Niners thumped in exhibition opener
As first impressions go, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t care much for what he saw from his football team in its exhibition opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
The Associated Press
BALTIMORE — As first impressions go, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t care much for what he saw from his football team in its exhibition opener against the Baltimore Ravens.
“We have some work to do,” Harbaugh conceded after Thursday night’s 23-3 loss.
Especially on defense. Although the 49ers didn’t play standout linebacker Patrick Willis or starting linemen Ray McDonald and Glenn Dorsey, they still couldn’t justify giving up 386 yards of offense, including an 80-yard drive on Baltimore’s opening series.
“We’re getting pushed around a little bit,” Harbaugh said. “They were out there a lot of plays, looked a little tired and for ways to get off the field.”
The Ravens held the ball for nearly 40 minutes and gained 237 yards on the ground on 48 carries.
“We didn’t have a lot of our starters out there,” cornerback Chris Cook said. “But we’ve got to be more physical up front and in all aspects of the game. I feel like we’re going uphill right now, and we’ve got to work through some kinks.”
It was the third time in three tries that Ravens coach John Harbaugh got the best of his brother, Jim. Baltimore previously defeated San Francisco on Thanksgiving 2011 and in the Super Bowl ending the 2012 season.
Each team played its starting unit for one series before the backups took over.
After Colin Kaepernick moved the 49ers 66 yards for a field goal, Joe Flacco made himself right at home in Gary Kubiak’s variation of the West Coast offense, going 4 for 5 for 52 yards during a 10-play scoring drive.
Kaepernick appeared relaxed at the helm during his lone series. He completed his only pass, 17 yards to tight end Vance McDonald.
“Ended up in the red zone with an opportunity to score a touchdown, so that’s all that really matters,” Kaepernick said.
San Francisco running back Frank Gore did not play. Rookie Carlos Hyde started and gained 39 yards on five carries.
At Washington 23, Patriots 6
Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III played one series, completing 2 of 4 passes for 9 yards in an 11-play drive that ended with a 39-yard field goal from Kai Forbath. New England coach Bill Belichick rested Tom Brady, Darrelle Revis and most of his starters.
At Chiefs 41, Bengals 39
Sean Smith and Malcolm Bronson returned interceptions for touchdowns, De’Anthony Thomas brought back a punt 80 yards for another score and Kansas City beat Cincinnati.
Andy Dalton was sharp in his only series for the Bengals after signing a new six-year deal this week. He hit wide receiver A.J. Green for a 53-yard pass to set up the opening field goal.
At Jets 13, Colts 10
Michael Vick led New York on a touchdown drive, capped by fellow newcomer Chris Johnson’s 1-yard scoring run, in a victory over Indianapolis. Andrew Luck played just one efficient drive, going 4 of 5 for 53 yards and leading Indianapolis to a field goal
At Chargers 27, Cowboys 7
Kellen Clemens threw a 70-yard touchdown pass to Dontrelle Inman in the third quarter as San Diego beat Dallas. Philip Rivers played just one series, completing all four passes for 61 yards.
Brandon Weeden, making his Cowboys debut, completed 13 of 17 passes for 107 yards.
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