The Buffalo Bills made a trip to San Francisco to face the 49ers this week, and it’s a trip that they’d like to forget. The Bills couldn’t get anything going, as they fell to 49ers in complete blowout fashion.
The first quarter was a pretty quiet one, as neither team was able to reach the end zone. However, less than three minutes into the game, the 49ers faced their first scare of the game. On a 4th-and-10, Andy Lee punted the ball 58 yards right into the hands of Bills’ return man Leodis McKelvin. McKelvin took the ball and bolted past defenders and waltzed into the end zone. Lucky for the 49ers, the touchdown was nullified because of a holding penalty on Buffalo. The Niners’ got their first points on the board on just their second drive of the game, which was made possible by a 53-yard deep bomb that Alex Smith fired to Vernon Davis, which eventually set up a 19-yard David Akers field goal.
The second quarter was when the game really started to fire up. The Bills came out and opened the quarter with a four minute drive that resulted in a 33-yard field goal that Rian Lindell booted in.
But the 49ers striked back. And it didn’t take them long.
On their ensuing possession, the Niners’ ran just two plays and were able to score the first touchdown of the game. Michael Crabtree hauled in a 36-yard pass from Alex Smith, and on the very next play, Smith fired the ball out to Kyle Williams, who beat his defender and hustled past the Bills’ defenders for the 43-yard score. The Bills ended up punting on their next drive, and the 49ers began the longest drive of the first half. Unfortunately, that drive didn’t result in any points, as the Bills came up big on defense.
Just outside of the red zone, Colin Kaepernick took the snap and rushed for six yards before he took a hard hit and fumbled the ball, which was recovered by Bills’ defensive tackle, Marcell Dareus. It was a dissapointing end to a well-managed drive, and the Niners wanted the ball back.
And they got it.
With just 37 seconds left in the first half, Ryan Fitzpatrick hit his tight end Scott Chandler with a pass across the middle for 11 yards, but Patrick Willis had had enough. Willis came and decked Chandler and forced a fumble, which was recovered by 49ers safety Dashon Goldson. The play was reviewed, and eventually upheld.
On the very next play after the fumble, on a 1st-and-10 on Buffalo’s 28-yard line, Alex Smith took the snap and launched a deep pass to wideout Michael Crabtree, who was standing in the end zone and reeled it in for the touchdown. David Akers sinked the extra point, and that just about wrapped up the first half.
The second half soon began and Buffalo started out with the ball, but their drive didn’t last long. After three minutes of possession, they punted the ball to the 49ers. The 49ers took full advantage of their ensuing drive, as they used less than three minutes and ended it with Frank Gore eventually running the ball up the middle for a 1-yard touchdown, his fourth of the season.
The Bills punted yet again on the following drive, and the 49ers began one of their own, one that would chew up nearly eight minutes of the clock and continue in the fourth quarter. They ran 13 plays for 94 yards, and capped it off with a 10-yard touchdown pass that Alex Smith launched to Mario Manningham.
With the fourth quarter underway, the 49ers were faced with a 4th-and-2 and just 11 minutes remaining in the game. Jim Harbaugh left his offense on the field, and it worked. Alex Smith faked the ball to the tailback and ran it to the left side for a gain of 17 yards. Two plays later, Colin Kaepernick was in at quarterback in shotgun formation, and ran the ball right into the end zone. I guess it was a good choice for the 49ers to trade up and draft him, right?
The final points of the game came from a 3-yard touchdown that Anthony Dixon rushed in. Dixon’s score ended the six minute, 69-yard drive that pushed the 49ers’ lead to 42.
And so that was the game, a 45-3 blowout by the San Francisco 49ers. The Niners racked up over 600 yards of total offense, against a Bills defense that has given up over 500 yards of offense each of their last two games.
Alex Smith played a phenomenal game, as he completed 75% of his passes, while throwing for 303 yards and three touchdowns, to go along with zero interceptions.
Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis both hauled in over 100 receiving yards, as Crabtree reeled in six passes for 113 yards and a touchdown, while Davis caught five balls for 106 yards.
Frank Gore surpassed 100 rushing yards on 14 carries to compliment his touchdown run. Kendall Hunter nearly rushed for 100 yards, but he fell just short, as he carried the ball 11 times for 81 yards.
This was a very impressive win for Jim Harbaugh and the crew, as they now have two consecutive blowout wins under their belt.
The 49ers have just one road game during the next seven weeks, and with the way they’re playing, look for them to make a statement and march into first place in the NFC West.