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

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: A look at Garoppolo in Denver preseason game; Update on Kittle and Staley injuries

Photo credit: profootballtalk.nbcsports.com

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo had a tough Wednesday last week when he threw for five picks in scrimmage. He got tracked on Thursday and has good workouts since and saw some action in the preseason game on Monday Night Football in Denver.

#2 A couple of injuries the 49ers hope to recover from include the tight end George Kittle (calf) and left tackle Joe Staley (pectoral soreness). Will coach Kyle Shanahan use them in preseason games?

David Zizmor does the 49ers podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: Garoppolo back to the drawing board on finding targets; Kittle and Staley miss practice due to injuries; plus more

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On the 49ers podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 How much concern should the 49ers have with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after throwing five picks in practice on Wednesday? Garoppolo threw much better in joint practices with the Denver Broncos on Thursday.

#2 49ers backups Nick Mullens and CJ Beathard looked good in their first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys last Saturday night in the 49ers’ first preseason game.

#3 Tight end George Kittle missed his second consecutive practice because of calf. Kittle is a key player and the 49ers hope that he won’t miss too much time on Monday night in Denver.

#4 Left tackle Joe Staley was out due to pectoral soreness, Staley was kept out of drills. It’s just a question whether he’ll be able to play on Monday night.

#5 Beathard was out with a thumb injury, but that didn’t stop him he came back with a taped up right hand and thumb and threw during team drills.

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

49ers seeking revenge against Seahawks

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 1:25pm the San Francisco 49ers (8-4) face off against their division rival Seattle Seahawks (11-1), at Candlestick Park. The 49ers are in second place in the NFC West and currently sit in the sixth and final playoff spot out of the NFC. The Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West, three games up on San Francisco.

Last weekend the 49ers won their second consecutive game, a 23-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The 10 point win makes the game look closer than it was, as the game was largely dominated by San Francisco. The Rams didn’t score a touchdown until garbage time, with 18 seconds left in the game. In an outing that was a little out of character, it was the 49ers passing attack that did most of the damage. Colin Kaepernick completed 19 of 28 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown. Michael Crabtree made his 2013-14 debut, catching two passes for 68 yards. Anquan Boldin led the team with nine receptions for 98 yards, and Vernon Davis hauled in his 10th touchdown catch of the season. Frank Gore had a relatively quiet afternoon, rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Kaepernick’s play has seen an uptick in recent weeks. The 275 yards through the air are the most he has compiled since Week 1. With Crabtree still working his way back into the fold, their pass offense should only get better from here.

Gore, on the other hand, has struggled a bit to get things going. He hasn’t rushed for more than 48 yards over the past three weeks, with just one touchdown over that stretch.

Both will need to be on their A games this week, as the extremely tough Seahawks come into town. On Monday Night Seattle made one of the better teams in the league, the New Orleans Saints, look like a JV squad. Thankfully for the 49ers, the Seahawks don’t play quite as well on the road, but they are none-the-less one of the best teams in football. Back in Week 2 when these teams played in Seattle, San Francisco was overwhelmed, losing 29-3.

The Seahawks offense is led by impressive sophomore QB Russell Wilson. Like Kaepernick, he is just as likely to hurt you with his arm as he is with his legs. He has been on a hot streak, throwing for two or more touchdowns in six consecutive games. He spreads the ball around, but his favorite targets this season have been Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. They are a run-first team, however, with most of the work going to powerhouse Marshawn Lynch. As a unit they have scored the second most points per game in the league this season.

It is their defense that really makes them such a daunting task, however. Seven different players have recorded two or more sacks this season, and eight have at least one interception. Richard Shermon is the stalwart in the secondary, and Cliff Avril and Michael Bennet are the big pass rushers. They have allowed the fewest total yards in the NFL, and allow the second least points per game.

Their defense does have an Achilles heel, and that is their run defense. They are a very pedestrian 16th in the league, which is going to be an area the 49ers need to key in on in order to revenge their Week 2 loss. In Week 2 they ran the ball just 20 times, compared to 28 pass attempts. Nine of those 20 came from Kaepernick scrambles. For a team who thrives the most when playing a ground and pound game, and features Gore, that can’t be the same ratio this time around.

Look for Crabtree to try and open up some things through the air, but the Seahawks are so elite at defending the pass, that San Francisco’s success hinges on their ability to run the ball.

The injury report hasn’t change much since last week, but one of the few changes is a big one. Tackle Joe Staley left last weekends game in the first quarter, and has since been diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his right knee. He will miss the showdown with the Seahawks, and his timetable for recovery beyond that is uncertain. Kaepernick, Gore, and company will certainly miss him up against the leagues best defense.

49ers looking to build on last week as Texans come to town

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday the San Francisco 49ers (2-2) will look to build off of their road victory last week when the Houston Texans (2-2) come to Candlestick Park.

As was the speculation leading up to last Thursday’s game, following two bad losses the 49ers reverted back to the ground-and-pound style they are best known for, and throttled the St. Louis Rams, 35-11. Frank Gore had his first big game of the season, gaining 153 yards and a touchdown on just 20 carries. In a team effort, they ran for a total of 219 yards. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t flashy, but he managed the game well and avoided any big mistakes. On the defensive side NaVorro Bowman was the standout, more than making up for the absence of Patrick Willis, tallying six tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and a pass deflected.

