49ers pummel Texans, improve to 3-2
Taking advantage of opportunity
Nnamdi Asomugha was the 49ers' No. 3 CB for the first 3 games. He was inactive last week against St. Louis (knee) and Tramaine Brock filled in admirably. On Sunday, Asomugha was inactive again and it's looking like he won't have his job when he returns. On the Texans' opening drive, Brock picked off Matt Schaub and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 49ers lead. (It was a NFL-record fourth consecutive game with a pick-six for Schaub)
Third down conversions loom large
After Texans kicker Randy Bullock missed a 45-yard attempt, the 49ers took over with great field position at their own 35. Colin Kaepernick extended the drive three times with third down conversions (two passes to Vernon Davis, and one to Anquan Boldin) and Frank Gore made it 14-0 with a 1-yard touchdown plunge.
Brock strikes again
Tramaine Brock read Matt Schaub's eyes perfectly and cut in front of a 3rd down pass intended for Andre Johnson. Brock deflected the ball into the air and ran under it to secure his second interception of the game. The 49ers took over at the Houston 32-yard line and would soon capitalize.
Two games, two touchdowns for Dixon
Anthony Dixon is the 49ers' third or fourth running back (depending on how you view LaMichael James) and he doesn't receive many carries. But he scored a late touchdown last week in St. Louis, and found paydirt again Sunday as he high-stepped into the end zone to give the 49ers a 21-0 lead.
Dawson gets into the mix
After two straight 3-and-outs and a Texans field goal, the 49ers' offense finally engineered some second-half offense but the drive stalled in the red zone. Phil Dawson's 38-yarder gave San Francisco a 24-3 lead with just over 5 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The rare "defensive lineman interception"
Backup defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie was only in the game because starter Ray McDonald injured his biceps (which could be a serious injury). On 3rd and 13 from the 49ers 27-yard line, Jerod-Eddie started to rush the quarterback but dropped back into coverage and picked off Schaub (his third of the game). It was the final snap of the night for the embattled Texans quarterback.
Pouring it on
On the second play of the fourth quarter, Colin Kaepernick's sixth and final completion of the night (yes, he only completed 6 of 15 passes for 113 yards) all but sealed a 49ers victory. Kap found a wide open Vernon Davis on a corner route, who sprinted past a diving Ed Reed for a 64-yard touchdown and a 31-3 San Francisco lead.
Donte 'Hitner' with the strip
Donte Whitner (whose name may officially be changing to 'Hitner' in the coming days) stripped Ben Tate just before he went to the ground. Although the 49ers' safety failed to scoop up the ball, Tarell Brown recovered it at the Houston 32 and scampered 16 yards. It was the 49ers' fifth takeaway of the game. Phil Dawson capped off the scoring with a 24-yard field goal for a 34-3 final score.
A lot to smile about
Not only did the 49ers win their second game in a row on Sunday, but the Seahawks lost in Indianapolis. Seattle still leads the division at 4-1, and the 49ers are now just one game back at 3-2. The red and gold host the 3-2 Arizona Cardinals next Sunday, who beat Carolina 22-6.