Sure, it’s early in the season, but the 49ers on Sunday avoided falling two games behind in the NFC West standings.
Jimmy Garoppolo, whom the 49ers brought back as an insurance policy for Trey Lance, came off the sideline early when the team’s young quarterback sustained a fractured right ankle.
Lance is scheduled to undergo season-ending surgery.
The 49ers’ defense and Garoppolo led the way to a 27-7 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.
Here is the team’s report card from the 49ers’ Week 2 victory:
The 49ers completely controlled this game with a running game that piled up 45 running attempts and 189 yards.
The offensive line had a strong game with an average-per-attempt of 5.0 yards for most of the game. The yards got tough at the end, so the average dropped to 4.2 yards.
Jeff Wilson Jr. took over as the starter for Elijah Mitchell, and he came through with 84 yards on 18 rushing attempts. Deebo Samuel added 53 yards on four runs.
Fullback Kyle Juszczyk and Garoppolo scored on 1-yard touchdown runs.
Garoppolo came in off the sideline and found tight end Ross Dwelley on a 38-yard touchdown to get the 49ers in the end zone for a 13-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Garoppolo had a fine game. He had a fantastic game when you consider he never took a practice snap during training camp.
Garoppolo completed 13 of 21 pass attempts for 154 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. The offensive line provided good protection for Garoppolo, who was sacked once for zero yards.
Brandon Aiyuk had five receptions for 63 yards, including a 25-yarder from Lance on the third play of the game.
Samuel added five receptions for 44 yards.
While the 49ers had their way on the ground, the Seahawks’ rushing attack was completely grounded.
Seattle attempted just 14 running plays and gained just 36 yards on the ground.
Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks’ leading rusher, gained just 15 yards on six attempts.
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw bounced back from a poor game against the Chicago Bears in Week 1 with eight tackles.
Seattle’s longest run was Kenneth Walker’s 8-yard run in the first quarter.
Life was a lot easier for the 49ers while facing the Seahawks without Russell Wilson.
The 49ers’ held Seattle to just two of seven on third downs, and the clincher came when Nick Bosa broke through for a third-down sack of the game midway through the fourth quarter.
Bosa registered two sacks in the game, and the 49ers also came up with two interceptions.
Charvarius “Mooney” Ward provided a big momentum boost for the 49ers when he intercepted a halfback pass from DeeJay Dallas in the end zone in the second quarter.
Tashaun Gipson also had an interception on a pass tipped by fellow safety Talanoa Hufanga.
Seattle quarterback Geno Smith completed 24 of 30 passes for 197 yards but was kept out of the end zone.
The 49ers, essentially, picked up a touchdown on special teams. Then, they gave up a touchdown on special teams.
Call it a wash.
Tarvarius Moore made a great play to block Seattle gunner Xavier Crawford into Mitch Wishnowsky’s punt. Dwelley recovered the live ball to set up the touchdown that gave the 49ers a 20-0 lead before the end of the first half.
However, Dwelley missed a block on Tariq Woods that led to Mike Jackson’s 86-yard touchdown return of a blocked field goal.
There are no holes to poke in the plan and execution from DeMeco Ryans’ defense.
But for Kyle Shanahan and the offense, it gets a lot more complicated.
Clearly, the 49ers wanted to run the ball and control the game on the ground. The offense ran the ball 45 times, which is an absurd amount.
Shanahan forever will be questioned because of how much the design of the offense called for quarterback runs.
But, after all, that’s why the 49ers were attracted to Lance so much in the first place.
There was little doubt Lance would run the ball. There was also little doubt that Shanahan would be open for second-guessing any time Lance sustained an injury.
That’s part of the deal.
On another issue, the 49ers corrected the discipline problems that plagued them in Week 1.
The 49ers committed just one penalty for 26 yards and did not have any giveaways.
It was not a must-win, of course, but after a thoroughly forgettable Week 1 loss to the Chicago Bears, the 49ers could not afford to fall to 0-2 on the season.
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The 49ers dominated from start to finish, even with the gut punch that was delivered in the first quarter with Lance’s season-ending injury.
The 49ers dominated all the way on defense. And they made enough plays on offense and special teams (while also giving up a big one on special teams) for a decisive victory against an opponent that has been almost impossible for them to defeat through the years.
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