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Week 1 Game Recap: San Francisco 49ers 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17


What you need to know

San Francisco 49ers

This wasn't an explosive offensive performance to be sure. Having said that, San Francisco was tantalizingly close to putting up tons more yardage and points. The reasons they didn't can be boiled down to two things. First, they had three -- yes, three -- touchdowns nullified by penalty. Second, Jimmy Garoppolo struggled mightily with his ball placement, repeatedly throwing slightly behind receivers who had wide open running space in front of them. One final detail worth noting: Deebo Samuel played 90 percent of snaps; Dante Pettis played a total of 2 snaps.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa looked dreadful on offense as the offensive line struggled to protect Winston, who responded by turning the ball over multiple times with bad decision making. Winston was sacked three times and threw three interceptions, with two being returned for touchdowns. Tampa's offensive players fumbled several other balls that weren't recovered by San Francisco. Tampa Bay went three and out to open the day and had the ensuing punt blocked deep in their own territory. Chris Godwin was the only real bright spot for the offense, but backup halfback Ronald Jones showed off some strong runs and tight end Cameron Brate scored two touchdowns that were called back for holding penalties. Vernon Hargreaves returned an interception for a Tampa Bay touchdown in the second quarter.

San Francisco 49ers

QB Jimmy Garoppolo, 68 offensive snaps, Pass: 18 - 27 - 166 - 1 TD / 1 INT, Rush: 2 - -2 - 0
Garoppolo's pick six may have been more of a great defensive play than a bad throw, but there were still plenty of bad throws to go around. Matt Waldman likes to distinguish between general accuracy and pinpoint accuracy. Garoppolo completely missed a couple times, but the vast majority of his errant throws were examples of pinpoint inaccuracy. No fewer than five times, Garoppolo had a situation in which throwing to his receiver in stride would have led to huge yardage, but he threw it to either the back hip or the back shoulder. One of the only times -- if not the only time -- he did not mess this up, he hit Richie James in stride deep downfield for a 39-yard touchdown.

RB Matt Breida, 30 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 37 - 0 (1 targets)
Because of linebacker Lavonte David playing like a heat-seeking missile, only three of Breida's touches went for more than three yards, two of which came on consecutive third quarter plays. The first of these gained 10 yards off left tackle, 5 of which came after Breida juked cornerback Vernon Hargreaves out of his shoes. On the next play, also out of the rare 22 personnel (two running backs, two tight ends), Breida slithered through heavy traffic off right tackle and picked up 13 yards.

RB Raheem Mostert, 20 offensive snaps, Rush: 9 - 40 - 0, Rec: 1 - 0 - 0 (1 targets)
Mostert entered midway through the second quarter in place of an injured Tevin Coleman and immediately scored a touchdown...that was nullified by penalty. The running lane outside was so wide open that Mostert probably would have scored anyway, but Richie James couldn't help himself from grabbing a fistful of jersey. Late in the fourth quarter, Mostert provided a run that went a long way towards putting the game away. Running out of the I, Mostert took the handoff and ran off left tackle. About 10 yards downfield, he lowered his shoulder and ran over safety Darian Stewart before finally being tackled 8 yards later. To add insult to potential injury, Stewart was flagged for initiating with his helmet, so the play actually netted San Francisco 33 yards and a first down at the Tampa Bay 31-yard line.

RB Tevin Coleman, 18 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 23 - 0, Rec: 2 - 33 - 0 (3 targets)
Coleman didn't do much of anything as a runner before leaving the game with an ankle injury, but he did have a 31-yard gain as a receiver. Of course, it was one of those "pick that's not a pick" plays, wherein Coleman ran free on a shallow cross because Kyle Juszczyk baited two Buccaneers defenders to run into each other. At the end of the play, Coleman did the same thing he did at the end of seemingly all of his runs, i.e., went down upon first contact.

WR Deebo Samuel, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 17 - 0 (3 targets)
Samuel got the somewhat-surprising start and played nearly 90 percent of snaps. His three targets were a potpourri of good and bad. Among the good were a great hands catch on a slant and an elusive end-around shovel pass that was nullified by penalty. On the negative side, Samuel fumbled away a sure-fire, go-ahead field goal with 20 seconds left in the first half.

