The San Francisco 49ers opened their season with a 31-17 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Interestingly enough it was the defense that stepped up for the struggling offense. The 49ers intercepted Jameis Winston three times with two being returned for touchdowns. Dee Ford recorded a strip sack, Ronald Blair recovered a fumble, Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead also recorded a sack.
Bosa’s pressure of Winston late in the fourth caused the game sealing interception that Ahkello Witherspoon returned for a touchdown. The defense itself outscored Tampa Bay 14-11.
For San Francisco Kwon Alexander made the biggest impact on defense even though he got ejected in the first quarter. He was all over the field and recorded three tackles. His absence showed later on as Tampa Bay took advantage by turning to running back Ronald Jones who ended up with 13 carries and 75 yards.
Both teams had multiple touchdowns taken off the board due to penalties.
Offensively the 49ers struggled to establish running back Matt Breida as he managed 37 yards on 15 carries; Raheem Mostert led the 49ers in rushing with 40 yards on nine carries and Tevin Coleman was far from impressive before leaving the game with an ankle injury.
George Kittle led the 49ers in receiving with eight catches for 54 yards and Richie James caught the only touchdown pass from Jimmy Garoppolo which went for 39 yards. Rookie Deebo Samuel caught three passes for 17 yards. He did cost San Francisco 49ers points late in the second quarter when he fumbled.
Though Garoppolo wasn’t spectacular, he did make a dreadful mistake in the second quarter that resulted in an interception being returned for a touchdown by Vernon Hargreaves.
If the 49ers are to pull out a win in week two against the Cincinnati Bengals; the running game needs to get going, limit the penalties and a receiver will need to step up to take pressure off Kittle.