Marquise Goodwin

Instant Analysis: Starters shine, but 49ers lose in last second vs Vikings

Instant Analysis: Starters shine, but 49ers lose in last second vs Vikings

BOX SCORE

MINNEAPOLIS – The 49ers exhibited a facet of their offense on Sunday night in front of a nationally televised audience that had been featured on a regular basis during training camp.

The first team offense under the direction of quarterback Brian Hoyer scored touchdowns on the first two drives to supply the early highlights in a 32-31 loss to the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.

Reserve 49ers running back Raheem Mostert took over in the second half with two touchdowns but the Vikings' reserves scored 15 points in the final six minutes to pull off the win over the 49ers' reserves.

It was the third exhibition game for both teams, and the game in which the starters typically see their most extensive run of the preseason.

Hoyer, who put together a strong summer of play to solidify his standing as the 49ers’ starter, got the Minnesota Vikings’ secondary to bite on a play fake. Then, he delivered a perfect pass to speedster Marquise Goodwin, who got behind cornerback Xavier Rhodes and safety Andrew Sendejo for a 46-yard touchdown on the 49ers’ opening drive.

On the next possession, running back Carlos Hyde got a step on Vikings safety Harrison Smith on a slant pattern and Hoyer delivered a perfect pass that resulted in 24-yard touchdown.

Hoyer completed his first nine pass attempts of the game, and finished the first half with 12 completions in 17 attempts for 176 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 143.3.

Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard opened the second half in place of Hoyer. Beathard completed 7 of 13 pass attempts for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

Beathard was not as sharp has he was in the two previous games. But he got some help along the way from Mostert, who took a short pass on a third-and-22, and turned it into an 87-yard touchdown.

Mostert, already one of the 49ers’ core special-teams players, made a strong case for his inclusion on the 53-man roster. He caught two passes for 104 yards and gained 26 yards on four rushing attempts, including a 4-yard TD run in the fourth quarter.

Veteran Matt Barkley finished the game at quarterback. He completed both of his two pass attempts for 19 yards.

FORCES IN THE MIDDLE
Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster made his presence felt on the first snap of the game, as he stuffed rookie running back Dalvin Cook for a 5-yard loss after a swing pass from quarterback Sam Bradford.

Foster did not stop there, recording a game-high eight tackles in the first half. Neither Foster nor NaVorro Bowman played in the second half.

Bowman, who was replaced when the 49ers went with six defensive backs, was second on the team with four tackles in the first half.

SITTING IT OUT
Starting free safety Jimmie Ward, who was activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list on Wednesday, did not suit up for the game. Ward is returning to action after missing nearly a month with a hamstring injury.

Cornerback Will Redmond (ankle), wide receiver Aaron Burbridge (hamstring) and guard Joshua Garnett (knee) did not suit up.

QUICK SLANTS
--Left tackle Joe Staley was replaced in the first quarter due to a knee injury. The injury did not appear serious, as Staley remained standing on the sideline and did not have much interaction with the team’s medical staff.

--Undrafted rookie Matt Breida was the second running back into the game, seeing spot duty in place of Hyde in the first half. Breida started the second half and put together some nice runs on his way to 29 yards on seven rushing attempts.

--Jaquiski Tartt started at free safety in place of Ward. Undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome started the first two exhibition games at free safety.

--Cornerback Rashard Robinson ran stride-for-stride with Vikings deep threat Stefon Diggs on a long route and broke up Sam Bradford’s pass down the right sideline.

--First-year kicker Nick Rose drilled a 55-yard field goal in the third quarter.

--Rookie slot receiver Trent Taylor caught three passes for 36 yards.

--Veteran pass-rusher Elvis Dumervil recorded a sack on a third-and-10 situation in the first quarter to force a Vikings punt.

--Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was called for 23-yard pass interference penalty when he did not turn around on a pass intended for Michael Floyd.

