49ers dominate early, hold off Lions late with 41-33

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throws against the Detroit Lions defense in the second half of action at Ford Field in Detroit during week 1 Sun Sep 12, 2021 (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

DETROIT, MI — The 49ers scored 17 unanswered points in two minutes in the second quarter, highlighted by a Dre Greenlaw interception return for a touchdown, but narrowly escaped with a 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

San Francisco (1-0) carried a 38-10 lead early in the fourth quarter and allowed the Lions to to score 23 straight points in a span of three minutes to pull within eight points. But with 12 seconds remaining in the game, the Lions turned the ball on downs at the San Francisco 24-yard line to thwart Detroit’s late rally.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo shook off a fumble on the first snap of the game, finished the game 17 of 25 for 314 yards. Garoppolo hooked up with wide receiver Deebo Samuel on a 78-yard touchdown pass after second-year cornerback Jeff Okudah stumbled in coverage.

“We got into a pretty good groove and we were rolling pretty good, but you want to finish better than that,” Garoppolo said. “There was a relaxation on the sideline.

“At the end of the day, it’s a win and we’re happy with that.”

The scoring play gave the 49ers a 28-point lead midway through the third quarter, which they would need.

Samuel had nine catches for a career-high 189 yards, but had a key fumble late in the fourth quarter that gave the Lions hope with a little over a minute left.

Rookie running back Elijah Mitchell, who stepped in for the injured Raheem Mostert (knee), snapped a 7-7 tie with a 38-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter that put the 49ers up 14-7. Mitchell finished with 104 yards rushing.

Tight end George Kittle had four catches for 78 yards.

San Francisco took an early 7-0 lead after rookie quarterback Trey Lance connected with wide receiver Trent Sherfield on a 5-yard score following a play-action pass in the first quarter.

Defensively, San Francisco must tighten up their run defense. The Lions ran through multiple running lanes in the game and racked up a 116 yards on the ground. Defensive end Nick Bosa, who returned to action for the first time since tearing his ACL early last season, had four tackles and a drive-ending sack in the fourth quarter.

Middle linebacker Fred Warner led the team with 11 tackles (8 solo, 3 assisted). San Francisco forced three turnovers off the rebuilding Lions.

In his debut with his new team, quarterback Jared Goff finished 38 of 57 for 338 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Tight end T.J. Hockenson had a career-high eight catches for 97 yards and a touchdown.

It was third time straight time that Hockenson scored a touchdown in the season-opening game.

Detroit (0-1) recorded 430 yards in total offense, with the majority coming when the 49ers were up comfortably in the second half.

San Francisco held a 31-10 lead at halftime, their highest total after two quarters since 2008.

“We dug ourselves into a really big ditch early against a very good team,” Lions head coach Dan Campbell said. “We were better in the second half, but that wasn’t good enough.”

On the injury front, the 49ers are holding their breath on the status of starting cornerback Jason Verrett who left the game late in the fourth quarter with a leg injury. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers believe that Verrett tore his ACL.

Next up for the 49ers: a trip to Philadelphia where they will take on the Eagles in Week 2. Second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts was 27 of 35 for 264 yards and three touchdowns for the Eagles in a 32-6 throttling of the Atlanta Falcons on the road.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Kittle says Lance doesn’t let mistakes compound

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Trey Lance seen here working out on May 25, 2021 in Santa Clara has impressed his teammates in camp particularly tight end George Kittle this past week (AP News file photo)

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle says that quarterback Trey Lance doesn’t let mistakes compound, Kittle says Lance learns from them and doesn’t repeat them.

#2 Kittle also says that Lance is a good quarterback that he’s a great athlete and he’s someone that wants to learn everyday. A video has surfaced showing Lance throwing to veteran receiver Mohamed Sanu.

#3 The talk has been will Lance take over at quarterback in place of starter Jimmy Garoppolo it’s just a matter of how things work out and how things look during the first few weeks of the season.

Join David for the 49ers podcast each Wednesday at http://www.sportsadioservice.com

49ers upset Cardinals 20-12 behind C.J. Beathard’s 3 TDs

San Francisco 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (23) holding intercepted ball that he picked off in the second half against the Arizona Cardinals on Sat Dec 26, 2020 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz — With the 49ers already officially eliminated from the playoffs after losing to the Dallas Cowboys 41-33 in Week 15, didn’t mean that San Francisco had nothing to play for in 2020.

