The San Francisco 49ers looked dominant in the first quarter as they hosted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium. After that, they looked like...well...the San Francisco 49ers.
Seeking to break their five-game losing streak, the 49ers looked efficient and scored easily early in the game. QB Colin Kaepernick, in his first home start since October 22 of 2015, led 5-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that ate up less than 2 minutes to kick off the game. A 4-yard run by RB Mike Davis, who went untouched into the end zone, gave San Francisco the early 7-point lead.
The 49ers defense, which has been abysmal all season, got a rare stop on the following drive as the Buccaneers tested the run defense early. Their drive ended when the 49ers stopped RB Peyton Barber on 4th-and-1. QB Jameis Winston did not attempt a throw during the drive.
ILB Gerald Hodges finally got the start for the 49ers and it paid off in the first quarter when he picked off Winston following pressure by OLB Ahmad Brooks and a pass broken up by CB Tramaine Brock. The 49ers capitalized on the very next play when Kaepernick extended the play because of pressure, ran out of the pocket, and perfectly hit his target, RB Shaun Draughn, in the end zone for an impressive 17-yard touchdown pass to give San Francisco a 14-0 lead.
After that, things fell apart for the 49ers.
Tampa Bay got on the board in the second quarter after Winston hit WR Mike Evans to slice the 49ers' lead down to a single touchdown. Later, FS Bradley McDougald picked off Kaepernick, which was his first interception of the season, and Tampa Bay would capitalize with a field goal, cutting into the 49ers lead even further.
|Week||Running Back||Rush Yds||TDs|
|1||Todd Gurley, LA||47||0|
|2||Fozzy Whittaker, CAR||100||0|
|3||Christine Michael, SEA||108||2|
|4||Ezekiel Elliott, DAL||138||1|
|5||David Johnson, ARI||157||2|
|6||LeSean McCoy, BUF||140||3|
|7||Jacquizz Rodgers, TB||154||0|
Just prior to halftime, a 19-yard touchdown pass from Winston to WR Russell Shepard gave the Buccaneers their first lead of the afternoon. Once leading by two touchdowns, the 49ers saw their first half lead vanish for the fifth time this season (Carolina 10-7, Dallas 14-0, Arizona 7-0, Buffalo 10-7). The Buccaneers entered halftime and the locker room with a 17-14 lead.
The 49ers defense managed to stop Tampa Bay's initial second half drive, forcing a punt, but a muffed fair catch by San Francisco WR Jeremy Kerley following a collision with teammate Aaron Burbridge gave the ball back to the Buccaneers with great field position. Tampa Bay added a field goal to extend their lead to 20-14.
|Penalties (Yds)||7 (78)||4 (31)|
|Punts (AVG)||3 (39)||6 (40)|
|Time of Pos.||33:49||26:08|
A blindside sack on Kaepernick by CB Jude Adjei-Barimah forced a fumble and the football was recovered by Buccaneers DT Gerald McCoy. Another touchdown pass from Winston to Evans gave the Buccaneers their 27th unanswered point and a 13-point lead over the 49ers, who would later cut that lead to 10 with a fourth-quarter field goal.
Buccaneers RB Peyton Barber added another touchdown to the Tampa Bay lead on a 44-yard run into the end zone against the 49ers' hapless defense. That's how the game ended with the Buccaneers coming out on top 34-17.
The 49ers enter their bye week searching for answers and won't play again until November 6 when they host the New Orleans Saints.
|49ers Team Leaders|
DL Arik Armstead went down following a third-quarter play. He was looked at by the 49ers medical staff and was able to get up and make it to a bench. He has been hampered all season by a shoulder injury. Armstead remained on the 49ers sideline and did not head into the locker room.
ILB Gerald Hodges left the game in the third quarter with an injury. He returned to the game.
CB Rashard Robinson left the game in the third quarter with what was later reported to be an injured knee when DL DeForest Buckner stepped on his left foot. Robinson left the field on a cart to go to the team's locker room and was seen walking with crutches following the game.
OLB Aaron Lynch left the game in the third quarter with an ankle injury after his legs were buried by players under a pileup during a tackle. Lynch left the field with a limb and was seen with his left foot in a walking boot following the game. He told the media that he had a high-ankle sprain. Lynch will have an MRI on Monday. "I'll be fine," he said.
LB Nick Bellore went down with an injury in the third quarter a collision with another player.
Notes and Quotes
The 49ers blew a first-half lead for the fifth time this season. They previously led the Carolina Panthers 10-7, Dallas Cowboys 14-0, Arizona Cardinals 7-0, and Buffalo Bills 10-7.
This is the 49ers' first six-game losing streak since 2008.
The 49ers defense gave up 308 total yards of offense in the first half. They gave up 513 in the game. 249 of those final yards were rushing yards.
Jacquizz Rodgers became the sixth-straight running back to rush for at least 100 yards against the 49ers defense.
The Buccaneers won their first Week 7 road game in franchise history.
The 49ers have given up more rushing yards through seven games this season (1,296) than they did in all of 2011 (1,236), per Al Sacco.
Following the loss, Chip Kelly was asked if he will consider any changes to the defensive coaching staff during the bye week. "No," he answered. That means that Jim O'Neil is likely to remain as the defensive coordinator.
When asked if he will spend more time with O'Neil during the bye week, Kelly said that they already carve out time to meet and go over things. "There's good communication going on from that standpoint," Kelly said. "So it's not like I don't know what's going on on the defensive side of the ball."
"It was up and down," Kelly said when asked about Kaepernick's performance.
"We have to fix this as a team. We have to correct this as a team," is what Kelly tells the team according to Kaepernick.
"It's not a position we want to be in," Kaepernick said regarding being 1-6 as a team. "We work hard every week. We go through our preparation. We're on top of everything, but we have to go out and execute better. And where our record is right now, we have a bye week coming up. We can get some corrections, get some people healthy, come back and try to make a home stretch run."
"I never once in my life thought that we would start out at 1-6," said Ahmad Brooks following the loss, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle.