deal worth 1.7 million, it was obvious that it would be a proven deal. The former second-round pick has exceptional sporting characteristics and a consistent engine that never quits.

Turay had five sacks in 11 on 11 during Wednesday’s practice, and his ability to terrorize opposing offenses as a pass rusher should never have been questioned. What really stood out to me in the preseason opener was the way Turay disrupted the Packers’ ground game.
I counted four separate replays in this game where a rush attempt by the Packers offense was stopped within a yard of the line of scrimmage, with Turay being the main reason.

Watch as Turay explodes through the C gap to take down Packers running back Tyler Goodson for a loss of one on 3rd & 2.

Here’s a closer view that provides another angle of the play.

Turay is next in a long line of defensive linemen who have had a career resurgence under Kris Kocurek, and the fact that Turay is the third or fourth option at the edge position speaks volumes for how deep the group is as a whole.

4. Samuel Womack is the nickel corner of the future, but also the present

Rookie cornerback Samuel Womack had about as impressive a debut as you could design. Womack recorded two interceptions and was solid in coverage throughout the night. Womack had 15 pass breakups during his final season at Toledo, so it’s no surprise that he looked comfortable making a difference against the Packers’ air attack.

The thing that was most impressive to me about Womack was his ability to effectively fill his running fits and handle his responsibilities in the run game. Womack not being a direct liability in the run game was probably the one thing we needed to see to verify that he’s ready to make a contribution right away and possibly be the starter in the slot when week one rolls around.

Womack has the physical tools, including a much longer wingspan than his listed height of 5’10 would lead you to believe. More importantly, though, Womack looks to have the intangibles necessary to be a starter at the position from day one, which sets him up for a role in the present and long term.

5. This list is as deep as projected

The most impressive thing about the 49ers’ win over Green Bay was how strong they looked, even while much of their starters watched from the sidelines in street clothes. It was very telling the way they came out and played early with a unit consisting of a few starters but with a majority of the players coming from the second unit.

Whether it was Drake Jackson pressuring the quarterback, Ray-Ray McCloud knocking a defender to the ground with a double move, or Marcelino McCrary-Ball recording an interception and craft fully navigating a 56-yard return, the players beyond the projected starters made their presence felt in a major way. way

Colton McKivitz had a strong day, Tyrion Davis-Price ran with conviction, and Oren Burks was a tackling machine. In a game where Robbie Gould was the only one of the 49ers All-Pro players to suit up, the 49ers still looked like a well-rounded unit capable of playing at a relatively high level.

This is a really good football team, top to bottom. One of the only downsides to that is that there are plenty of talented players who will shine during the preseason, but who have little or no chance of making the final 53 due to being unstuck at their position.

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