8:30 PM ET, October 6, 2013
Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA
SAN FRANCISCO -- Tramaine Brock is kicking himself for not having a third interception. He came oh so close.
"I wanted it," he said.
The San Francisco 49ers turned a prime-time showdown into an all-out pick party at The Stick.
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Brock perfectly read Matt Schaub's first pass of the night, jumped in front for an interception and ran 18 yards for a touchdown just 90 seconds into the game, setting the tone for a stellar defensive performance in a 34-3 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday night.
Things only got better for Brock and San Francisco, and worse for Houston's beleaguered quarterback. Schaub threw three interceptions in all before being replaced in the fourth -- but coach Gary Kubiak said afterward Schaub would remain his starter, for now.
"It's a broken record right now. It looked the same," Kubiak said. "Hopefully, that's rock bottom tonight."
Colin Kaepernick tossed a 64-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and Frank Gore ran for 81 yards and a score in his second straight impressive prime-time game. The 49ers (3-2) are right back in the NFC West race with Seattle after the Seahawks (4-1) lost at Indianapolis. Each team has beaten the Texans (2-3) and lost to the Colts, and Seattle still must visit San Francisco on Dec. 8.
Anthony Dixon added a 2-yard touchdown run for the NFC champions, while Brock had a second interception and nearly a third.
Kaepernick went 6 for 15 with 113 yards as the 49ers won their second straight in emphatic fashion following the first two-game losing streak under third-year coach Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick completed four of his first six passes, then threw seven straight incompletions before connecting with Bruce Miller early in the fourth quarter and then Davis' TD.
After being outscored 56-10 in the back-to-back losses against Seattle and Indianapolis, the 49ers have overwhelmed their opponents 69-14 over the last two games.
SportsNation: Texans thrashed by S.F.
The Texans never had a chance against the 49ers. Is Matt Schaub done? Can Houston bounce back? Vote!
"We're the 49ers. When we're on, we can do whatever we want to do," Gore said. "That's probably the best front we've gone through all season, and up front our O-line did the job. If it's smash-mouth football, we'll do it."
Brock's ball-hawking defense was a big reason in this one.
"That's what we're striving for, turnovers," he said. "We got them. I just did my job and tried to step up."
He ran his initial interception back 18 yards for his first career pick six, then gained 13 yards on his second pick midway through the second quarter. That set up Dixon's second TD of the year.
"He made huge plays," Harbaugh said. "It was great to see Tramaine do that. He was in perfect position, playing coverage perfectly on the first play."
Brock said he just stuck with his technique and read both Schaub and wide receiver Andre Johnson. Brock nearly had a third late in the first half but was called for defensive pass interference, and rookie safety Eric Reid dropped a would-be interception right at him late in the third.
Schaub's nightmare, monthlong stretch continued when he threw his first pass of the game for a pick-6, giving the beleaguered Texans quarterback an interception returned for a TD in four straight games.
On the next drive, Randy Bullock hooked a 45-yard field goal try wide left -- and the 49ers capitalized afterward again with Gore's touchdown late in the first quarter.
Bullock produced the Texans' lone points with a 41-yard field goal in the third.
"There's a snowball effect. We couldn't get anything going, and when we did, we hurt ourselves," Schaub said. "We stopped ourselves."
Missing three key defenders for the second straight game, San Francisco's opportunistic D didn't flinch and kept the penalties in check after early season problems with flags.
All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis sat out a second straight game with a groin injury that also kept him out at St. Louis on Sept. 26, and the Niners also missed linebacker Aldon Smith again as he undergoes treatment for substance abuse. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is still nursing a knee injury.
Gore followed up his 153-yard performance in a 35-11 road rout of the Rams with another solid night.
"Once I get going, it's hard to stop me," Gore said.
Schaub wound up 19 of 35 for 173 yards and a sack in the Texans' third straight loss, which came on the heels of a 23-20 overtime loss at home to San Francisco archrival Seattle last week. Houston has its first three-game skid since the end of 2011.
Fans in Texas were already furious and burning his jersey -- and there's a sign over one freeway calling for Schaub's ouster. This certainly won't help matters as supporters call for backup T.J. Yates.
In a stadium set to be imploded after the season, Schaub himself imploded. He could be seen muttering to himself with a shell-shocked expression walking off the field as Kubiak buried his face in his hands.
The 49ers, who had lost their last two Sunday night games both to the Seahawks, amassed 177 yards rushing with five different players each making a run of 11 or more yards.
San Francisco's 21-point halftime lead matched its biggest under Harbaugh.
Texans TE Owen Daniels made six receptions for 60 yards, giving him at least one catch in 88 straight regular-season games. ... McDonald sustained a biceps injury in the second half that ended his night. ... The Texans led 159-135 in total yards at halftime. ... Texans DE Antonio Smith saw the end to his streak of four straight regular-season games with at least a half-sack.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - OCTOBER 06: Tramaine Brock #26 of the San Francisco 49ers intercepts a pass by Matt Schaub...(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Team Stat Comparison
Passing 1st downs
Rushing 1st downs
1st downs from penalties
3rd down efficiency
4th down efficiency
|Yards per play||4.4||5.5|
Yards per pass
Yards per rush
|Red Zone (Made-Att)||0-1||2-5|
|Defensive / Special Teams TDs||0||1|
|TD||13:37||Tramaine Brock 18 Yard Interception Return (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 4 yds, 1:30
|TD||1:40||Frank Gore 1 Yard Run (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 12 plays, 65 yds, 5:51
|TD||5:07||Anthony Dixon 2 Yard Run (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 32 yds, 1:58
|FG||12:06||Randy Bullock 41 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 7 plays, 43 yds, 2:36
|FG||5:20||Phil Dawson 38 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 8 plays, 39 yds, 3:20
|TD||14:25||Vernon Davis 64 Yard Pass From Colin Kaepernick (Phil Dawson Kick is Good)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 69 yds, 1:09
|FG||10:48||Phil Dawson 24 Yard Field Goal is Good|
Drive info: 4 plays, 2 yds, 2:31
The 49ers called a designed run on a season-high 67.3% of their plays Sunday. They gained 118 of their 177 rushing yards before contact, the second straight week they have had more than 100 rushing yards before contact. Entering Week 4, they were 14th in the NFL with 211 yards before contact.[+]
49ers on Designed Runs This Season
Matt Schaub struggled on passes traveling 10 or fewer yards downfield, averaging 4.0 yards per attempt and throwing a career-high 3 interceptions on such throws. Coming into the game, the 49ers had held opponents to a league-low 58.2% completion rate on short passes, but only had one interception on such throws.
From Elias: Matt Schaub is the first quarterback in NFL history to throw a pick-6 in four straight games.
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