The 49ers got rolling early on “Monday Night Football.”
They took a 21-3 lead on the Browns in a dominant first half as they look to improve to 4-0 for the first time since 1990.
It took one play for them to get their first touchdown. Matt Breida sped through the right side of the Browns’ defense on the opening snap thanks to strong blocks from rookie left tackle Justin Skule, guard Laken Tomlinson, tight end George Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
ESPN’s broadcast reported Breida was clocked at 22.3 miles per hour, the fastest recorded time of any ball carrier of the last three years, according to NFL Next Gen Stats.
Two snaps after Breida blew past safety Demarious Randall, Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield was pressured by Nick Bosa and tossed a pass off his back foot for Antonio Callaway that was intercepted by a leaping Richard Sherman. Bosa would later have a sack and forced Mayfield into an intentional grounding penalty to end the second quarter while replays showed it could have been ruled a sack.
Breida scored his second touchdown of the game, and first receiving touchdown of the year, when he caught 5-yard pass from Jimmy Garoppolo with 6:30 remaining in the first quarter.
DeForest Buckner forced a fumble that was recovered by Bosa, who was a regular in Cleveland’s backfield, though the 49ers couldn’t make them pay as Robbie Gould missed his third field goal of the year. His kick sliced wide right making him 6-for-9 on the season. Gould led the league in making 97 percent of his kicks last season while going 33 of 34.
Gould also missed from 52 yards late in the second quarter after there appeared to be a bad snap from long snapper Garrison Sanborn. San Francisco has three more games without suspended long snapper Kyle Nelson, who was banned 10 games last season for violating the substance abuse policy.
The 49ers got their third takeaway, which was probably their most critical, when Antonio Callaway bobbled a pass near that goal that should have been a touchdown in the second quarter. He batted the ball in the air and it went right to K’Waun Williams, a former Brown, who returned it to midfield.
Running back Tevin Coleman, making his return from a high-ankle sprain sustained Week 1, made it 21-3 with a 19-yard touchdown inside of the 2-minute warning.
The 49ers hit the locker room out gaining Cleveland, 221-146, while getting 185 rushing yards and just 36 passing yards. Jimmy Garoppolo completed 8 of 13 for 46 yards.