From start to finish, the 49ers took care of the Browns and show the world that their undefeated record is far from a fluke.
Explosive out of the gate
The fans at Levi Stadium were testing the decibel limits as this game began. To help silence the crowd, the Browns opened with a WR pass from Odell Beckham for 20 yards. However, almost all progress from the Cleveland Offense was stopped after this and the 49ers did not look back. After holding them to punt it away, their first offensive play was an 83-yard TD run from HB Matt Breida.
Between the two squads, 7 players rushed the ball in the first half of this game. One of those players included WR Odell Beckham Jr., who also passed for a 20-yard gain as I mentioned earlier. 49ers TE George Kittle also received the ball on a reverse play and took it up-field for an 18-yard gain. It is incredibly entertaining to watch NFL teams switch up their playbook, especially with the insane amount of talent both the Browns and the 49ers possess.
Bosa, Buckner Form a Brick Wall
If you're also a college football fan, you probably remember that time during Baker Mayfield's Heisman season at Oklahoma when he planted the Oklahoma Sooners flag at midfield after beating Ohio State in Columbus, OH. Well, 49ers DE Nick Bosa was on that Ohio State team and he did not forget that day. To end the first half, he took down Baker Mayfield and celebrated by mocking the flag plant celebration. It sent the message: Mayfield and the Browns could not recover from this.
San Francisco DEs Nick Bosa and DeForest Buckner combined for 3 sacks and Bosa even recovered and forced a fumble. Despite letting Nick Chubb chunk together nearly 90 yards, they were completely dominant. Because of the defensive front of the 49ers, QB Baker Mayfield was hurried all night as he continuously scrambled to have any form of success. The play up front is also allowing the DBs to step up and make plays. CB Richard Sherman has been pretty quiet in terms of turnovers, but Monday Night he picked off Mayfield early in the first quarter which deflated anything the Browns had going for them. Everything seems to be coming together on this side of the ball.
Is it safe To Say the 49ers are the Real Deal?
As the growing popular TE George Kittle would say, Can you smell what the 49ers are cooking? I think this team is legit. They have some incredible runners out of the backfield in HB Matt Breida and HB Tevin Coleman. They also have insane talent at receiver with guys like Marquise Goodwin, who is a former U.S. Olympian in track and field. They have arguably the best TE in the league in George Kittle, who scored early in the second half. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan would have liked to see his franchise QB Jimmy Garropolo have a bit more consistency under center, but if he is able to keep managing games well and limiting mistakes, I believe this team is poised to make a run in the NFC West and into the playoffs.
The defense speaks for itself, holding a dynamic Browns offense to just 3 points is no small task. They also forced 4 total turnovers. They have young talent and old, veteran leadership in all the right places.
49ers (4-0): The 49ers will travel from Northern to Southern California as they face their division rival, the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams are coming off of two straight losses and are likely to have a chip on their shoulder as San Francisco aims to continue their quest for perfection.
Browns (2-3): Cleveland gets no break as they host the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. The Seahawks are coming off of a big home win against the Rams where they pulled out a gritty and dominant win. This game could decide the Browns' fate this season. If they are able to pull out a win, there is hope in The Land.
No Shenanigans, Just Football.