It felt so amazing yesterday to finally get our regular season football craving satisfied. Thursday night football for the season opener was a just a tease for the over-saturation of games we experienced yesterday. One of those games saw an ugly win for the San Francisco 49ers over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17. A win is a win, no matter how cute or ugly it was.
Especially when you consider the fact the 49ers had been on an eight game road losing streak. That was a monkey they desperately needed off their back. San Francisco didn't start to runaway with the win until the second half. It started to be an embarrassing watch for the Buccaneers fans. The 49ers defense got after Jameis Winston all game and surprisingly shutdown Mike Evans.
Considering how strong the 49ers finished, was their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a statement win?
Yesterdays win was by no means a statement game for the 49ers. The only statement that is to be received from it is that they are good enough to win against sub-par teams. Which is actually a good sign that the 49ers are taking steps in the right direction. Playoff caliber teams are able to put away the bad ones to reel off a victory. I'm not saying the 49ers are of that caliber.... yet, but their win was a rather ugly one.
Especially from the offensive side of the ball with all of their penalties that wiped away multiple touchdowns. Or Jimmy Garoppolo's inaccuracies on the simplest of throws. What is a bit shocking about the win over the Buccaneers is that the 49ers did it mostly with their defense. Their defense scored more points themselves than they allowed points. Remember, this was a defense that could not generate turnovers to save their lives.
It's just indicative of the pass rush that is finally existent. DeForest Buckner no longer has to shoulder the burden of creating pressure. It's now distributed among the entire defensive line and it showed. Dee Ford and Nick Bosa each recorded a sack with Ford causing a fumble on his. Even Arik Armstead's name was called upon a few times during the game. The 49ers secondary can flourish with an existing pass rush now. Albeit, they did face a below average quarterback in Jameis Winston.
However, the mistakes he made were all forced errors of the 49ers pass rush and the secondary jumped on it. The defense overall really should have had at least five interceptions as opposed to three. Tarvarius Moore dropped one, which is inexcusable as a safety, as well as Kwon Alexander. Luckily, opportunity was there all game for the defense to execute on turnovers. This wasn't a statement for the San Francisco 49ers but, it definitely was a positive sign that they are on the right track with this defense.