49ers bring postseason vibe to preseason games

Someone please memo the Houston Texans and inform them they will not be playing an exhibition game next Saturday against the San Francisco 49ers.

Instead, they’ll be playing a pick-up playoff game with last year’s NFC West champions.

If last Friday’s exhibition game was any indicator, the Niners aren’t starting fresh for a new season of football. They’re picking up right where they left off last January, and are already working towards another play-off run.

I know I know, it’s far too early to make such predictions. And believe me, I’m the first one to write off premature full-season predictions as bad juju.

Except that SeƱor Harbaugh & Company put on quite a performance in their 17-6 win over the Minnesota Vikings last Friday. And, as the SF Examiner points out, the team has “plenty of positives” heading into the regular season.

In Friday’s game alone, the Niners rushed for 260 yards, perhaps showing that, despite the cloud of mystery and intrigue around the wide receiving corps, the Niners are still a running team.

And not just by leaning on Frank Gore either, as running backs Brandon Jacobs, Kendall Hunter and Rock Cartwright were running the show.

Quarterback Alex Smith only threw three passes Friday for a measly 16 yards, including a 4-yard bloop to receiver Brett Swain for a touchdown. But hey, they were all completions. Nobody’s complaining.

Let’s not forget about that 2011-leading defense, which held the Vikings to six points in the first half of the game.

And, as the Examiner reports, all the talk in the Red & Gold’s locker-room post-game was on all the things they did wrong and what they need to work on. If that isn’t the mentality of a team hungry for another January full of football.

It will be interesting to see how this Niners team plays against the defending AFC South champion Texans, who won their first preseason game 26-13 over the Carolina Panthers last Saturday.

The 49ers will be in Houston for their second preseason game Saturday. Game time is 5 o’clock. And that’s West Coast time, because I’m not a jerk like ESPN.com and assume everyone functions on the East Coast time zone.