Like preventing their bitter rivals in the Arizona Cardinals from making it to the postseason. If the Cardinals don’t make the playoffs after entering Week 16 holding down the final spot in the NFC playoffs, they can thank the 49ers.

The 49ers pulled off the 20-12 upset over their State Farm Stadium tenants on Saturday afternoon.

San Francisco (6-9) avoided being swept by Arizona this season. The Cardinals defeated the 49ers 24-20 in Week 1. Arizona (8-7) came into this season having swept the season series from San Francisco in five out of the last six seasons.

In his first start since Week 8 of the 2018 season, C.J. Beathard played with a steady hand in engineering the 49ers’ run-first offense which made his job that much easier. Beathard completed 13 of 22 passes for 182 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Beathard threw touchdown passes to running back Jeff Wilson and Kyle Juszczyk giving the 49ers a 14-6 lead late in the third quarter.

Entering Week 16, Beathard was 1-9 as a starting quarterback for San Francisco. He was pressed into action after injuries to Jimmy Garappolo and Nick Mullens.

Beathard was also sacked three times.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Juszczyk hauled in his second score of the game (Beathard’s third TD of the game) from nine yards out that gave the 49ers a 20-12 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.

But it was Wilson that shouldered most of the offensive burden for the 49ers against the Cardinals. With Raheem Mostert placed on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain on Friday, Wilson rushed for a career-high 183 yards on 22 carries in his second start.

A day after most of the world opened presents on Christmas, the 49ers unwrapped tight end George Kittle and immediately felt his impact in the starting lineup.

The 49ers’ best and freshest player, Kittle looked healthy in his first game since Week 8 was on a pitch-count. He spent most of the time on the sideline as he rotated back and forth with Jordan Reed and Ross Dwelley. Kittle was targeted just once in the first half, catching a 24-yard pass with 6:22 left in the first quarter. He played 13 of the 49ers’ 26 snaps in the first half.

Kittle caught four passes for a team-high 92 yards. He caught all but one pass that was thrown his way.

San Francisco’s defense deserves a ton of credit for the 49ers’ win today.

Despite playing without three defensive lineman, including Javon Kinlaw, cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Jimmie Ward, the 49ers didn’t play like they were short-handed.

The 49ers were able to hold their own against Pro Bowl quarterback Kyler Murray.

Murray completed 31 of 50 passes for 247 yards, but was sacked three times and threw an interception. He also rushed for a team-high 75 yards on eight carries.

Arizona scored its first and only touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Kenyan Drake jumped on top of a pile and stretched his arm just far enough for a 1-yard touchdown. Murray couldn’t connect with DeAndre Hopkins on the 2-point conversion and the 49ers still led 14-12.

San Francisco’s defense leaned on linebackers Fred Warner (14 tackles) and Dre Greenlaw (7 tackles), while the defensive backfield was a major factor as cornerbacks Jason Verrett (7 tackles), Ahkello Witherspoon (7 tackles), K’Waun Williams (6 tackles) and safety Tarvarius Moore (11 tackles) limited Arizona receivers in yards-after-the-catch.

The 49ers held Hopkins in check, limiting the dynamic wide receiver to a team-high eight catches for 48 yards. A far cry from Week 1 where he caught a career-high 14 catches for 151 yards against the 49ers at Levi’s Stadium.

Verrett who was primarily guarding Hopkins throughout the day made the biggest play of the first half, breaking up a well-thrown pass from Murray in the end zone that prevented a potential touchdown. The play forced Arizona to kick a field goal that gave San Francisco a 7-6 lead at halftime.

San Francisco’s biggest plays came on Arizona’s final two drives of the game, including the aforementioned Witherspoon’s interception of Murray’s pass in the end zone.

The 49ers wouldn’t have had to sweat out the game if kicker Robbie Gould didn’t miss two field goals and an extra point.

Gould who made his 400th career field in Week 15, missed field goals from 37 and 41 yards. He missed an extra point after Juszczyk’s second touchdown that kept the score at 20-12.

San Francisco plays its final “home” game against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium, while Arizona heads to Los Angeles to take on the Rams in the season finale.

