The 49ers begin their second quarter of the season today against the Tampa Bay Bucceneers. Both teams enter with 3-1 records and both teams are playing with a lot of confidence.
It’s been a short week for Tampa Bay after playing on Monday night and they had to fly across the country so we’ll see if that has any effect on the game. The long flight certainly didn’t hurt them last year as they left Candlestick with a 21-0 win.
I spoke with Ted Robinson earlier who talked about the 49ers “belief” in what they can do. After two wins in the Eastern time zone, they will have to show that belief today and prove that they can build on those performances.
49ers – QB Scott Tolzien, WR Braylon Edwards, CB Tramaine Brock, FB Moran Norris, G Mike Person, G Daniel Kilgore, DT Isaac Sopoaga
Buccaneers – WR Sammie Stroughter, S Devin Holland, LB Zac Diles, LB Quincy Black, T Derek Hardman, T James Lee, TE Luke Stocker
The 49ers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Tampa Bay got the ball to start the game as Akers’ kick went through the end zone for a touchback. After being backed up to make it 4th and 7, Ahmad Brooks applied pressure to Josh Freeman as he was flushed from the pocket. Freeman threw it away. Ted Ginn returned the punt to midfield to give the 49ers great field position to start the game.
Smith completed his first two passes over the middle to Gore out of the backfield. On the fourth play of the drive, Smith threw a perfect ball to Delanie Walker in between three defenders to give the 49ers a 7-0 lead.
49ers 7 – Buccaneers 0
The Bucs got off to a fast start on their next drive. Freeman hit Benn on a screen to get into 49ers territory and then Blount carried defenders down to the 37. Tarell Brown nearly had a pick in the end zone on the next play, but couldn’t quite make the twisting catch. Tampa Bay drove all the way down to the six-yard line, but the 49ers defense held on third down. Connor Barth hit a 24-yard field goal.
49ers 7 – Buccaneers 3
Hunter fielded the short kickoff and returned it to the 25. The 49ers offense picked up right where it left off as Smith hit Crabtree on a deep post for a gain of 21. Ginn picked up 21 on the next play, taking the handoff on an end around and getting good blocks down to the 30. On 3rd and 10, Smith converted as he found Morgan on a slant for 14 yards. Frank Gore fumbled the ball on the 11 as he ran into his own linemen. It was recovered by Tampa Bay.
Standout Stat: Alex Smith has a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3
Highlight Reel: Smith’s touchdown pass to Delanie Walker was perfectly thrown in between three defenders.
Put it in Perspective: Gore’s fumble could prove to be costly. The offense had been clicking and could have picked up another touchdown, so we’ll see if it proves to be costly. The defense came up huge holding the Bucs to a field goal on their second drive.
The 49ers quickly got a turnover of their own as Carlos Rogers picked off Freeman’s pass and took it back 31 yards for the score.
49ers 14 – Buccaneers 3
The Bucs converted on third down as Freeman hit Winslow down the middle of the field down to their own 45. On 3rd down, Chris Culliver stepped in front of Micheal Spurlock to pick off Freeman and return it to the SF 43.
Alex Smith started the drive off by throwing for Morgan before he came out of his break. Morgan turned around and the ball was right their for the first down. Smith nearly had Davis for a touchdown, but he was interfered with at the 2. Two plays later, Frank Gore took it in for a 49ers touchdown.
49ers 21- Buccaneers 3
The 49ers defense held up it’s end of the bargain, forcing another three and out. The punt was short and was downed at the SF49.
Gore nearly broke another touchdown run as the 49ers offense continues to be efficient. Gore gained 21 and was tripped up at the 24. David Akers connected on a 37-yard field goal to extend the 49ers lead.
49ers 24 – Buccaneers 3
Aldon Smith now has 2.5 sack on the season as his latest forced another three and out. Ginn had a nice return on the punt down to the Tampa 45.
The 49ers offense went three and out. the Bucs defender had his arms wrapped around Crabtree on the third down play, but no call from the official. Harbaugh petitioned the officials for a holding call. Lee’s punt was fair caught at the 4.
The defense was able to get the offense the ball one more time. Ginn avoided the first man on the punt and the Bucs were called for a personal foul. The 49ers were called for a hold so the fouls offset. After the penalties backed the 49ers up to their own 15, Gore got one more carry to run out the clock.
Standout Stat: Alex Smith’s quarterback rating in the first half was 123.8
Highlight Reel: Carlos Rogers got the 49ers going in the second quarter with a great pick and even better touchdown return.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers were incredibly efficient in the first half. Despite Tampa Bay having a five minute edge in time of possession, the 49ers offense looked strong. The sole mistake was the Gore fumble, but Rogers interception got the 49ers back on track. The 49ers will have the ball to start the second half. They’re the ones with the 20+ lead this time and can’t let the Bucs back in the game.
Despite being backed up after a holding call, the 49ers converted on 3rd and 14 as Smith Crabtree on a slant for 15 yards. Smith hit Morgan on a quick out. Crabtree had a great block to the outside and Morgan was in full stride when he caught it for a big gain. Smith then found Vernon Davis for a 23-yard touchdown.
49ers 31 – Buccaneers 3
Tampa Bay had a good drive going with big plays from Blount and Winslow. They went for it on 4th and 2, but Freeman’s pass was too long intended for Williams. The 49ers took over at their own 33.
On the first play of the drive, Gore picked up 19 as he broke tackles up the right sideline. Gore picked up another first down thanks to a huge hole up the middle. Hunter came in to spell Frank and had another good run down to the 16. The 49ers settled for a 27-yard field goal to extend their lead.
49ers 34 – Buccaneers 3
Dashon Goldson drilled Mike Williams and knocked the ball loose. Willis recovered it for the 49ers.
Highlight Reel: Dashon Goldson did his best Ronnie Lott impersonation and Mike Williams might think twice about going over the middle. Goldson jarred the ball loose and the 49ers rcovered.
Put it in Perspective: The 49ers have kept their foot on the gas and need to not let up. They’ve been going with a heavier set and pounding the ball on the ground. Everything has been clicking for the 49ers – offense, defense and special teams.
David Akers connected on a 46-yard field goal, but the Bucs leaped over the line of scrimmage. Harbaugh took the points off the board and took the penalty…probably the right decision since Smith found Davis on the next play for a 14-yard touchdown.
49ers 41 – Buccaneers 3
The Buccaneers next drive was aided by a personal foul on Dashon Goldson, but the defense stood tall and forced the punt.
With a large lead, Colin Kaepernick made his first 49ers appearance. Kendall Hunter got the 49ers past midfield and Kap hit Walker for his first NFL completion. That’s it for the blog as we have to get set up for postgame. Stay tuned.
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