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San Francisco 49ers

49ers vs. Chargers: San Francisco Preseason Game Balls & Highlights

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San Francisco 49ers Los Angeles Chargers 2018 Preseason Week 4 game balls Richie James
© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We hand out one game ball to the San Francisco 49ers from the Niners’ final game of the 2018 NFL Preseason, a 23-21 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

On yesterday’s Locked On 49ers Podcast, host Brian Peacock provided “stock up” and “stock down” analysis for players in key positional competitions, and handed out one game ball from the San Francisco 49ers’ loss to the visiting Los Angeles Chargers in Week 4 of the 2018 NFL Preseason.

After mounting a late comeback led by fourth-string quarterback Jack Heneghan, the 49ers lost their final exhibition game when Chargers kicker Roberto Aguayo converted a 26-yard field goal attempt as time expired. But this game wasn’t about securing a victory, it was about securing final roster spots — and our lone game ball goes to a player who did exactly that:

49ers WR Richie James

The final game ball of the preseason goes to the 49ers’ final pick of the 2018 NFL Draft — and Brian’s final pick in his 2018 49ers Shadow Draft — wide receiver Richie James. The Niners appear to have struck gold again in the seventh round of the draft with this explosive wideout, who played his way onto San Francisco’s final 53-man roster with another standout performance on Thursday night.

While his fellow wide receivers combined for just 17 total receiving yards, James caught seven passes for 80 yards in Thursday’s contest. In addition to his work on offense, James was productive on special teams, which was highlighted by a 23-yard punt return.

Over the course of the 2018 NFL Preseason, James led the San Francisco 49ers with 15 catches for 192 yards, and a game-winning touchdown catch in Week 1. Any question about the rookie’s roster status was put to rest in Week 4, as James accounted for nearly half of the 49ers’ passing attack:

San Francisco 49ers WR Richie James Preseason Week 4 highlights

Listen to Locked On 49ers host Brian Peacock’s review of the San Francisco 49ers’ Preseason Week 4 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers — including “stock up” and “stock down” player analysis — on yesterday’s Rapid React podcast:

Chris Wilson is the Lead Writer for Locked on 49ers, a FanRag Sports network partner. You may have seen Chris’ work on NFL game theory, statistical analysis and film breakdowns at FanSided, NinerNoise, 49erswebzone, Insidethe49 and others. Follow Chris on Twitter @cgawilson.

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