CINCINNATI (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo tied his career high with three touchdown passes Sunday, and the San Francisco 49ers completed a sweet and satisfying week in the Buckeye State with a 41-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that left them unbeaten for the long flight home.
Rather than return to the West Coast after their opening 31-17 win in Tampa Bay, the 49ers headed to Youngstown, Ohio, where they worked out on a soccer field, enjoyed a local ice cream shop and rested at a Holiday Inn. Then they started their trek west with a resounding and notable win.
The 49ers improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012. They’ve opened the season with back-to-back road wins for the first time since 1989, when Joe Montana’s crew was coming off its second Super Bowl win over the Bengals.
The Niners piled up 573 total yards, their highest total in seven years. They’ve topped 30 points in each of their first two games for the first time since 1998. The 41 points were the most allowed by the Bengals in a home opener.
It couldn’t have gone much worse for Bengals first-year coach Zac Taylor in his regular-season debut at Paul Brown Stadium. The crowd of 50,666 began filing out after the third quarter. Cincinnati’s defense had repeated breakdowns and missed tackles, and the offense managed only 25 yards rushing as the Bengals fell to 0-2 for the second time in the last three years.
An opening 21-20 loss at Seattle gave the Bengals hope that things would be better. Instead, Seattle looked more like a mirage as the 49ers rolled ahead 31-10 after their opening drive of the second half, culminating in Garoppolo’s third touchdown pass.
After an unproductive game at Tampa Bay that marked his return from knee surgery, Garoppolo was much sharper the second time around, taking full advantage of numerous breakdowns in the Bengals’ coverages.
Marquise Goodwin went unguarded for a 38-yard touchdown catch on their opening series, and Raheem Mostert turned a screen pass into an easy 39-yard score . The 49ers piled up 291 yards in the first half — more than they had in the opener — with three plays of at least 34 yards.
Garoppolo finished 17 of 25 for 297 yards with one interception. Matt Breida filled in for the injured Tevin Coleman and ran for 121 yards as San Francisco piled up 261 on the ground.
49ers: DE Dee Ford suffered a knee injury in the second half. Left tackle Joe Staley hurt his lower left leg in the third quarter and didn’t return.
Bengals: The line suffered more sapping injuries. LT Cordy Glenn missed a second straight game in concussion protocol, and backup Andre Smith suffered a groin injury in the first half. Rookie guard Michael Jordan was taken off on a cart in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury… DE Carl Lawson hurt his right hamstring in the second half.
49ers: host Pittsburgh next Sunday.
Bengals: at Buffalo next Sunday.