--Minnesota’s Jerick McKinnon returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter. Kendrick Bourne had the best chance when he came up empty on a diving tackle attempt, and McKinnon brushed aside Robbie Gould en route to the end zone.

Practice report: 49ers' offense closes the gap against Broncos

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USATSI

Practice report: 49ers' offense closes the gap against Broncos

SANTA CLARA – It was clear during the past two summers that the Denver Broncos’ defense was far ahead of the 49ers’ offense. That should not come as a big surprise.

On Wednesday, it was a much closer match when the units practiced against each other on the 49ers' practice field.

The Broncos’ pass rush still gave some problems to the 49ers’ offensive line, but the 49ers connected on a lot more plays than it has in the past in their head-to-head meetings.

The biggest issue with the 49ers continues to be the play at the guard positions. The 49ers are set at offensive tackle with Joe Staley and Trent Brown. Daniel Kilgore appears settled in at center. But the 49ers might not be completely sold on Zane Beadles and Brandon Fusco at the guard positions.

However, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer said he believes the entire unit is doing a good job.

“I think those guys are doing a great job,” Hoyer said. “I think the scheme helps out those guys, too. For me, to evaluate the guard, you evaluate the whole offensive line because they work as a unit. It’s five guys working as one. Throughout this training camp, I think they’ve all done a great job.”

Still, it’s no coincidence that the best the 49ers’ offense looked on Wednesday was during a 7-on-7 passing drill that does not include offensive linemen.

Matt Barkley hit consecutive touchdown passes of 15, 10 and 5 yards with Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Bourne, again, on the receiving ends. Then, Hoyer hit Tim Hightower and Pierre Garçon on touchdowns, giving the 49ers five touchdowns during a six-play stretch.

QUICK SLANT

--Hoyer was especially sharp, completing better than 80 percent of his pass attempts during the 11-on-11 periods. Hoyer had five completions to Marquise Goodwin and four more to Garçon.

Goodwin, who has never caught more than 29 passes in a season, has put himself in position to have a breakout season as a starter.

“I really enjoy working with him,” Hoyer said. “You talk about a hard-worker. I was just out there with my family for 30 minutes and he’s still catching balls on the (machine), running up the hill. When you see guys who are really talented and willing to work that hard, they obviously have a chance to be something special.”

--Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard and receiver DeAndre Smelter teamed up for a picturesque 10-yard touchdown during a 7-on-7 drill with a well-thrown pass and leaping catch in the back left corner of the end zone.

Goodwin gives ringing endorsement of 49ers assistant Katie Sowers

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AP

Goodwin gives ringing endorsement of 49ers assistant Katie Sowers

On Saturday morning, Katie Sowers announced that she "accepted a season-long coaching position with the San Francisco 49ers."

On Wednesday morning, 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin was asked about having a woman as an assistant coach.

"Katie is a baller. 100 percent," Goodwin declared on KNBR 680's Murph & Mac Show. "She understands the game. She is very familiar with the game. She played in a women's league.

"It may be a little different, but she definitely has the attitude that it takes to be in that room. She brings a great vibe and she understands. I'm happy that she's on staff."

Last season, Sowers spent training camp with the Falcons.

And according to Kyle Shanahan:

“She came in and worked with the receivers and did as good of a job as anyone I've had in the internship. We loved having her around. She was eager to learn it, she has played professional football in a women's league in the United States for a while and she's passionate about it.

“Us spending a whole training camp with her, she did a great job and she ended up helping out in Atlanta in personnel throughout the year. She just hit me up a few months ago and said her internship was up over there and asked if we would want to have her here.

"There was no doubt. She does a good job and we're excited to have her.”

Does Goodwin think she will face any barriers with the 49ers?

"Not at all. Not at all because it doesn't matter what happens outside these walls," Goodwin answered. "What other people think outside, it doesn't matter.

"All that matters is what goes on in our room and in our organization."