Sources: San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo, TE George Kittle out indefinitely with injuries

Photo credit: nfl.com

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif — It seems like after every game this season, the San Francisco 49ers lose players to injuries. On Monday, the 49ers were hit with two-punch combo as starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle will miss multiple weeks with injuries a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

For Garoppolo, he aggravated his high right ankle sprain during San Francisco’s 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to be sidelined for six weeks or longer if the ankle requires surgery is the source told Schefter.

Garoppolo played poorly against Seattle, completing 11 of 16 passes for 84 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before leaving the game in the second half with San Francisco trailing 30-7. He was replaced by backup quarterback Nick Mullens, who finished the game completing 18 of 25 passes for 238 yards with two touchdowns and a passer rating of 128.4. With Garoppolo out for the foreseeable future, Mullens will return back to the starting lineup, a role he held when Garoppolo missed two games earlier his season with the same injury.

Mullens told reporters Sunday that he would be prepared to step in for Garoppolo if needed.

“Anytime you can get out there and bounce back from from my last start, it’s definitely going to create some confidence,” Mullens said. “The biggest thing I’ve learned just going through it all is that the NFL is tough. It’s all about what you do next. That’s why I tell myself pretty much every day, ‘It’s all about you do next.’ No matter if its good or bad, it’s all about what you do next.”

C.J. Beathard will serve as Mullens’ backup when the 49ers (4-4) host the Green Bay Packers (5-2) this Thursday night at Levi’s Stadium.

The 49ers were optimistic that Kittle’s foot injury wasn’t serious after initial testing, but further evaluation revealed a broken bone that will sideline the All-Pro tight end eight weeks, a source said. With the 49ers at 4-4 and eight weeks left in the season, Kittle’s season is likely over.

Kittle’s injury happened two minutes after Garoppolo limped back to the locker room after he leaped to bring in a 25-yard pass from Mullens. Kittle hauled in the catch, but landed awkwardly and limped to the sideline immediately. A short time later, Kittle headed to the locker room.

Kittle, who signed a five-year $75 million contract extension during training camp, missed two games this season with MCL sprain in his left knee he suffered in Week 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Backup tight end Ross Dwelley is expected to take Kittle’s place in the lineup. Dwelley caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Mullens against the Seahawks, but the 49ers are hopeful that tight end Jordan Reed can return soon to help replace Kittle’s production. Reed has been out of action since Week 3 with a sprained knee.

The loss of Kittle is huge. Not only is he the team’s best offensive player, but vital to the 49ers’ running game. Without Kittle, San Francisco’s offense will be severely hindered.

Entering Sunday’s game, the 49ers had the highest salary cap value of players on injured reserve this season at $54.2 million according to Spotrac. With Garoppolo and Kittle likely heading to IR and join the likes of defensive end Nick Bosa (torn ACL), running back Raheem Mostert (high ankle sprain), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (strained hamstring) and cornerback Richard Sherman (strained calf), that value will increase.

In eight games this year, San Francisco has three different leading passers, four different leading rushers and for different leading receivers.

The 49ers lose to the Seahawks, 37-27, in Seattle as injuries continue to mount for San Francisco

DK Metcalf (44) of the Seattle Seahawks sees lots of daylight on this 46 yard carry in the first quarter as the San Francisco 49ers cornerback Emmanuel Mosley (41) gives chase at Centuylink Field in Seattle on Sun Nov 1st (seattletimes.com photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

If the San Francisco 49ers had any aspirations of winning back-to-back division titles, those dreams were dashed as the Seattle Seahawks showed why they are the best team in the NFC West with a 37-27 victory in Week 8 at an empty CenturyLink Field on Sunday afternoon.

With the win, the Seahawks improve to 6-1 on the year and remain atop of the NFC West standings and keep the 49ers in the basement with a 4-4 record.

Injuries continue to snake decimate the 49ers, who saw starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and all-world tight end George Kittle leave the game late in the fourth quarter with ankle and foot injuries. Both players’ status for Thursday night’s game against the Green Bay Packers at Levi’s Stadium is uncertain according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Both Garoppolo and Kittle are expected to undergo further treatment on Monday.

The injuries occurred within minutes of each other early in the fourth quarter and both players retreated to the locker room for further examination. Both were listed as questionable to return to the game, but neither saw the field again for the 49ers.

