The San Francisco 49ers have won back-to-back road games for the first time since 1989 - the year they won their third Super Bowl. Coach Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers orchestrated a blowout win over the Cincinnati Bengals, 41-17 on Sunday. It was a dominant performance for San Francisco that showed well in all three phases of the game. The 49ers offense generated 572 total yards and averaged 8.4 yards per play. The defense held the Bengals to 316 yards and 4.9 yards per play.
Here are our five takeaways from the 49ers’ second consecutive win:
Joe Staley will miss time
We’ll get the bad news out of the way first - the 49ers lost their starting left tackle Sunday. Staley suffered a broken fibula in his left leg during the third quarter and is expected to miss two months, per Shanahan. Staley is the 49ers’ top offensive lineman and the team’s longest-tenured veteran. Shanahan doesn’t expect Staley to be a candidate for the injured reserve and said the team would know more about his injury tomorrow after further evaluation. It’s unclear if right tackle Mike McGlinchey will move to the opposite side of the line to replace Staley, or if rookie Justin Skule will remain on the left after stepping in on Sunday.
Running at will
The 49ers ran right over the Bengals. The offense generated an impressive 259 yards on the ground and averaged 6.2 yards per carry, scoring twice. Running back Matt Breida carried the ball 12 times for 121 yards and averaged 10.1 yards per carry. Raheem Mostert was next with 13 carries for 83 yards, also catching three passes for 68 yards and a score. Jeff Wilson Jr., promoted from the practice squad yesterday, handled the 49ers’ goal-line carries and scored both touchdowns.
Jimmy Garoppolo impressive
Garoppolo rebounded from a lackluster Week 1, putting together an impressive performance against the Bengals. The 49ers quarterback completed 17 of 25 passes (68%) for 297 yards, three touchdowns, an interception, and a 131.2 passer rating. Garoppolo found Marquise Goodwin all alone early in the game for the 38-yard score. He also hit Mostert on a screen and rookie receiver Deebo Samuel for the other two scores. Garoppolo’s afternoon wasn’t without a blemish through. He targeted Richie James deep in quadruple coverage, and the pass was easily picked.
Reliable starters emerge
Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon put together another solid performance on Sunday. The third-year cornerback authored a career-game against the Bucs in Week 1, breaking up three passes and intercepting another for the game-sealing pick-six. On Sunday, Witherspoon totaled five tackles and three pass breakups against the Bengals while nearly intercepting another that would’ve been returned for a touchdown. In addition to Witherspoon, Samuel has begun to take the lead as the 49ers’ most targeted wideout. The rookie reeled a team-leading five passes for 87 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. Both players help alleviate problems for the 49ers at positions of need.
Penalties still a problem
Last week the 49ers racked up 11 penalties for 87 yards. The team scored three touchdowns against the Buccaneers that were called back on flags. It was a similar tale this week against the Bengals, the 49ers finishing with nine penalties for 75 yards. It was the second consecutive week in which Mostert scored a touchdown that was called back, this time due to a holding call on guard Mike Person. The penalties fell under the radar of a stellar performance from San Francisco, but in a closer game, the 49ers’ habit of drawing flags could cost them.