4 simple reasons why 49ers beat Bengals in Week 14
By Peter Panacy
No. 1: 49ers’ best players played like best players
Jimmy Garoppolo is a good player for the Niners, but he’s not one of their clear-cut best. Perhaps second-tier best, but not in the upper echelon.
It’s weird to think this, but good teams tend to win when their best players are playing at the top of their respective games. In Week 14, that’s precisely what San Francisco got.
EDGE Nick Bosa led the way on defense with two sacks and two tackles for a loss, setting the tone for a pass rush that generated five sacks. Linebackers Fred Warner and Azeez Al-Shaair helped contain Cincinnati’s run game. Left tackle Trent Williams was his usual immovable object and unstoppable force in one, while wide receiver Deebo Samuel continued his multipurpose usage with 59 all-purpose yards and the 49ers’ first touchdown of the day.
But Brandon Aiyuk and tight end George Kittle had the finishing stamp here, playing like the team’s best players.
Aiyuk, who has been the Niners’ leading wide receiver in recent weeks, made his mark with the game-winner, yet Kittle continued his recent domination by adding 13 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown.
Massive contributions from San Francisco’s top players usually equate to a win.