Good: Go-ahead touchdown drive consisting of ten plays (starting at their own 28) for 72 yards, culminated by a seven-yard score from rookie running back Kendall Hunter to put the 49ers ahead for good, 10-6. Hunter had three carries for 20 yards and the contest-clinching trip to pay dirt. On the Bengals first play following the end zone visit complimentary of the Oklahoma State product, rookie quarterback Andy Dalton threw a pass intended for Andre Caldwell which was intercepted by 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers. With that said, it was all made possible by a stout redzone defense which held the Bengals from first and goal at the 49ers 6 to a 23-yard field goal by Mike Nugent on the previous drive. It was the second time on the afternoon where the run defense halted Cedric Benson and the Bengals from getting six – the first time, they stood up Cincy from the two-yard line in the first quarter. Turnover differential was in the Niners favor – 3 to 1. No picks by Alex Smith. More targets (nine) for tight end Vernon Davis, who had eight receptions for 114 yards. Linebacker Navarro Bowman was a tackling-machine, registering 13 tackles, including eight solo stops. David Akers is now 7-7 on the season; including a 53-yard bomb to boot Jim Harbaugh’s group in front 13-6 with 2:16 remaining in the fourth quarter. 25th straight game without allowing a 100-yard rusher – impressive.
Bad: Frank Gore recorded only 2.5 yards per carry; rushing the rock 17 times for just 42 yards on the ground. Alex Smith attempted 30 passes and completed 20 – but for only 201 yards, 6.7 yards per toss. The offense showed no signs of making a big-play against a suspect Mike Zimmer unit. First-round pick linebacker Aldon Smith had no tackles. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree played, however, he only generated three hauls (six targets) for 24 yards. Also, the offensive line surrendered five sacks and eight tackles for loss.
Next: 2-1 49ers at 1-2 Philadelphia Eagles, 10 AM PT.
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