NFL Preseason Preview - San Diego (1-1) at San Francisco (0-2)
By John McMullen, NFL Editor
(SportsNetwork.com) - The San Francisco 49ers hope to turn around what has been a rough preseason so far when they welcome Golden State rival San Diego to Levi's Stadium.
Last week, the 49ers opened their new home by laying an egg against the reigning AFC champion Denver Broncos, falling 34-0.
In his first work of the preseason, running back Frank Gore rushed for 12 yards on two carries while McLeod Bethel-Thompson was the team's leading passer, completing 6-of-8 attempts for 79 yards, including a 48-yard pass to tight end Kevin Greene.
Bruce Ellington led San Francisco in receptions for the second consecutive week, recording four catches for 24 yards. The defense was highlighted by a goal-line stand in the fourth quarter when linebacker Chase Thomas stopped Broncos back Kapri Bibbs for a one-yard loss on 4th-and-goal.
"It's the preseason, but it all means something," said 49ers star left tackle Joe Staley. "Scoring points is the name of the game and we haven't done it. It will be a real test this week to see how we rebound from this."
The woes continued this week when the Niners were forced to move practice out of Levi's Stadium due to poor turf conditions on Wednesday. The organization then decided to replace the playing surface altogether ahead of Sunday's game.
"We have determined the appropriate measures necessary to have the field ready for Sunday and look forward to hosting the San Diego Chargers," the team said in a statement.
The Chargers are also coming off a tough week, losing to the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks, 41-14, in the Pacific Northwest.
San Diego QB Philip Rivers, who played only one series, was 2-of-4 for 20 yards, while his backup Kellen Clemens finished 14-of-21 for 149 yards and two scores. Keenan Allen hauled in a 13-yard TD pass in defeat.
Chargers tight end Antonio Gates saw his first action of the 2014 preseason against the Seahawks and expects to see more snaps this Sunday at San Francisco.
"It always feels good to get out there," said Gates. "It's all about timing in this game and getting the speed down."
The 49ers and Chargers have met 42 times in the preseason, including every year since 1987, with the 49ers leading the all-time series 22-20. San Francisco has won each of the last four preseason games against San Diego.
The two teams will also meet at Levi's Stadium in Week 16 of the regular season.
08/22 13:13:35 ET