TAMPA BAY-- Quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards & two touchdowns, while the Buccaneers defense recorded two interceptions & four sacks, leading to Tampa Bay's 27-9 win over the San Francisco 49ers. The win ends the Buccaneers (4-7) four game losing streak.
The 49ers (2-9) won the toss & decided to receive the kickoff in the second half. But with their first possession of the game, the Buccaneers, after a 9 yard completion on second down to wide receiver Adam Humphries from Winston, were forced to punt after running back Peyton Barber was stopped for no gain.
On the 49ers first play from scrimmage from their own 10 yard line, running back Matt Breida ran for 33 yards. But on the following play, the Buccaneers got pressure on Nick Mullens & defensive end Carl Nassib was credited with a sack after stripping the ball from the 49ers quarterback. The 49ers were able to recover the fumble but punted three plays later.
After a 35 yard punt, Tampa Bay put together a seven play 73 yard drive which led to the first touchdown of the game. The drive was highlighted by a 42 yard completion from Winston to Mike Evans, with the Buccaneers receiver beating 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman up the right sideline & was capped off when Winston found tight end Cameron Brate coming across the back of the endzone for the six yard touchdown pass.
The seven point lead was the Buccaneers first lead since week seven against the Browns, when former Tampa Bay kicker Chandler Catanzarro hit a 59 yard game-winning field goal in their 26-23 win in overtime.
Neither team was able to put any points on the scoreboard before the end of the first quarter with the 49ers managing just one first down while the Buccaneers got two first downs but were forced to punt at the start of the second quarter.
The first quarter ended with Tampa Bay gaining 121 yards, with 55 of those yards going to Evans. And with those 55 yards, the Buccaneers wide receiver eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for the fifth straight season, becoming one of three players (A.J. Green & Randy Moss) to start their careers with five straight 1,000 yard seasons.
After Tampa Bay was forced to punt after gaining only 30 yards to start the second quarter, San Francisco got six points when they went 79 yards on 9 plays. The scoring drive took less than six minutes & ended with Mullens connecting with wide receiver Dante Pettis for a 13 yard touchdown pass.
After the touchdown, 49ers kicker Robbie Gould hit the upright on the extra point, leaving the Buccaneers with a one point lead. And they added to that lead when kicker Cairo Santos hit a 41 yard field goal after Winston, who completed 29 of 38 passes, led the Buccaneers into 49ers' territory. The Buccaneers quarterback converted on one third down play when he hit Evans for a 12 yard completion & was able to scramble for 15 yards, setting up Santos' field goal.
Before the end of the first half, Santos added his second field goal of the game, when Tampa Bay drove to the San Francisco 21 yard line in just over 90 seconds.
The first half ended with Tampa Bay nearly doubling San Francisco in the yards category with the home team gaining 225 yards while the visitors had 116. And in the first 30 minutes, the Buccaneers defense were able to pressure Mullens into three sacks.
After taking the second half kickoff 78 yards & all the way to the Buccaneers one yard line, the 49ers were looking to tie the score. And after their running back Jeff Wilson initially appeared to break the goal line on a 9 yard run up the right sideline, it looked like the game was an extra point away from being tied. But after an official replay, the initial touchdown call was reversed & the ball was placed less than a yard away from the endzone.
Needing less than a half of a yard for the touchdown, San Francisco used Breida on second down, but the running back was stopped on a run up the middle for no gain. And on third down, Mullens tried running up the middle but like Brieda was stopped before reaching the endzone, forcing 49ers Head Coach Kyle Shanahan into a decision to either go for the touchdown or kick the field goal. Shanahan initially decided to go for the six points. But after a false start penalty on tight end George Kittle, the 49ers sent out Gould, who hit a 23 yard field goal, trimming their deficit to four points.
Leading 13-9, Tampa Bay got their second touchdown drive of the game, this one a two yard touchdown run by running back Peyton Barber. The drive was helped by a 34 yard completion from Winston to Evans, who finished with 116 receiving yards, plus a 23 yard pass interference call on 49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, who was defending wide receiver DeSean Jackson on the play.
With the 49ers next drive stalling at the Buccaneers 40 yard line, Tampa Bay went 85 yards in five minutes, ending with a 28 yard touchdown pass from Winston to Humprhies, upping the lead to 27-9.
Tampa Bay will look for their second straight win & fifth win of the season when they host the Carolina Panthers next Sunday at 1pm.