When you watched Garoppolo against Seattle, he just didn’t play well. Garoppolo had trouble getting the football out of his hands quickly amid constant pressure from the Seahawks. He struggled to find the NFL’s best tight end in Kittle, who had just one catch for 14 yards as Seattle built a 27-7 lead.

For the game, Kittle finished with just two catches for 39 yards.

Garoppolo completed 11 of 16 passes for just 84 yards with no touchdowns and one interception before exiting the game in the second half with the same aggravated ankle injury that kept him out for two games. He was replaced by backup Nick Mullens.

Mullens seemed comfortable coming into the game, leading the 49ers on three touchdown drives after San Francisco was trailing 30-7. On his first drive, Mullens engineered an 11-play, 79-yard drive that was capped off by Jerick McKinnon’s 1-yard touchdown run to cut Seattle’s lead to 30-14.

On the 49ers’ next possession, Mullens finished off a six-play, 80-yard drive with a 16-yard touchdown toss to backup tight end Ross Dwelley to bring the score to 30-20. The 49ers decided to go for two to make it a one-score game, but couldn’t convert the two-point conversion.

Seattle put the game away after rookie running back DeeJay Dallas’ 1-yard touchdown run put the Seahawks up 37-20 with 3:33 left in the game.

San Francisco added a three-yard score from Mullens to rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk to make the score 37-27 with 1:52 left in the game. Aiyuk finished tied with fellow wide receiver Kendrick Bourne with eight catches for 91 yards. Bourne registered 81 yards in the contest.

Too little, too late for the 49ers.

The real story of the game was the performances of quarterback Russell Wilson and wide receiver DK Metcalf.

Following an uncharacteristic game in which he threw three interceptions in a 37-34 loss in overtime to the Arizona Cardinals in Week 7 on the road, Wilson bounced back in major way completing 27 of 37 passes for 261 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Wilson, who is a heavy favorite to win the Most Valuable Player award this year, leads the NFL with 26 touchdown passes through eight weeks.

The 49ers had no answer for Metcalf the entire game.

Metcalf gave Seattle a 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 46-yard touchdown catch-and-run where he went nearly untouched by San Francisco’s fifth ranked defense.

Following rookie running back JaMychal Hasty’s first-career rushing touchdown to put the 49ers up 7-6, Metcalf added his second score of the day from two-yards out to extend Seattle’s lead to 13-7.

Metcalf bounced back in Week 8 after having just two catches for 23 yards against the Cardinals, Metcalf had himself a career-day against the 49ers. The second-year wide receiver set career-highs in catches (12) and yards (161) to go along with two scores.

Defensively, Seattle’s much maligned defense had its best performance of the year in the victory over the 49ers.

The Seahawks limited the 49ers’ offense to 116 yards and had two takeaways in the first half, including an interception of Garopolo by nickelback D.J. Reed Jr. to set up Seattle’s first score. Reed Jr., who was waved by the 49ers in August, was making his Seattle debut after being activated off the non-football injury list on Saturday.

San Francisco did finish with 351 yards of total offense, but most of that came in the fourth quarter with Seattle in control of the game.

Bobby Wagner, Seattle’s All-Pro middle linebacker, continued to be the gold standard at the position with a vintage performance. Wagner was all over the field, finishing with 11 tackles and two of Seattle’s three sacks on the day.

Seattle and San Francisco will meet again in Week 17 at Levi’s Stadium to close out the 2020 season.

Eagles stun 49ers on the road, 25-20, to earn first win of the season

The Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Genard Avery (58) and nose tackle Javon Hargrave (93) sack San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nick Mullens in the first half for what would be a rough after noon for San Francisco at Levis Stadium Santa Clara on Sun Oct 4, 2020 (AP News photo)

By Joe Hawkes
Staff Writer

SANTA CLARA, Calif — Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles traveled to the west coast winless.

They left the Golden State with their first win of the season and in first-place in the hapless NFC East after taking down the reigning NFC champions, the San Francisco 49ers, 25-20 to cap off Sunday’s Week 4 action on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

“First place sounds really good, but we have a long way ahead of us,” Eagles head coach Doug Pederson said after the game. “Only the first quarter of the season is done. We got a long road ahead. These guys don’t quit. It’s a resilient group.”

Wentz’s 42-yard TD pass to third string wide receiver Travis Fulgham with 5:50 left in the game proved to be the game winner for Philadelphia, who were playing playing without their top three wide receivers and backup tight end Dallas Goedert.

Following a botch snap by rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts that sent the Eagles to second-and-18 from the 42-yard line, Fulgham was able to get a step on backup cornerback Dontae Johnson and Wentz dropped the pass perfectly in Fulgham’s hands as he crossed the goal line to give the Eagles an 18-14 lead.

On the very next possession for the 49ers, backup quarterback Nick Mullens, who started his second-straight game for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo, threw an interception that linebacker Alex Singleton returned for a TD that stretched Philadelphia’s lead to 25-14.

Wentz finished the game completing 18-of-28 passes for 193 yards, a TD and a league-leading seventh interception.

“It’s a huge relief. Big team win,” Wentz said. “It’s fun to see these young guys step up and make plays in big moments like this.”

With the loss, the 49ers (2-2) have lost their first two home games of the year. San Francisco lost to the visiting Arizona Cardinals, 24-20, in Week 1.

Mullens was responsible for all three of San Francisco’s turnovers on the night, throwing a red zone interception in the second quarter and losing a fumble on a strip sack by cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc that defensive tackle Malik Jackson recovered that setup the go-ahead score for Philadelphia.

“We had plenty of opportunities. I really just didn’t execute,” Mullens said. “The way I’m feeling is pretty black and white right now. I just didn’t execute. That’s what it comes down to. Three turnovers, 14 points off turnovers. That’s really about it.”

Mullens completed 18-of-26 passes for 200 yards, one TD and two interceptions before being benched in the fourth quarterback and replaced by third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard.

Beathard engineered a late TD drive that and moved the 49ers to the Philadelphia 33-yard line, before his desperation heave into the end zone came up short and ending San Francisco’s comeback attempt.

Beathard completed 14-of-19 passes for 138 yards.

Garoppolo, who has missed the last two games due to an ankle injury, is expected to return next week as the 49ers will host the Miami Dolphins.

Rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk scored the 49ers first TD of the day, a 38-yard rush on a lateral from Mullens in the first quarter, while tight end George Kittle returned in a major way after missing the last two games, registered a career-high 15 catches for 183 yards a TD to lead the 49ers.

Running back Jerick McKinnon led San Francisco in rushing, racking up 54 yards on 14 carries and a TD from 1-yard out and was second on the team with seven catches for 43 yards for the game.

As an offense, the 49ers dominated the Eagles in total yards (417 to 174), first-downs (25 to 18) and total plays (70 to 59), but just couldn’t get the job done tonight against a hungry and desperate Philadelphia squad looking for its first win of the year.

“After this game, we wanted to be dog tired,” defensive back Jalen Mills said. “We had to give everything we had to get this win.”

Philadelphia came into Sunday’s games with no takeaways on defense, but racked up all three takeaways from poor decisions from Mullens. The Eagles had one takeaway all season, and that was on special teams.

The injuries to San Francisco’s defense continues to pile up, as defensive lineman Ziggy Ansah left the game in the first-half with a biceps injury that head coach Kyle Shanahan fears could be season-ending; while nickel cornerback K’Waun Williams left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury.

Ansah will have an MRI tomorrow to determine the severity of his biceps injury.

 

 

Cardinals,Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins spoil 49ers’ home opener with 24-20 victory

By Joe Hawkes

SANTA CLARA, Calif — The San Francisco 49ers’ “Revenge Tour” for 2020 didn’t get off to the best start, as the Arizona Cardinals slipped by San Francisco, 24-20, in Week 1 of the NFL season on Sunday afternoon.

Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins, whom the Cardinals acquired in the offseason via a trade with the Houston Texans, dominated a usually formidable 49ers defense for much of the game. Hopkins finished with a career-high 14 catches for 151 yards in his debut, set up running back Kenyan Drake’s 1-yard go-ahead TD with 5:03 left in the fourth quarter.

Quarterback Kyler Murray, last season’s Associated Press Offensive Rookie of the Year, picked up where he left off, threw for 230 yards and a touchdown and ran for 90 yards and another score to help the Cardinals (1-0) overcome a pair of fourth quarter deficits to the reigning NFC champion 49ers (0-1) in an empty Levi’s Stadium in smoky temperatures.

