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49ers Soar to 34-0 Win in New York

Posted Sep 30, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The 49ers have never been defeated in back-to-back games in the Jim Harbaugh era. On Sunday, Harbaugh’s club made sure to keep the streak alive with a dominant 34-0 performance over the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium.

Players were accountable following a Week 3 road loss in Minnesota and vowed to bounce back with a vengeance.

The whole team did just that.

With the visiting club up 34 points with less than five minutes remaining, the home crowd dispersed towards the exits, leaving New York 49ers fans to fill the bottom rows of the stadium.

“It felt good to come home,” said starting right tackle and Piscataway, N.J., native Anthony Davis, a key cog in the team’s 245-yard rushing performance. “We turned it into a home game.”

Davis enjoyed his first professional game in front of his home state, only he lamented not being able to spike the ball in celebration after Frank Gore’s 2-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter.

Instead, former Jets lineman Jonathan Goodwin did the honors, celebrating a win against his former club while playing a game in his 32nd NFL stadium.

“There’s no better feeling than celebrating with your running back in the end zone,” Davis said. “I wanted to spike the ball but Goody beat me to it.”

San Francisco gave its traveling fans plenty to cheer for with four takeaways, a blocked punt and three rushing touchdowns on the day.

“That’s opportunistic football,” Jim Harbaugh said after the game. “Job well done by offensive line and our players in the game.”

Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick and former New York Giants wideout Mario Manningham had several huge plays in the first half to get things started.

Kaepernick saw action on opening drive, rushing for 17 yards on a zone-read fake to Kendall Hunter with Delanie Walker in the backfield, and later launched a 48-yard deep ball in the end zone that went incomplete to Randy Moss, who was triple covered. The team eventually was forced to punt, but pinned New York deep at its own 3-yard line and forced a three-and-out to get the ball right back.

The play-calling remained creative on the next drive with Manningham picking up 28 yards on a fake hand-off to Hunter and fake reverse to Ted Ginn Jr., a play that saw the 49ers get inside the red zone to close out the first quarter. San Francisco rushed 10 times and picked up 88 yards in the opening period alone.

By game’s end, the team picked up 245 rushing yards with Kaepernick, Hunter and Frank Gore each rushing for more than 50 yards.

Kaepernick got the 49ers on the board first with a 7-yard touchdown run around the left edge behind left tackle Joe Staley’s downfield block. It was Kaepernick’s first career score put the 49ers up 7-0 and the team never looked back.

“We called a sweep to the left, Bruce Miller collapsed the whole side in,” detailed Kaepernick, who rushed for 50 yards on five carries.

Following the quarterback keeper, the 49ers got the ball right back with safety Dashon Goldson putting a big hit on tight end Dedrick Epps for a 9-yard gain that saw the ball immediately come loose. Carlos Rogers scooped the ball up and got San Francisco possession at New York’s 47-yard line.

It was just the first of many takeaways on the day.

“We know what we’re capable of,” said linebacker Aldon Smith, who recorded four tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble. “We just had to prove it and show it to everybody.”

The 49ers defense recorded four takeaways and in the process got back to their hard-hitting, turnover-forcing ways. In total, the defense recorded three sacks, two forced fumbles, totaled three fumble recoveries and held the Jets and Mark Sanchez to paltry numbers across the board.

Sanchez finished the game completing 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards and posted a 39.9 quarterback rating.

“They definitely had a good week practicing,” Harbaugh said, “but it’s those guys. Great work today, job well done.”

Alex Smith completed 12 of 21 passes for 143 yards with no turnovers on the day. The 49ers led throughout the game and held the ball for 14 minutes longer than the Jets, thanks to Smith’s stingy teammates on defense.

Although Kaepernick saw playing time early and finished the game in mop-up time, Harbaugh was pleased to see all 46 of his active players contribute to a hard-fought win.

“I think it behooves the team when you can give guys a role,” Harbaugh explained.

Players were thrilled to complete the team’s 10-day road trip with a victory and Harbaugh thanked the people of Youngstown, Ohio for make the team’s stay a positive one.

“Maybe we need to go back to Youngstown and go home to play Buffalo,” joked cornerback Carlos Rogers, who recovered two fumbles on the day, including one that he scooped and returned for a 51-yard touchdown.

The team will fly back to San Francisco with heads held high.

A shut-out certainly helps, too.

“That’s always a good feeling,” said defensive co-captain Patrick Willis, who also recorded his first interception on the season.

For now, the team will enjoy a cross-country flight reflecting on the latest, and perhaps, greatest, team-wide win of the Harbaugh era.

“Our players really, really played well,” Harbaugh said. “They brought a lot of energy to this game.”

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