The San Francisco 49ers defense attempted to set the tone early in Week 2 against the Cincinnati Bengals, sacking quarterback Andy Dalton on the first snap, then watching Dalton fumble the handoff the following snap, eventually forcing a 3-and-out.

And it didn't take long for Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to hit his stride, too, as he was able to connect with wide receiver Marquise Goodwin for a 38-yard touchdown shortly thereafter to put San Francisco up 7-0:


The Bengals were able to march into the red zone the following drive, however, as Dalton hit wide receiver Tyler Boyd for 47 yards. It appeared as if cornerbacks Ahkello Witherspoon and K'Waun Williams had some miscommunication on the play, which led to the big gain.

Cincinnati was able to respond with a 1-yard touchdown to tight end Tyler Eifert to tie things up.

Garoppolo had to scramble a few times the following possession, putting some serious worry into 49ers fans watching. And on 2nd-and-4 on the Bengals 39-yard line, it appeared as if the Bengals had a free rusher on the quarterback, yet Garoppolo managed to find running back Raheem Mostert on a screen pass, and he used his exceptional speed to work his way into the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown:


Garoppolo finished the first half going 11-of-18 for 181 yards, two touchdowns against one interception, all for a passer rating of 108.8.

San Francisco managed to force a Cincinnati punt the following stand, thanks largely to two Bengals penalties, which backed them up deep. Yet the subsequent Niners possession was about as ugly, marked with two penalties, too, and culminating in an interception tossed by Garoppolo into triple coverage, picked off by Bengals defensive back William Jackson III, who had a nice 19-yard return to give the Bengals the ball well within 49ers territory. Yet some more sloppy play led to Bengals kicker Randy Bullock missing a field goal attempt wide left.

The 49ers used the good field position to work their way into the red zone, thanks largely to a 32-yard run by running back Matt Breida, who made multiple Bengals defenders miss on the play.


Fellow runner Jeff Wilson, who was just activated from the practice squad, capped off the drive with a 2-yard touchdown to put the Niners up 21-7 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Cincinnati tacked on a field goal the following drive, cutting into the lead and making it 21-10.

The 49ers nearly responded with another touchdown by Mostert, only to see it called back due to a holding penalty on right guard Mike Person, forcing a coffin-corner punt by the rookie, Mitch Wishnowsky. And on the following defensive stand, linebacker Kwon Alexander managed to pick off Dalton to eliminate any two-minute drive by the Bengals.

Alexander had five tackles and three pass deflections over the first half.

The 49ers managed to tack on three more points after the turnover, increasing the lead 24-10 before halftime.

San Francisco will start off on offense in the third quarter.
  • Peter Panacy
  • Written by:
    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.