On the flip side, the Texans are fresh off of a crushing loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Houston dominated for much of the game and carried a 20-6 lead into the fourth quarter.  Seattle rallied late, however, and completed the comeback thanks to Matt Schaub’s third pick-six in as many games.

Following consecutive losses the Texans will be looking to regroup, much like the 49ers were last week, and they could very well present a tougher task than what San Francisco saw in the St. Louis. While he is prone to mistakes Shaub remains a solid quarterback when they don’t ask too much from him. The real weapons to fear on offense, however, are running back Arian Foster and top receiver Andre Johnson, both of whom have been among the leagues best for years. Johnson has been nursing some injuries this year, but both are coming off of very strong games last week. As a unit they have compiled the fourth most yards, but have only scored the 18th most points.

On defense they are led by the three-headed monster of J.J. Watt, Brian Cushing, and Whitney Mercilus. The disruptive force has accounted for eight and a half sacks this season, and will present a challenge for the 49ers offensive line. As a whole their defense has the odd distinction of having allowed the second fewest yards, but the ninth most points on the year.

As they did last week, look for San Francisco to try and establish the running game early and often, and limit the risks Kaepernick has to take. While Houston’s defense has been strong, stopping the run has been their Achilles heel, having allowed the tenth most rushing yards per game. With Kaepernick still having few weapons at his disposal, he may struggle in the passing game.

On the injury front, Patrick Willis is still recovering from his groin injury, and is expected to be a game-time decision. Vernon Davis has been limited at practice this week, but mostly as a precaution, and is expected to be active. In another blow for the depleted receiving corps, it was revealed this week that Quinton Patton suffered a fractured foot in the win over the Rams. It is not yet clear how much time he is expected to miss. The best news of the week is that offensive lineman Joe Staley is fine after momentarily fearing a serious ankle injury.

Finally, the 49ers also made a few minor roster moves this week. QB B.J. Daniels and FB Owen Marecic were waived, and QB John Skelton and LB Jermaine Cunningham were both signed.

Gore tramples Rams on the way to 49ers win, 35-11

By Gabe Schapiro

September 26, 2013

On Thursday night the San Francisco 49ers (2-2) returned to their roots, and in a ground and pound game dominated the St. Louis Rams (1-3), at a final score of 35-11. As many expected they would following two bad losses, the 49ers featured Frank Gore early and often, and he managed to run all over St. Louis, finishing with 153 yards rushing and a touchdown on 20 carries. As a team they finished with 219 yards on the ground. Colin Kaepernick played a smaller role, but avoided mistakes and made plays when he had to.

Both teams came out of the gate a little slow. The Rams offense seemed to click first, managing to string a few plays together. As a result they got on the board first, with a 40-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein to give them an early 3-0 lead. St. Louis, however, struggled to find an answer for the 49ers defense from there.

Through most of the first quarter the San Francisco offense looked eerily similar to the past two weeks, with Kaepernick struggling to find open receivers and a couple of long runs from Frank Gore being their only positive gains. Heading into the second quarter, things took a turn for the better. Halfway through the quarter Kaepernick orchestrated an 80-yard touchdown drive, highlighted by two long connections to Anquan Boldin, including a 20-yard touchdown grab on third-down and twenty. The touchdown was there first score in over 73 minutes, and the 7-3 score represented their first lead since the opener against Green Bay.

Their improved play continued. On the next Rams possession Donte Whitner intercepted a deflected pass from Sam Bradford in the end zone. The 49ers again immediately mounted a drive, culminating in a huge 34-yard touchdown run from Gore on a fourth-and-one play, bringing the score to 14-3.

By this point in the game the Rams looked lost, repeatedly going three-and-out. Meanwhile, San Francisco kept piling on.

In the third quarter Kaepernick and co. marched down the field with relative ease again, to the tune of an 88-yard, 11-play touchdown drive than took over five minutes off the clock. This time it was a 12-yard pass to Vernon Davis in the corner if the end zone that finished it off, giving them a 21-3 lead.

In the fourth, during garbage time, the Rams finally found the end zone, but it was sandwiched between two more 49er touchdowns. Anthony Dixon punched in a one-yard touchdown run following a San Francisco fumble recovery on the three yard-line, and Kendall Hunter got into the action as well, scampering in for a 29-yarder of his own. Hunter’s run put this game on ice, bringing the final to 35-11.

Kaepernick finished the game with 15 completions on 23 attempts, 167 yards passing, two touchdowns, and no interceptions. He did fumble once in the fourth quarter on a muffed hand-off attempt, but by that point the game was out-of-reach.

Boldin was the teams leading receiver, hauling in five receptions for 90 yards and one touchdown. In addition, rookie Quinton Patton and Jon Baldwin played small roles, but both had their first career receptions in a 49ers uniform.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker NaVorro Bowman was the star, and more than filled the void left by the absence of Patrick Willis. He was all over the field, and racked up six tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and deflected a pass. Ahmad Brooks had a good game as well, chipping in seven tackles and one and a half sacks.

While it was almost nothing but good news on this night, it did appear as though the 49ers may have a couple new additions to the injury report. Patton limped off the field in the second quarter and did not return. In the fourth, Joe Staley had his legs caught in a pile up. He walked off the field under his own power, but was doing so very gingerly. No report yet as to how severe either injury is, but they will have a long week to hopefully recover.

Next week San Francisco returns home to take on the Houston Texans on Sunday October 6, at 5:25 PM.