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49ers defense dominates in 31-3 win over Browns on Monday Night Football

Oct 7, 2019 at 8:12 PM--

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Tot
CLE 0 3 0 0 3
SF 14 7 7 3 31

The San Francisco 49ers made a statement in front of a national audience on Monday Night Football.

Following their 31-3 win over the visiting Cleveland Browns in prime time, the Niners now find themselves 4-0 and remain one of only two undefeated teams (New England Patriots) this deep into the season.

And what a win it was for head coach Kyle Shanahan and Co.

Shanahan's passing game had some up-and-down moments, yes, and it didn't quite get into rhythm until much later in the game. But the Niners already managed serious first-half dominance, thanks largely to running back Matt Breida's two touchdowns and an excellent defensive effort, which forced three turnovers from Cleveland.

Speaking of defense, rookie EDGE Nick Bosa was a force against Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who managed an 8-of-22 line for 100 yards, two interceptions and a passer rating of 13.4 on the night.

Bosa, who later required double-team blocking from Cleveland, got to Mayfield just before the half, then reenacted Mayfield's flag planting back when his alma mater, Oklahoma, beat Bosa's Ohio State two years ago. Bosa hasn't forgotten Mayfield's actions:

The 49ers' top pick from the 2019 NFL Draft finished with four tackles, two of which were for a loss, along with five quarterback hits and two sacks.

San Francisco's defense and run game were largely responsible for Shanahan's 21-3 first-half lead, although tight end George Kittle finally found his breakout effort, picking up his first touchdown of the season and managing 70 receiving yards during the contest.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was effective enough, finding Kittle on that one touchdown score and finishing the game with a 20-of-29 line for 181 yards, two touchdowns against zero picks, all for a passer rating of 108.5. But it was the running game, which ultimately made the difference for the 49ers on offense.

Breida led all ball carriers with 114 yards rushing, combined with 15 receiving yards and two net touchdowns. Running back Tevin Coleman added 97 yards of his own, plus a score:

Ultimately, however, San Francisco's defense allowed Cleveland almost nothing over the course of 60 minutes. In total, the Browns mustered 180 all-purpose yards and was 1-of-11 on third-down tries. And a key reason why was second-year cornerback Emmanuel Moseley, who got his first career NFL start with Ahkello Witherspoon (foot) out. Moseley, who registered a pass breakup in the game, did an excellent job covering one of the Browns' top offensive weapons, wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who had two catches for just 27 yards in the game.

And a special teams fumble on a punt return, too, which was recovered by San Francisco:

San Francisco had some trouble on special teams, as kicker Robbie Gould converted just one of his four field-goal tries, although one was blocked and there were issues on the snap from long-snapper Garrison Sandborn. Had Gould connected on the misses, the already-lopsided Niners win would have been even more so.

The 49ers made a statement with the prime-time win. And now, they can look to hold onto both their undefeated record and grip on first place in the NFC West, hopefully backing up this impressive win with another on the road against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 6.

CLE Team Stats SF
9 First Downs 22
180 Total Yards 446
78 Pass Yards 171
102 Rush Yards 275
7 (55) Penalties (Yds) 4 (34)
4 Turnovers 0
7 (49) Punts (Avg) 4 (46)
22:17 Time of Pos. 37:43

Browns Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
B. Mayfield 8/22 100 0 2
O. Beckham 1/1 20 0 0
G. Gilbert 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
N. Chubb 16 87 0 37
O. Beckham 2 15 0 11
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
J. Landry 4 75 0 25
O. Beckham 2 27 0 20
N. Chubb 1 12 0 12
D. Johnson 1 6 0 6
D. Harris 1 0 0 0
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
B. Mayfield 2 1 0 0
O. Beckham 1 1 0 0
G. Robinson 0 0 1 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
A. Seibert 1/1 30 0/0 3
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
J. Gillan 7 56.7 4 71
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
D. Hilliard 3 21 0 26
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
O. Beckham 1 -6 0 -6
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
J. Schobert 11-0 0 0 0
J. Whitehead 5-3 0 0 0
D. Randall 5-3 0 0 0
M. Wilson 5-1 0 0 0
S. Richardson 3-2 0 0 0
E. Murray 3-1 0 0 0
L. Ogunjobi 3-0 0 0 0
C. Thomas 2-1 1 0 0
T. Mitchell 2-1 0 0 0
M. Garrett 2-0 1 0 0
O. Vernon 2-0 0 0 0
T. Carrie 1-1 0 0 0
J. Burris 1-0 0 0 0
D. Ekuale 1-0 0 0 0
D. Lawrence 1-0 0 0 0
M. Burnett 0-1 0 0 0

49ers Player Stats
Passing Cmp/Att Yds TDs INTs
J. Garoppolo 20/29 181 2 0
Rushing Att Yds TDs Lg
M. Breida 11 114 1 83
T. Coleman 16 97 1 19
R. Mostert 7 34 0 8
G. Kittle 1 18 0 18
M. Goodwin 1 15 0 15
J. Garoppolo 4 -3 0 0
Receiving Rec Yds TDs Lg
G. Kittle 6 70 1 22
M. Goodwin 3 41 0 17
M. Breida 3 15 1 7
K. Bourne 2 24 0 14
K. Juszczyk 2 20 0 12
R. Dwelley 2 -3 0 0
D. Pettis 1 11 0 11
D. Samuel 1 3 0 3
Fumbles Fum Lost Rec Yds
J. Garoppolo 1 0 0 -4
T. Coleman 0 0 1 0
N. Bosa 0 0 0 0
R. Mostert 0 0 0 0
Kicking FG Lg XP Pts
R. Gould 1/3 44 4/4 7
Punting No Avg I20 Lg
M. Wishnowsky 4 44 2 60
Kickoff Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 1 4 0 4
Punt Returns No Avg TDs Lg
R. James Jr. 1 32 0 32
Defense T-A Sck INTs FF
F. Warner 5-1 0 0 0
A. Armstead 3-2 0 0 0
J. Tartt 3-2 0 0 0
N. Bosa 4-0 2 0 1
R. Sherman 4-0 0 1 0
D. Buckner 2-2 1 0 1
J. Ward 3-0 0 0 0
K. Alexander 0-2 0.5 0 0
K. Williams 0-2 0.5 1 0
R. Blair III 1-0 0 0 0
S. Thomas 1-0 0 0 0
S. Day 0-1 0 0 0
  • 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.

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