The San Diego Chargers look to go a perfect 4-0 this preseason when they take on the San Francisco 49ers Thursday night in their final tune-up before the regular season begins. The Chargers are attempting to go undefeated in the preseason for only the fifth time in team history (1960-62, 2000).
A Look Back At Last Week
The Chargers rallied in the final two-minutes to overcome a one-point deficit and win 12-10 on a last second
What to Watch For…
On Offense for the Chargers
In a departure from previous seasons, head coach Norv Turner has alluded that quarterback
On Offense for the 49ers
Quarterback Alex Smith, a La Mesa, CA. native, leads the 49ers offense. Last season, he completed 61.3% of his passes (273 of 445) for 3,144 yards with 17 touchdowns and just five interceptions. The potent 49ers offense also features running back Frank Gore, who rushed for 1,211 yards and eight touchdowns in 2011, wide receiver Michael Crabtree (874 yards and four touchdowns) and tight end Vernon Davis (792 yards and six scores).
On Defense for the Chargers
San Diego’s defensive unit has thrived at forcing turnovers, amassing 10 in three games plus one on special teams. Doing so against a 49ers offense that preaches ball security will be a tough feat, but one they seem up to handling. Furthermore, in their first round of cuts on Monday, the Chargers only released two players from the defensive side of the ball, meaning this final preseason game will go a long way in determining who makes the final 53-man roster.
On Defense for the 49ers
San Francisco’s defense returns virtually intact as it brings back three 100-plus tackle performers from a year ago in linebackers NaVorro Bowman (173 tackles and two sacks) and Patrick Willis (121 tackles and two sacks), and defensive tackle Justin Smith (105 tackles and 7.5 sacks). Last season, Aldon Smith led the Niners in sacks with 14 while Carlos Rogers led the way with six interceptions.
Preseason Series History
The Chargers and 49ers have met almost annually in the preseason dating back to 1971. There have been 40 meetings and the series is tied, 20-20. The 49ers won last year’s game, 20-17. The Chargers have won six of the last nine.
By the Numbers
So far this preseason, the Chargers rank 26th in total offense (268.7 yards per game), 13th in passing (202.3 ypg) and 31st in rushing (66.3 ypg). The 49ers rank 12th in total offense (327.7 ypg), 30th in passing (155.3 ypg) and second in rushing (172.3 ypg).
Defensively, the Bolts rank 11th in total defense (295.3 ypg), 23rd in passing (217.7 ypg) and first in rushing (77.70 ypg). San Francisco ranks eighth in total defense (278.3 ypg), 11th in passing (183.7 ypg) and 10th in rushing (94.7 ypg).
Photos: Familiar Faces
Head Coach Norv Turner is a native of Martinez, CA, and spent the 2006 season as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator.
Tight ends coach Jason Michael spent 2009-10 seasons as an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach in San Francisco.
Linebackers coach Joe Barry was a 49ers defensive quality control coach in 2000.
Special teams assistant Byron Storer is a native of Modesto, CA, and was an All-Pac-10 fullback at Cal.
San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh played for the Chargers from 1999-00.
Quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst was the offensive coordinator in San Diego during those same two years that Harbaugh played.
Tight ends coach Reggie Davis played the position for the Chargers as well from 1999-00.
Assistant secondary coach Greg Jackson was a Chargers safety from 1997-00.
Safety C.J. Spillman played for the Bolts from 2009-10.
Linebacker Eric Bakhtiari is a graduate of the University of San Diego and spent time with the Chargers in 2008-09.
Quarterback Scott Tolzien went to training camp with the Chargers in 2011.
KFMB-TV (Channel 8 in San Diego) and KCBS0–TV (Channel 2 in Los Angeles) – Dan Fouts (play-by-play), Billy Ray Smith (analyst)
Rock 105.3 FM, XTRA Sports 1360 (San Diego) and AM 570 KLAC (Los Angeles & Orange County) – Josh Lewin (play-by-play), Hank Bauer (analyst)
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