The Good and Not So Good from the 49ers Preseason Win over the Chargers

Analyzing the best and worst performances from the San Francisco 49ers preseason win over the Los Angeles Chargers.
Publish date:

Here is everyone other than Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance who stood out during the San Francisco 49ers preseason win over the Los Angeles Chargers.


1. The defense.

It was fantastic. It gave up only 2.6 yards per play and allowed the Chargers to convert just 2 of 11 third downs. Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir broke up a pass and showed he currently is better than fellow rookie cornerback Ambry Thomas (more on him below). Samson Ebukam, Arik Armstead, Kentavius Street and Jordan Willis each recorded a sack. Willis in particular looks like a dangerous pass rusher. He will be a key addition when he returns from suspension. In addition, safety Jared Mayden intercepted a pass and would have returned it for a touchdown, but a penalty negated the return. He should make the team. And then the 49ers made 11 tackles for loss. Excellent performance, but keep in mind the Chargers sat all of their starters.

2. Running back Wayne Gallman.

Ran 15 times and gained 72 yards -- 4.8 yards per carry. Gallman runs extremely hard between the tackles and is a good complement to Raheem Mostert, who's better rushing outside the tackles.

3. Wide receiver Trent Sherfield.

Caught a 41-yard pass from Lance one week after catching an 80-yard pass from Lance. Sherfield clearly is the third-best receiver on the team after Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. More on Aiyuk below.

4. Wide receiver Travis Benjamin.

Ran a beautiful slant route from the slot in the red zone and caught a rocket from Lance for a touchdown. It seems like Benjamin may have taken Richie James Jr.'s spot as the final wide receiver on the depth chart.


1. Defensive end Arik Armstead.

Played just one quarter, and allowed Chargers quarterback Easton Stick to escape out of the pocket three times. Armstead is physically incapable of containing quarterbacks when he plays defensive end. Look for teams to run play-action bootleg passes in his direction with success all season.

2. Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

Dropped a pass from Garoppolo that got intercepted. Granted, the pass was high and could have gotten Aiyuk injured. Still, it was the second pass Aiyuk has dropped during this preseason. He needs to play better.

3. Cornerback Ambry Thomas.

Gave up a long catch and got flagged for a defensive pass interference penalty. Seems at least a year away from contributing. Could be a bust.

4. Kicker Robbie Gould.

Missed his second extra point in two preseason games. Needs to kick footballs more accurately in the future.