National Football League
San Francisco 31, Tampa Bay 17
When: 4:25 PM ET, Sunday, September 8, 2019
Where: Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida
Temperature: 93°
Head Official: Alex Kemp
Attendance: 55976

The visiting San Francisco 49ers returned two interceptions for touchdowns, and Jimmy Garoppolo passed for another as they defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 in Sunday's regular-season opener.

Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon scored the Niners' touchdowns on defense after both intercepted Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. San Francisco recorded two interceptions on defense all of last season, setting a historic NFL low.

Sherman returned an interception off Winston 31 yards for a score with 11:44 left in the third quarter, the 49ers' second touchdown in a span of 48 seconds.

Witherspoon intercepted Winston with two minutes left in regulation and ran it back 25 yards to cap off a dominant defensive performance for the 49ers. Garoppolo then connected with Deebo Samuel on a successful two-point conversion.

Tampa Bay also had a pick-6 in the game, when cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III scored the first touchdown of the afternoon. He intercepted Garoppolo from 15 yards out and ran untouched into the end zone to give Tampa Bay a 7-3 advantage at the 8:41 mark of the second quarter.

After a sluggish first half on offense, Garoppolo led the 49ers on a seven-play, 75-yard drive to open the third quarter, connecting with Richie James Jr. on a 39-yard touchdown pass to take a 13-7 lead.

Garoppolo completed 18 of 27 passes for 166 yards in his first start since Week 3 of the 2018 campaign, when he sustained a season-ending ACL injury.

Tight end George Kittle led the 49ers with 54 receiving yards off eight catches, and San Francisco amassed just 98 rushing yards after losing starting back Tevin Coleman to an ankle injury in the first half.

San Francisco took the early 3-0 lead in the first quarter when Robbie Gould kicked a 29-yard field goal. Mark Nzeocha partially blocked a Bucs punt minutes before to set the Niners up 32 yards away from the end zone, but Kittle's 8-yard touchdown catch was nullified by offensive pass interference.

A second would-be Kittle touchdown was erased when the 49ers were called for an illegal-formation penalty in the second quarter, and instead Gould kicked a 36-yard field goal to make it 7-6 in favor of Tampa. Gould missed a 57-yard field-goal attempt in the third quarter, but made another from 47 yards in the final frame.

Winston completed 20 of 36 passes for 194 yards and three interceptions. He threw a 10-yard touchdown to receiver Chris Godwin that brought Tampa Bay within six points with 5:43 left in the third quarter.

Godwin led the Buccaneers with 53 yards receiving off three catches, but Tampa Bay's offense was inconsistent, converting just 5 of 11 chances on third down.

Nick Bosa, the No. 2 overall draft pick this year by the 49ers, recorded his first career sack in the game, bringing down Winston in the third quarter for a 9-yard loss when the quarterback attempted to scramble out of the pocket. Bosa, a former freshman All-American at Ohio State, finished with three tackles.

49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander, a former Buc playing in his first game with San Francisco, was ejected in the first quarter after a helmet-to-helmet hit against a sliding Winston.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
San Francisco   Tampa Bay
Raheem Mostert Player Ronald Jones II
9 Attempts 13
40 Yards 75
4.4 Avg Yards 5.8
0 Touchdowns 0
18 Long 16
San Francisco   Tampa Bay
George Kittle Player Chris Godwin
8 Receptions 3
54 Yards 53
6.8 Avg Yards 17.7
0 Touchdowns 1
19 Long 28
Team Stats Summary
  Yards Scoring Defense
Team Tot Rus Pas TD FG INT Sck FF
San Francisco 256 98 158 3 3 3 3.0 2
Tampa Bay 295 121 174 2 1 1 1.0 0
Upcoming Games
  • Tampa Bay will play their next game on the road against Carolina. The Buccaneers have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.
  • San Francisco will play their next game on the road against Cincinnati. The 49ers have a W/L % of .000 after a win and 1.000 after a loss.