Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Breida on 49ers’ 2-0 start: ‘I can’t wait to see what this team can do the rest of the season’

Sep 15, 2019 at 2:30 PM--

The last time the San Francisco 49ers started 2-0 was in 2012. That Jim Harbaugh-led team, by the way, went on to the Super Bowl.

I'm not making any comparisons here since this 49ers squad still has a lot to prove. That 2012 team was coming off of an NFC Championship appearance. This year's 49ers are coming off two straight losing seasons under the current regime of head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, and four consecutive losing seasons overall.

Still, a rout and starting 2-0 feels pretty good.

"We haven't gotten off to a very good start here in the two years that I've been here," Shanahan said after the game. "To start out 2-0, especially with two games on the road, we know we've got some tough games ahead of us — we've got one before our bye week — it was huge.

"We don't want to put ourselves in the hole. We knew we had two good teams, especially the way Cincinnati played last week. We knew it was going to be tough."

The 49ers offense struggled during the team's Week 1 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That wasn't the case on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. San Francisco put up 572 total yards of offense, which included 259 rushing yards, in the 41-17 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals.

Struggle, they did not.

"I was saying all week, the first game, it's the first time we were all playing together since last year," said running back Matt Breida. "We played preseason, but we only played a half. So it's the first time we played a full game together. Guys still knocking off the rust, and I feel like we came out today and executed better than we did last week."

Breida recorded his fourth career 100-plus-yard game after rushing for 37 yards on 15 carries in Week 1. His over 10-yards-per-carry average was the second-best single-game performance of his career, just shy of a 12.5-yard average against the Detroit Lions last year, and, of course, not counting a one-carry outing during his rookie season against the Seattle Seahawks.

Second-year back Jeff Wilson did his part, too, rushing for two touchdowns. Not bad considering he was elevated from the practice squad on Saturday.

Having Wilson at his disposal allowed Shanahan to rest Breida toward the end of the game with the rout well underway.

"The guys stepped up huge," Shanahan said. "Even with Breida, we took care of him in the second half, and tried to let him take away some of the wear and tear on him, and it's a lot easier to do when you've got Raheem (Mostert) and Jeff going in there and playing at a high level."

The 49ers are without one of their big offseason free-agent acquisitions, Tevin Coleman, who suffered an ankle sprain against the Buccaneers. The coaching staff showed confidence in Wilson, and it paid off on Sunday.

"We've got a bunch of guys who can run the ball," Shanahan added. "We were very happy that we were able to keep Jeff around here. We knew it was a matter of time before we were going to need him. You're never hoping that it's this early, but you always know it's going to be a matter of time. We went through four backs last year, and we've already had to do it this year."

As for Breida, he believes the 49ers offense has just scratched the surface, and the best is yet to come. He was asked about enduring two road games to start the season and returning to the West Coast with a 2-0 record.

"One word comes to mind is 'resilience,'" Breida responded. "We've been through a lot these last two years trying to get to where we want to get to, and the pieces are starting to come together. And I feel like us going through those two rough seasons has put us in position to do great things in the future. I can't wait to see what this team can do the rest of the season."

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