WR Dante Pettis, 2 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (1 targets)
Not only did Pettis play only two snaps. Those snaps didn't come until the second quarter, and they came on consecutive plays. His day was literally "stand on the sideline, catch one pass, block one guy, go back and stand on the sideline."

WR Richie James, 26 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 39 - 1 (2 targets)
James served as San Francisco's slot receiver in place of the injured Trent Taylor. His 39-yard touchdown gave the 49ers a lead they would never relinquish. On the play, James ran a delayed wheel route from the left slot against cornerback M.J. Stewart. His initial stutter step threw Stewart off balance, thereby gaining several steps worth of separation. From there, it was an easy catch downfield and jog into the endzone. One demerit for James was that he committed a completely unnecessary holding penalty that nullified a 49ers touchdown on a drive where they ended up having to settle for a field goal.

WR Marquise Goodwin, 50 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 7 - 0 (3 targets)
Goodwin's only catch of the game could have gained much more yardage if not for Jimmy Garoppolo throwing it slightly behind him on a wide open quick slant. The only other thing of note from Goodwin's performance was drawing a pass interference penalty on third down to extend a second quarter scoring drive.

TE George Kittle, 62 offensive snaps, Rec: 8 - 54 - 0 (10 targets)
In a sign of what's likely to come this season, Kittle was targeted four times on the 49ers' first drive alone. One of those targets doesn't show up in his stats because it was an 8-yard touchdown nullified by penalty. Then, late in the first half, Kittle had yet another touchdown taken off the scoreboard. Even though it didn't count, this one was Kittle's most impressive play of the game, as he bounced off 214-pound safety Darian Stewart's tackle attempt as if he wasn't even there.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers

QB Jameis Winston, 70 offensive snaps, Pass: 20 - 36 - 194 - 1 TD / 3 INT, Rush: 5 - 13 - 0
Winston made a plethora of bad decisions with the football as San Francisco whipped Tampa Bay's offensive line. Winston should have been intercepted midway through the first quarter as he lobbed a weak pass right into the arms of a linebacker who just refused to catch the ball. He got careless and had the ball slapped out of his hand as he was preparing to pass in the 1st, but a Tampa Bay lineman recovered in the Bucs' backfield. Winston did extend some plays with his feet, including a nice completion to Mike Evans in the 1st quarter that turned a would-be sack into a third down conversion. Winston connected with Cameron Brate for an 18 yard touchdown on a well-executed tight end screen in the 1st, but the play was called back for a holding penalty on the offensive line. Winston found Brate again later in the back of the end zone, but once again the play was nullified by a holding penalty on Demar Dotson.

Winston finally officially found the end zone in the third quarter, faking a play action and rolling right to extend the play, where he eventually found Chris Godwin working his way open in the end zone. Winston led the Bucs into San Francisco's red zone in the second quarter, but OJ Howard killed the drive by losing a fumble inside the red zone. Howard also missed another pass before halftime that he deflected up into the air and the waiting arms of a San Fran defender.

Winston opened the second half up by fumbling a snap and taking a sack as he fell on the ball in the third quarter. Winston made a dreadful throw in the next play, overthrowing RB Peyton Barber, who had split out wide right for a short slant route. The ball sailed to corner Richard Sherman, who returned the pass for a touchdown. Coach Bruce Arians later blamed the play on Barber's route running, but it was a really bad look from Winston. Winston and the offense got the ball back with a 6 point deficit and just over two minutes left in the 4th quarter, but Winston threw a careless interception in the face of heavy pressure on the first play of the drive, sealing the ballgame in San Francisco's favor.