There were growing concerns all week that the game could be postponed because of poor air quality from fires from across Northern California. The Air Quality Index remained below the 200 threshold and the game kicked off on time.

Murray completed 26-of-40 passes and was sacked twice on the day. Murray actually rushed for 100 yards before two kneeldowns at the end for minus-10 yards.

49ers running back Jerick McKinnon caught a 5-yard TD pass from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in his first game since Dec. 31, 2017, to give San Francisco a 20-17 lead with 8:38 left in the fourth quarter before Murray engineered Arizona’s comeback.

Murray’s 33-yard connection to Hopkins to the 49ers’ 1-yard line would setup Drake’s score on the very next play, putting the Cardinals up for good.

San Francisco’s defense registered just one sack by defensive end Kerry Hyder and one interception by safety Jaquiski Tartt. It was San Francisco’s first recorded interception by a safety since Oct. 28, 2018, coincidentally, by Tartt against the Cardinals when he picked off from first-round pick Josh Rosen.

Tartt recorded the interception in the second quarter off a tip pass from second-year starting linebacker Dre Greenlaw.

The defense looked extremely gassed in the fourth quarter after Arizona went on a 14-play, 94-yard drive that covered 6:48 minutes that resulted in a 22-yard TD run by Murray that gave the Cardinals their first lead of the game at 17-13 with 10:26 remaining.

Garoppolo, who finished 19-of-33 passing for 259 yards and two TD’s, moved San Francisco to the Cardinals’ 16-yard line before throwing an incomplete pass to wide receiver Trent Taylor on fourth-and-5 that sealed the 49ers’ fate.

San Francisco jumped out to a 10-0 first quarter lead, highlighted by a 76-yard TD catch from running back Raheem Mostert from Garoppolo. Mostert’s score reached a maximum speed of 22.73 MPH, per NFL Next Gen Stats.

It was the fastest TD since Tyreek Hill in 2016.

As a whole, San Francisco struggled on offense against a very improved Cardinals defense for much of the game. The 49ers couldn’t convert on third down, going 2-for-11 on the day and got nothing from its wide receiver group.

Taylor (5), Kendrick Bourne (5) and Dante Pettis garnered just 11 targets while mustering just 41 yards among them.

By that same token, fullback Kyle Juszczyk had one catch but that went for 41 yards in the fourth quarter.

Tight end George Kittle, the 49ers unquestioned best offensive player, caught four passes for 44 yards in the first half before leaving late in the second quarter for the locker room with a scary looking leg injury. Kittle jumped high for a pass from Garoppolo on the left side of the field. The All-Pro tight end was tackled around his waist by Cardinals safety Budda Baker just as he landed to the turf.

It appeared that Kittle’s left knee just hyperextend. Kittle did return in the second-half, but was a virtual non-factor in the offense.

San Francisco looks to get into the win column next week as they travel to New York for their first of two games in the Big Apple, when they take on the Jets in Week 2.

The Jets (0-1) fell to their AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills (1-0), 27-17 earlier in the day.

Nothing went well for the Jets, who opened the game with three three-and-outs, combined for 23 yards of offense and one first down on their five possessions, and trailed 21-0 before anyone blinked.

Jets quarterback Sam Darnold completed 21-of-35 passes for 215 yards, one touchdown, one interception and was sacked three times.

Wide receiver Jamison Crowder had himself a game, hauling seven catches for 115 yards which included a 69-yard TD catch from Darnold that briefly cut the Bills’ lead to 21-10 with 5:10 left in the third quarter.

 

 

 

Undefeated Niners have potential trap game

Photo credit: @SNFonNBC

By Jeremy Harness

SANTA CLARA–The 49ers are riding a wave they have not experienced in almost 30 years, winning their first five games and getting a statement victory last Sunday against the defending NFC champions on the road.

The Washington Redskins, on the other hand, are 1-5, just fired their head coach a week and a half ago, and only got their first win after holding off a furious comeback against unquestionably the worst team in the NFL, the Miami Dolphins.

These are the Redskins that the 49ers will travel across the country to face on Sunday, and this can be safely classified as a potential trap game, for all the reasons illustrated above.

Washington has question marks all over the place, and based on the moves that are being made on and off the field, they are not expected to be solved any time soon. This should all equate to a convincing win, but stranger things have happened in the NFL over the years.

