The San Francisco 49ers dominated in the 41-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. San Francisco put up a whopping 572 yards of total offense – a complete 360 from their Week 1 outing in Tampa Bay. The 49ers open the season with back-to-back road wins for the first time since the 1989 season. Here are the top 16 takeaways from the Week 2 victory.
1. It’s a bittersweet victory as the 49ers lost veteran tackle Joe Staley late in the third quarter. The tackle took a hit to his lower left leg and was carted off the field shortly after. The tackle was diagnosed a broken fibula and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks, per Kyle Shanahan. Rookie Justin Skule finished the game in the veteran’s absence
"Any time you lose your left tackle, it’s always significant, especially when the guy who backs him up we lost in preseason," Shanahan said post game. "From what I hear so far — we’ll find out more tomorrow — but it should be less than eight weeks so I don’t think he’ll be an IR candidate, but I’ll find out more tomorrow. I think it’s something he’s had before."
Dee Ford exited the game in the first half while dealing with quad irritation.
2. San Francisco’s defense forced a quick three-and-out on the Bengals opening drive that was highlighted by Arik Armstead. Armstead quickly set the tempo on defense and recorded a sack on Andy Dalton on the first play of the game. The defensive lineman finished the day with three total tackles to go along with his second sack of the season.
3. On the 49ers first offensive drive of the day, Jimmy Garoppolo found Marquise Goodwin wide open for a 38-yard touchdown. The Bengals blew coverage that opened up a lane for Goodwin into the end zone to cap off the 4-play, 51-yard drive. Goodwin caught all three of his targets on the day for 77 yards to go along with his first score of the season.
4. Garoppolo was impressive through his first two drives. The quarterback had a perfect passer rating of 158.3, completing 4-of-5 passing for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
5. The second quarter wasn’t as perfect for Garoppolo. The quarterback was intercepted by cornerback William Jackson III on a pass intended for Richie James Jr.. The quarterback threw in to triple coverage as Jackson sat on the route for the pick. The turnover, however, didn’t cost the 49ers any points. An illegal forward pass by Dalton forced the Bengals to settle for a field goal attempt. Cincinnati’s kicker Randy Bullock missed the 52-yarder, returning the possession right back to San Francisco.
6. San Francisco’s second touchdown came courtesy of Raheem Mostert Garoppolo dumped the ball off to the running back who breezed between two defenders on the 39-yard completion to the end zone. The running back finished the game with 68 yards on three receptions and one touchdown to go along with 83 yards on the ground on 13 carries (more on 49ers running backs to come).
7. Matt Breida was another standout on Sunday. The running back totaled 121 yards on 12 carries to add to a reception for 11 yards. Breida’s most impressive play of the day came in the second quarter as the ball carrier dodged several tackles on his way to a 34-yard pickup. The running back couldn't find an opening behind his blockers, when he jump stepped a defender and cut loose to split past Cincinnati’s defense. Breida's run set up the 49ers third touchdown of the day (see No. 8)
8. Jeff Wilson Jr. recorded his first two career touchdowns on Sunday after being activated from the team’s practice squad on Saturday. On the first score, the running back rushed up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown, set up by the aforementioned carry. In the fourth quarter, the running back scored his second on a 4-yard carry to the end zone.
9. Ronald Blair III was stout against the Bengals offense. The fourth-year defensive lineman notched a sack against Dalton and a powerful run stop on Bengals running back Joe Mixon for a loss of yards in the first half.
11. Kwon Alexander was greeted with a welcome back gift and redeemed his dropped interception during the 49ers Week 1 outing. The linebacker jumped the route on a pass intended for Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert and hauled in his first interception as a member of the 49ers. Alexander finished the game with six total tackles to go along with his seventh-career interception.
12. Dante Pettis completed the first pass of his career. Shanahan drew up a lateral throw from Garoppolo to Pettis, as the receiver completed a forward pass to Mostert for a 16-yard gain.
"Dante did a hell of a job on that," Shanahan said. "You're always nervous with the receivers on it because even if they can throw, you never give them warning. It's not like they ever warm up or anything like that. But Dante had a lot of poise on it. Looked down field to other people on the route so he could help open up (Raheem) on the other side. But it was a good throw."
12. The 49ers scored on their first drive to kick off the second half. This time, rookie Deebo Samuel was the beneficiary of the score. On 2nd-and-goal from the Bengals 2-yard line, Garoppolo connected with the rookie in the back left of the end zone for a 2-yard score, the first touchdown of his career. Garoppolo and Samuel’s touchdown capped off the 49ers 7-play, 75-yard drive to start the third quarter. Samuel led the 49ers pass catchers with five receptions for 87 yards and a score.
"When we put the ball in his hands, he's as fearless and as tough of a rookie receiver that I've been around," Shanahan said. "We're going to have to live with some growing pains. But when you've got a guy who plays that physically and isn't scared of the moment and isn't scared of the contact, we're going to be a lot more willing to live with it."
13. Back to the 49ers running backs. San Francisco registered 259 yards on the ground against the Bengals, the most rushing yards in a game since Week 16 of 2014 (355 yards vs San Diego Chargers).
14 San Francisco's defense registered four sacks and limited the Bengals offense to 14 first downs, 4.9 yards per play and just 25 total rushing yards.
15. George Kittle caught all three of his targets for 54 yards. Kittle tied Dave Kocourek to become the third fastest tight end to reach 2,000 career yards.
16. Garoppolo finished the day 17-of-25 passing for 297 yards, three touchdowns and one interception for a passer rating of 131.2. The quarterback was not sacked on the day.
"Everyone knows the ability Jimmy has and he’s shown — it’s not just felt," Shanahan said. "A guy with talent — a guy who’s played in games and shown everyone he can play at a high level — the more he’s out there, I’m sure the better he’s going to get, even when he makes mistakes, as long as he learns from them. I know it really helped him out today just having a run game. It really helps you be balanced and takes the pressure off of him, takes a little pressure off the whole line in the pass game and it gets you some cleaner looks. I thought, as a team, they did a lot better, and Jimmy did too.”