The emotions were running high early Sunday afternoon in the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The 49ers defense got off the field with a three-and-out and then blocked a punt. The offense moved the ball and actually scored, but an offensive pass interference by Kyle Juszczyk cost the team points as they had to settle for a field goal to make it 3-0.
The defense played well early on, despite losing Kwon Alexander to ejection. Tampa Bay drove the field in the second quarter, but Fred Warner showed great hustle and knocked the ball out. It was a tremendous hustle play to force a fumble.
Unfortunately, the 49ers couldn’t turn that to anything, after Jimmy Garoppolo threw a pick-six. The CB was sitting on the route the entire time.
The 49ers drove and scored, but it was another field goal. With just under three minutes to play in the first half, there were 11 total penalties, five of which negated a touchdown. I don’t think I’ve seen that happen before.
On the ensuing possession, O.J. Howard dropped a pass, and Mark Nzeocha intercepted it. That didn’t happen last season. The 49ers defense weren’t taking advantage of those tipped passes. Alexander dropped a gift earlier in the game.
A Robbie Gould field goal made it 7-6, and that took us into halftime.
The 49ers came out much better to start the second half with a seven-play, 75-yard drive to score a touchdown. Here was the play-action shot to Richie James. Great route, great pass, and that put the 49ers up 13-7. On the ensuing possession, Richard Sherman intercepted an errant pass by Winston and took it to the house. That made it 20-7, and whatever Kyle Shanahan said at halftime worked.
The rest of the third quarter wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, as Tampa Bay scored a touchdown, and Gould missed a 57-yard field goal. It felt like Shanahan was playing for the field goal on the third down before the kick.
The 49ers didn’t allow any points on the following drive, despite the short field. A fantastic read by Tarvarius Moore—who should have intercepted the pass—to get the defense off the field. The offense was unable to move the ball after a Mike McGlinchey hold wiped out a Garoppolo run for a first down.
The teams traded field goals to make it 23-17. Tampa Bay took over with just over two minutes to play for a chance to win it. Dee Ford and Nick Bosa met at the quarterback to force another interception for a touchdown to make it 31-17 after a two-point conversion. The secondary broke up five passes and intercepted two of them for touchdowns. The defense scored ten points last year. They scored 14 today.