The interim head coach across the sideline from the 49ers has Bay Area ties, as Bill Callahan, who previously served as the team’s offensive line coach until taking over for the fired Jay Gruden, was at the helm when the Oakland Raiders went to the Super Bowl after the 2002 season before he himself was fired after the team stumbled to a 4-12 mark the very next year.

Aside from missing their two starting tackles, starting fullback and starting right corner, the 49ers do have a few other injury concerns as they head into Sunday.

A pair of significant offensive players, tight end George Kittle and receiver Deebo Samuel, sat out Wednesday’s practice with groin ailments. Both are listed as day-to-day and are expected to play Sunday.

Running back Raheem Mostert did not practice Wednesday with a knee strain, and he, too, is day-to-day.

For the Redskins, cornerback Josh Norman was held out of Wednesday’s practice with hand and thigh injuries, while running back Adrian Peterson’s quad ailment kept him from practicing as well.

49ers Win Huge 41-17; Start Season with Perfect Road Trip

photo from sfgate.com: Marquise Goodwin #11 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

By Joe Lami

After not winning a single road game last year, the 49ers are off to a perfect start to their 2019 season. On Sunday, they impressively manhandled the Cincinnati Bengals 41-17 in their largest offensive road output since 2014 marking a complete 2-0 road trip.

The onslaught started early, as the defense quickly forced a three-and-out, giving the offense great starting field position on the first drive. The Niners easily capitalized as Jimmy Garoppolo found Marquise Goodwin wide open for a 38-yard score.

Garoppolo flashed what excited the faithful in late 2017 in a dominant performance, throwing three touchdowns on 17 of 25 passing for 297 yards. The Bengals challenged Jimmy G by trying to shut down his top target, George Kittle, but he spread the ball around incredibly well, finding three different receivers for scores and eight different pass catchers for receptions.

Rookie Debo Samuel led the way with five catches for 87 yards and his first career touchdown. Goodwin finished with three catches for 77 yards and a score, while Mostert got four balls out of the backfield for 68 yards and a score. Kittled finished with three catches on three targets for 54 yards.

Garoppolo had one throw he’d like back, throwing a terrible interception while targeting Richie James Jr. in triple coverage.

The passing attack was set up all by the rush, as the 49ers had their best rushing game under Kyle Shanahan, totaling 259 yards. Matt Breida was a monster, rushing for 121 yards on 12 carries, including one rush that reminisced Barry Sanders. Raheem Mostert carried 13 times for 83 yards, while Jeff Wilson Jr. came off the practice squad for ten carries, 34 yards, and two touchdowns.

On defense, the front seven was all over Andy Dalton, sacking him four times, while Kwon Alexander picked up his first interception as a Niner. They held Dalton to 311 yards, on 26 of 42 passes for two touchdowns. Dalton depended upon Tyler Boyd and John Ross as his two main targets, as both combined for 14 catches, 234 yards, and a score.

However, the Niners did lose Joe Staley with a broken left fibula in the win. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks, and it remains to be seen on whether or not he’ll be placed on the IR. After losing swing tackle Shon Coleman in the pre-season, the Niners may seek free agency or a trade to replace their all-pro left tackle.

At 2-0, the Niners now return home to host the 0-2 Steelers in their home opener. The Steelers lost 28-26 to Seattle on Sunday, very similar to Seattle’s 21-20 win over the Bengals in week one.

Join Joe for 49ers coverage each week and podcast commentary each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: Can Garoppolo hit his targets on Saturday in Kansas City in preseason finale?

Photo credit: sacbee.com

On the 49ers podcast with Joe:

#1 On Monday Night Football, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for zero yards throwing, one interception, and basically said he hasn’t been there for a year so he’s coming out of the shoot tired and rusty.

#2 Also, it should be mentioned that Garoppolo threw nine passes for zero yards from what Joe saw. Was Garoppolo pressing or was he genuinely rusty from not seeing action over a year?

#3 Do you expect to see Joe Staley and George Kittle out for preseason or on limited time in preseason?

#4 San Francisco 49ers tackle Shon Coleman, who broke his leg in the first preseason game, is out for the rest of the season. How much of an impact will that be on the team?

#5 Saturday the 49ers are in Kansas City. From what you’ve seen, how far are the 49ers ready for regular season play?

Joe does the 49ers podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com