It was a strange first half in Cincinnati. The 49ers didn’t convert a third down on six tries, had four penalties, and didn’t turn a gift turnover into a touchdown. Still, they lead 17-6 at halftime, thanks to the Bengals turning the ball over twice. That’s been the difference in the game.
Deebo Samuel had a 27-yard touchdown, and George Kittle set a new career-high with his sixth touchdown on the season. Azeez Al-Shaair is all over the place, and the defensive line has done just enough to make Joe Burrow uncomfortable.
Ja’Marr Chase has one reception for 12 yards at the half, and Tee Higgins has one for 20 yards. We feared both players would have a big day, but they haven’t done much damage aside from one big play. Now, Chase had a critical drop for a first down. But it doesn’t seem like the Bengals have any interest in holding onto the ball.
Garoppolo is 11-for-16 for 79 yards and a touchdown. He’s averaging 4.9 yards per attempt, and the sack was on him. It doesn’t seem as though the offense is asking much out of him. That could change if the 49ers can’t get their running game going in the second half. If the 49ers continue to stay ahead of the chains, they should be OK.