RB Ronald Jones II, 22 offensive snaps, Rush: 13 - 75 - 0, Rec: 1 - 18 - 0 (1 targets)
Jones entered the game in relief of starter Barber later in the first quarter. His first run was a hard charge up the middle of the defense for 10 yards. He converted 3rd and 17 with hard running after catching a swing pass out of the backfield in the 2nd quarter. Three receivers lined up on the left side of the formation and faked deep routes before blocking for Jones, who broke a couple of tackles and tip toed his way up the sideline for the conversion. Jones didn't really get rolling on the ground until the 3rd quarter, carrying the ball with authority between the tackles and picking up several first downs on the ground. He dodged a tackle in the backfield with a wicked stutter-step on one particularly nifty play. Jones was pretty much featured from that point on, logging several impressive carries in the 4th quarter, all between the tackles as he out-carried Barber 13-8 on the day and appeared to run with a little more juice in his legs.

RB Peyton Barber, 25 offensive snaps, Rush: 8 - 33 - 0, Rec: 2 - 12 - 0 (4 targets)
Starting halfback Barber bounced a 14 yard run off left tackle in the 1st quarter, his longest gain of the day. He didn't do much else on the ground. He was the target on Winston's second interception of the day, splitting out wide right to run a slant route. Winston overthrew him badly, but coach Arians later blamed the play on Barber's route-running. Barber caught a halfback screen in the 1st quarter for a short gain. He caught another pass out of the backfield in the third quarter and fumbled, but managed to recover the ball. Ronald Jones came on strong in the second half, ripping off runs up the middle as he out-carried Barber 13-8 on the night.

RB Dare Ogunbowale, 27 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 33 - 0 (5 targets)
Ogunbowale slid right into the third down/passing back roll that he was expected to, though Barber did draw his fair share of targets while moving around the formation and even lining up some at WR. Ogunbuwale did not log any carries in his pass-catching role, but he did secure four of five targets for 33 yards with the Bucs playing from behind much of the game.

WR Chris Godwin, 64 offensive snaps, Rec: 3 - 53 - 1 (6 targets)
Godwin shined as Howard turned the ball over and Evans was ineffective. He worked mostly as the slot receiver with Perriman and Evans outside. His first catch showed some nifty athleticism as he secured the ball while simultaneously spinning away from a defender who got to him the same time the ball did. Godwin dodged the tackle and darted up the sideline for extra yardage after the spin. Godwin scored in the third quarter, working his way open on a crossing route in the end zone as Winston scrambled to extend the play. He finished with a team-high six targets and five completions.

WR Breshad Perriman, 45 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 10 - 0 (5 targets)
Perriman started on the outside with Evans and contributed quietly as the third receiver on an offense that wasn't having a great day. He had a nice conversion on 3rd and 5 in the first quarter, snagging an out route and tapping his feet on the way out of bounds. He snagged another short curl route later in the 3rd quarter.

WR Mike Evans, 60 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 28 - 0 (5 targets)
Evans missed some practice time this week with an illness, and may not have been at full speed as he and the Tampa Bay offense sputtered. Evans started on the outside with Perriman. He hauled in a diving catch on a slant route in the 1st quarter as Winston scrambled away from a would-be tackle. The 16 yard gain was his longest of the day.

TE O.J. Howard, 55 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 32 - 0 (5 targets)
Howard was featured more prominently in the passing game than Cameron Brate, but he caused two brutal turnovers while Brate scored two touchdowns that were both called back for penalties on Demar Dotson. Howard snagged a shallow drag route for no gain on Winston's first pass attempt of the game. He killed a long drive in the second quarter when he caught a short curl route and fumbled the ball inside the San Francisco red zone. Howard committed another costly gaff at the end of the second quarter as he deflected a pass into the air where it was intercepted by a San Francisco linebacker. Howard caught a deep crossing route for 15 yard gain(his longest of the day) at the end of the third quarter. Howard was credited for two tackles in some formats, which would have helped alleviate the points lost to the fumble for anyone with IDP scoring.

TE Cameron Brate, 31 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 8 - 0 (2 targets)
Brate scored on a beautifully executed tight end screen from Winston in the 2nd quarter, faking a block and running untouched in to the end zone, but the play was called back for a holding penalty on the offensive line. Brate had yet another touchdown nullified by a holding penalty(both were on Demar Dotson) later in the same drive after he made an amazing toe-tapping catch over two defenders in the back of the end zone. Brate finished the day with two official catches for just 8 yards.