SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers overcame an error-filled performance Sunday and held on for a 30-27 victory over the Detroit Lions at Levi’s Stadium.
The 49ers evened their record to 1-1, while the Lions fell to 0-2 in the start of coach Matt Patricia’s first season.
On a day when fans received a Jimmy Garoppolo bobblehead, the 49ers quarterback certainly had an up-and-down day. He finished the game completing 18 of 26 passes for 206 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. He also was sacked six times for 50 yards.
It appeared Garoppolo made a critical mistake late in the fourth quarter when he threw an interception, which Lions defensive back Tracy Walker returned to the 49ers' 7-yard line. But a defensive holding penalty on Quandre Diggs nullified the play, and the 49ers held on from there.
Here are three takeaways from the 49ers’ win over the Lions:
Breida takes over
After the season-ending injury to running back Jerick McKinnon, the tandem of Alfred Morris and Matt Breida took over to share the load. Coach Kyle Shanahan figured the circumstances of every game would dictate how Breida and Morris are deployed.
Again, the playing time and carries were shared. But all the success went to Breida, who got the starting assignment after Morris started in Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Breida got off to a good start with a 28-yard run to open the game. And he appeared to put the game away near the end of the third quarter with a 66-yard touchdown run.
Breida 67 yards to the 🏠 pic.twitter.com/6iIUv50oRI— 49ers on NBCS (@NBCS49ers) September 16, 2018
Breida set a career high with 138 yards on 11 rushing attempts. His previous career high came last season when he rushed for 74 yards against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Morris had 48 yards rushing on 14 carries. He also caught two passes for 32 yards.
Breida caught three passes for 21 yards.
Waiting for Reuben
Second-year pro Elijah Lee got his first NFL start, as veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith still has not made it onto the field. He missed his 18th consecutive regular-season game since signing with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.
Brock Coyle, who started the opener in Minnesota, was placed on injured reserve after sustaining a fracture of a bone in his back. The 49ers’ thin linebacker corps will receive some much-needed help Monday, when Reuben Foster is eligible to return from a two-game suspension for violations of the NFL’s policies on substances of abuse and personal conduct.
Lee had a difficult beginning to the game with a couple of missed tackles that enabled the Lions to keep a drive alive en route to their first touchdown. But he later provided a big play with a strip-sack of Matthew Stafford that led to Cassius Marsh’s fumble recovery in the second quarter.
Lee got things together and finished with a team-high 12 tackles.
But the 49ers’ defense was anything but perfect, as cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was hobbled throughout the week with an ankle injury and struggled with coverage and penalties. Jimmie Ward eventually took over for him late in the game.
Too much Gould
Kicker Robbie Gould set a club record with his two field goals in the first half, giving him 28 consecutive made attempts. That streak breaks the standard Phil Dawson set with the 49ers in 2013 with 27 consecutive made field goals.
Gould hit another field goal in the third quarter, extending his own record with a 29th consecutive made field goal. His made field goals were from 45, 42 and 36 yards.
That’s the good news. The bad news is the 49ers kept settling for field goals with failed red-zone opportunities on two of their three first-half trips inside the 20-yard line.
Garoppolo took two sacks on the 49ers’ first red-zone chance. The 49ers got into the end zone when Kendrick Bourne lined up in the backfield and was uncovered, allowing Garoppolo to make an easy pitch and catch for a 4-yard touchdown.
The 49ers got into the end zone on their first drive of the third quarter. Garoppolo hit tight end Garrett Celek -- the eighth different target up to that point -- for an 11-yard score, giving the 49ers a 20-10 lead.