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49ers win a thriller in overtime to beat the Bengals 26-23

This team.....

San Francisco 49ers v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The game got off to a sloppy start as there were three straight three-and-outs to begin the game. Then, the Bengals muffed the kick on the 49ers' second punt, and River Cracraft recovered to give San Francisco a short field. That was just what the doctor ordered.

The offense wasted no time getting Deebo Samuel involved as he had multiple carries as a running back on the first few series. However, after JaMycal Hasty picked up a first down after a third-down reception, the play was negated after Trent Williams was flagged for a holding call.

Jauan Jennings caught a short throw on third down but fumbled. Thankfully, the ball bounced right to him. Robbie Gould’s field goal was good to give San Francisco a 3-0 lead.

Cincinnati marched into 49er territory on their ensuing drive after a couple of chunk plays. On 3rd & 7, after Tee Higgins caught one of those passes, he had a false start to make it 3rd & 12. That’s the last place you want to be against this Niners defense. Cincy gained enough yards to make it 4th & 1.

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor ended up calling a timeout and changed his mind. Instead of going for it, Cincy settled for a 37-yard field goal to make it 3-3. The way the Bengals were moving the ball, it felt like they did the 49ers a favor by kicking a field goal in that situation.

Jimmy Garoppolo found Brandon Aiyuk on the first play of the offense’s fourth drive for 21 yards. That play was longer than the total yards gained in San Francisco’s three previous drives. Wilson Jr. had back-to-back first-down runs to put the Niners in Bengals territory.

Then, as he tends to do, Deebo Samuel raced around the end for a gain of 27 yards. Again, he was the beneficiary of great blocking on the edge. Samuel continues to surprise defenses with his speed. The Bengals' safety seemed like he had an angle, but Deebo outran him. He continues to shock the opposition with his speed.

The defense got off the field on the following possession after Nick Bosa forced Joe Burrow to flee the pocket. Technically, it was a sack, but I believe Arik Armstead was the player closest to Burrow, so he’ll likely be credited with the sack. They ended up giving Azeez Al-Shaair credit for the sack.

The 49ers couldn’t do anything on their next drive. Jimmy Garoppolo threw a perfect pass down the field to George Kittle. The defender held Kittle’s left arm, which is why Kittle couldn’t haul in the throw. It seemed like an obvious pass interference call, but the refs didn’t throw a flag.

Jimmie Ward would have had his third interception of the season after Burrow airmailed a throw thanks to pressure from Kentavius Street. But, unfortunately, Ambry Thomas had an illegal hands to the face penalty that took Ward’s interception off the board. Thomas gave up a would-be touchdown soon after, but Ja’Marr Chase couldn’t complete the catch to the ground.

The Bengals scored a field goal just before the half to cut it to 10-6. Al-Shaair had an opportunity for an interception, but it looked as though he didn’t find the ball until the last second. Fred Warner was down on the field getting his ankle looked at on the same drive.

The Niners two-minute offense stalled, but the Bengals muffed another punt to give them the ball in their territory. Cincy couldn’t hold onto the ball all game. After going three-and-out, Von Bell pointed to a 49ers lineman and was called for taunting.

Jimmy had all day in the pocket, found Kittle, and that gave San Francisco a commanding 17-6 lead heading into halftime. It was a strange half as the offense went 0-6 on third down, had four penalties, and couldn’t turn a short field into a touchdown.

After getting a stop to open the half on defense, the 49ers marched with a play-action pass and RPO to Kittle and Deebo for separate 20+ yard gains. Facing a 3rd & 13, the Bengals blitzed and paid for it as that left the middle of the field wide open, where Kittle picked up the first down.

Garoppolo found Aiyuk in the end zone on 2nd & goal, but the second-year wideout couldn’t get his second foot down. On 3rd & goal, the offensive line gave Jimmy all day, but he missed Kyle Juszczyk open in the end zone. The Niners settled for three points to make it 20-6.

Thomas had another illegal hands to the face penalty. This time, it took Nick Bosa’s 13th sack away from him. The Bengals were approaching midfield after a play where the defense missed a couple of tackles. Their drive stalled after Samson Ebukam sacked Burrow on third down. Cincy’s field goal attempt was no good, and the 49ers head into the fourth quarter with a 13-point lead.

San Francisco couldn’t take advantage right around midfield after Garoppolo inadvertently dropped the ball for a sack on first down. That killed the drive, and Tom Compton allowed another sack on third and long. Mitch Wishnowsky didn’t help much with a 29-yard punt.

The Bengals took advantage as Joe Mixon ran up the middle for 17 yards, and Tee Higgins caught a 27-yard pass in the void of the 49ers Cover 2 defense. Facing a 3rd & 9, San Francisco stopped the offense short of the sticks to force a 4th & 5.

Burrow ran around in the pocket and found Chase in the back of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown. Talanoa Hufanaga was in at safety, and the Bengals attacked him. The safety rotation happens at the worst possible times, and this was another example. Cover 2 with a Day 3 rookie safety against two high-quality wideouts is a recipe for disaster.

San Francisco had a 7-point lead still. First, they had an opportunity on second down, but Garoppolo’s throw was errant. Then, on third down, Tom Compton and Daniel Brunskill made a mistake and allowed a sack.

The Bengals offense didn’t get too far, as K’Waun Williams blitzed and was unblocked on third down for a critical sack. That gave the 49ers the ball back with just over four minutes to play. To this point, they had 11 plays for six yards in the fourth quarter. Two plays and Wilson picked up a first down.

Garoppolo was sacked for the fifth time on second down. That forced a 3rd & 10. It came down to the passing offense making a play. Kittle came up short, and a 50-yard punt backed the Bengals up, and they’d have to go 87 yards to tie the game.

On the first play, Bosa sacked Burrow. Bosa was relentless all afternoon. Higgins picked up 22 yards on 3rd & 6 to give the Bengals a first down. Burrow found Chase on a double move on the next play for a 32-yard touchdown. Chase got behind Thomas, who had a brutal day. That score tied the game at 20.

The 49ers had plenty of time to move into field goal range with two timeouts. Garoppolo made a nice throw on first down to find Jennings. He would have had another first down throw, but Jennings couldn’t hang on. Jimmy found Aiyuk for a gain of 17 yards to put the offense into Bengals territory.

Garoppolo had a would-be pick-six that was dropped by Jessie Bates. On the next play, Kittle made another acrobatic catch to put the 49ers on the 29-yard line. After a couple of incomplete passes, Robbie Gould had a chance to win the game with four seconds left.

Gould’s kick from 47 missed wide right. It wasn’t particularly close. He continues to cost the 49ers.

The Bengals won the toss in overtime and gained 26 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Cincy’s drive stalled after Bosa picked up his second sack of the game. The Bengals' 41-yard kick was good to give them a 23-20 lead.

With 6:15 to play, the 49ers had to score. Jennings caught a fantastic back-shoulder throw to give them the ball in Bengals territory. Kittle caught his 12th pass of the day to move the ball to the 26-yard line.

San Francisco faced another third down. They were 4-for-14 up until this point. On 3rd & 5, Jimmy threaded the needle to Kittle to convert. Garoppolo found Aiyuk on first down, and it looked as though he scored, but the play was under review.