The San Francisco 49ers suddenly find themselves with a two-game win streak! The 49ers beat the Houston Texans 26-16 to improve to 3-10. The 49ers might be out of the playoff chase, but this is their third win in four games. Not too shabby for a team that opened the season 0-9.
Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers got off to a slow start, with their first three drives ending with two punts and a Garoppolo interception. However, Garoppolo rebounded on the next three drives. The 49ers managed a field goal, and then added a Carlos Hyde. Following that, Hyde had a big run and Garoppolo made a couple big passes to set up a field goal to close out the first half. Garoppolo added his second touchdown with the 49ers, connecting with Garrett Celek in the third quarter.
Garoppolo threw for 334 yards, and has thrown for the most passing yards through his first two games as 49ers starter. It was notable in part because Garoppolo struggled early in the game. The QB-WR connection was not really there for much of the first quarter, but eventually they got things going. Seeing a solid rebound from a poor start is certainly another good thing to see from Garoppolo.
All of this came as Jadeveon Clowney was absolutely destroying Zane Beadles. The 49ers started Beadles because Trent Brown was inactive due to his shoulder injury. It was an atrocious mismatch, with Beadles unable to do anything to stop Clowney.
On the other side of the ball, the 49ers could do nothing to contain DeAndre Hopkins. He had 11 receptions for 149 yards and two touchdowns. I’m amazed the Texans did not throw to him more regularly given how much success he had.
Hopkins aside, the 49ers did some great work on defense. They shut down Lamar Miller, and nobody other than Hopkins was able to get much done. Adrian Colbert, Ahkello Witherspoon, and Eric Reid in particular all did some solid work in coverage. And, the 49ers managed three sacks and had pressure on T.J. Yates and Tom Savage much of the game, landing nine QB hits. A nice little day.
Up next: Tennessee Titans (8-4)
The 49ers are back home for the next two weeks, facing the Titans and then the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams are 8-4, playing this afternoon against the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks, respectively. The 49ers have won three of their last four games, but all three wins came against not so good football teams. The Titans are inconsistent, but eight wins is eight wins. This will be a solid challenge for the 49ers who are suddenly playing some pretty decent football.