The San Francisco 49ers returned to Levi's® Stadium in Week 8 after suffering back-to-back losses on the road to the Cleveland Browns and Minnesota Vikings. With their 31-17 loss on Sunday to the Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco has now extended their losing streak to three games, and head coach Kyle Shanahan and his team will head into the Bye with a 5-3 record. The last time San Francisco suffered three-consecutive losses was in Week 3-5 of the 2021 season.
Here are five takeaways from Sunday's game:
The CMC Scoring Streak Continues
San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey now shares the NFL touchdown scoring streak of 17-straight games (including the playoffs) with Hall of Fame running back Lenny Moore after his two-yard rushing touchdown in Week 8. The seventh-year pro barreled in for a two-yard score to cap off an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive by the 49ers in the first quarter against the Bengals. The touchdown tied San Francisco with Cincinnati 7-7 with 3:19 left in the first frame. He later added a four-yard score through the air in the fourth quarter.
McCaffrey amassed 12 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown on the ground in addition to his six catches for 64 yards and a touchdown through the air.
DL Arik Armstead Delivers Two-Sack Performance
After giving up two touchdowns in the first half, the veteran defensive lineman came up with the momentum-changing play for this unit. On Cincinnati's third offensive series, Armstead got home on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow on third-and-seven just outside the red zone. The sack backed up Cincinnati seven yards and forced the Bengals into a 50-yard field goal attempt. Kicker Evan McPherson's attempt when wide right and kept the score at 14-7 midway through the second quarter.
Armstead struck again in the second half, sacking Burrow on second-and-nine on San Francisco's 39 yard line for a loss of eight yards. The Bengals failed to convert on third-and-16 and settled for the field goal. Cincinnati picked up three points off a 56-yard kick from McPherson. The last time Armstead recorded two-or-more sacks in a game was Week 17 of the 2021 season to help the 49ers punch their ticket to the postseason.
Rookie Kicker Jake Moody Shakes It Off
After missing a field goal attempt in each of the last two contests, Moody did not miss against the Bengals. The rookie kicker sailed his one three-point attempt through the uprights from 36 yards out. He also was perfect in his extra point attempts of the day, going two-for-two on PATs.
Ferrell and Oliver robbed the Bengals of a scoring opportunity in the red zone in the final minute of the first half. Burrow connected with Cincinnati tight end Irv Smith Jr., and following the reception, Smith Jr. was swarmed by several 49ers defenders. Ferrell punched the ball out from the right end, and Oliver was able to recover the loose ball to set up San Francisco on their own five yard line.
The 49ers nearly produced another big-time fumble recovery in the fourth quarter following a pass breakup by cornerback Charvarius Ward on third-and-seven, however, the play was ruled an incompletion. Regardless, the 49ers were able to force Cincinnati's offense off the field.
TE George Kittle Emerges as the Top Pass-Catcher of the Week
The People's Tight End was the 49ers reception yards leader of Week 8, hauling in nine catches for 149 yards versus the Bengals. His performance also marks a season-high in receptions yards. One of the most impressive of those nine catches came midway through the fourth quarter on a third-and-six inside the 15 yard line. Kittle's 10-yard third down conversion play help set up McCaffrey's four-yard receiving touchdown to bring the 49ers within seven points with 8:12 left to go.
Entering the Week 8 contest, Kittle was 92 yards shy of breaking a 49ers franchise record for most receiving yards by a tight end. With his 149 receiving yards on Sunday, he has now owns the record outright with 5,697 receiving yards, passing Vernon Davis who previously held the record with 5,640 yards. Kittle has also overtaken former wide receiver John Taylor (5,598 receiving yards) for the sixth most receiving yards in franchise history.