August 29 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers took it to the Chargers right from the get go in this one. The team lead, by quarterback Tim Rattay, scored on their second possession of the game, and never looked back. The starting offense had Jeremy Newberry return, but none of them played long. Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens did not see the field.
At quarterback, Tim Rattay had his best game yet. He finally had some good protection up front, and a solid cast around him. Working a little with the first string offense, and a lot with the second string, Rattay scored on a run, and threw a touchdown pass. His completion percentage was over 76 percent. Rattay found his receivers well, and made good decisions with the ball throughout the first half. By the time Brandon Doman saw action, the 49ers already had a comfortable lead. Doman completed four of seven passes, with an interception. He did however show good smarts with an audible for a nice gain. Doman lead the 49ers on one scoring drive, and move the chains effectively.
The receiving squad was lead by Cedrick Wilson. Wilson had a team high 64 yards on 5 receptions. Fellow receiver James Jordan had a nice day two, with 62 yards on 5 receptions and a touchdown. Jordan gave the 49ers every reason in the world to keep him on the roster. JJ Stokes was the target of one pass, but saw very little action, the pass fell incomplete.
The running game was on fire. Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow both had an easy time in the first quarter. Hearst averaged more than five yards on his four carries, and Barlow had 34 on 8 carries. Barlow made on mistake, checking out of the backfield too early, allowing a delayed corner blitz to get to Tim Rattay. In the second half Jamal Robertson simply exploded. Robertson rushed for 112 yards on 21 carries and looked every bit as good as the 49ers thought he’d be even when considering he played most of the time against lesser opposition. Fred Beasley was out and replaced by Paul Smith.
Eric Johnson was used sparing in the first quarter. Justin Swift made a few nice grabs from the tight end position, as did Mark Anelli. The real story was there blocking though, where they were extremely effective.
The offensive line, especially when Jeremy Newberry and Matt Willig were playing looked absolutely dominating. The 49ers continued to dominate in the trenches after they left too though. Ben Lynch had a great game spending some time at center, and surprisingly at guard too. Eric Heitman continues to impress as a rookie. It’s unfortunate, but Ty Wise may be a victim of the numbers game.
The special teams were improves this week two. Both Cortez and Chandler were perfect in their field goals and extra point attempts. Chandler was better at kicking off. Jimmy Williams averaged more than 13 yards on each punt return, and had a 21 yard kick off return. Tolliver also had a 20 yard return and a six yard punt return. Jason Baker was somewhat inconsistent at punting the ball.