The San Francisco 49ers bullied their way to a 28-3 halftime lead over the inept Dallas Cowboys, then spent the second half running out the clock, instead of running up the score. How polite.
Along the way, Frank Gore went over the 10,000 yard mark for his career and got a bird’s-eye view of the guy who’s going to replace him — Carlos Hyde. Hyde had 50 yards on 7 carries, with a mean ass 4 yard TD run and some get-outta-my-way nastiness. The two RBs combined for 116 yards on 23 carries.
The new look offense lived up to expectations, which was almost a necessity against the decimated Dallas defense. But it was the 49ers’ defense that surprisingly keyed the victory. Chris Culliver grabbed a fumble on the second play of the game and pranced in for a quick TD. Later, the defense intercepted Tony Romo on three straight drives, once in the end zone to thwart a Dallas drive and twice more to set up easy 49er touchdowns.
Things looked a little scary when both starting corners went out in the first quarter — Culliver with a concussion and Tramaine Brock with a bad toe. All of a sudden, the team was down to two corners — Perrish Cox and rookie Dontae Johnson. Cox had an interception and Dontae had two very impressive pass break ups.
The run defense was not impressive at all and Ahmad Brooks contributed three penalties on the Dallas drive that ended in a first quarter FG. Antoine Bethea, stepping in at SS for the departed Donte Whitner, limited Romo’s sweetheart pass receptor Jason Whitten to two catches for a mere 14 yards. An outstanding effort.
Two other newcomers played well, with Stevie Johnson catching two third down throws and Jonathan Martin subbing in at RT for the injured Anthony Davis. New center Dan Kilgore also played well.
All in all, a mostly satisfying road win to begin the season.