Gary Kubiak’s last game at Candlestick Park wasn’t one he’d like to remember, but Jim Harbaugh would.
The San Francisco 49ers (3-2) earned their second straight victory Sunday night, smacking the Houston Texans (1-3) with their third consecutive loss in a 34-3 beatdown.
The Texans simply gave the game away as Matt Schaub completed three passes to 49ers defenders; one to Tony Jerod-Eddie and two to Tramaine Brock including an 18-yard return for touchdown just minutes into the game.
Brock’s ball-hawking and two pass deflections impressed Harbaugh:
“He made huge plays. It was great to see Tramaine do that. He was in perfect position, playing coverage perfectly on the first play.”
He may have solidified himself as the No. 3 corner going forward as Nnamdi Asomugha (knee) missed his second game.
Dontae Whitner — soon to be Hitner — also stripped Ben Tate with assistance from Eric Reid while Tarell Brown recovered the fumble.
Reid had eight tackles and the defense as a whole was outstanding.
Starting for Patrick Willis (groin), Michael Wilhoite recorded 13 tackles including three for losses, while NaVorro Bowman also registered 13 tackles. Bowman could very well be the best inside linebacker in the league.
Amid all the pressure on Schaub, Ray McDonald recorded the only sack, but also left the game with a significant arm injury that doesn’t sound good especially for an already thin defensive line.
Schaub’s three interceptions may have left Kubiak momentarily wishing for someone from his 1994 quarterback class — Steve Young, Elvis Grbac, or Bill Musgrave. But current backup Tyler Yates doesn’t seem to be a candidate, as Kubiak said:
“It’s a broken record right now. It looked the same. Hopefully, that’s rock bottom tonight.”
Meanwhile, the defense put Greg Roman’s offensive in such good field position that Colin Kaepernick completed just six passes for 113 yards, including a 64-yarder to Vernon Davis.
Kaepernic’s work load was also lightened by the offensive line, tight ends and Bruce Miller paving the way for Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, Anthony Dixon, and Kyle Williams who combined for 135 yards and two touchdowns.
The 49ers offensive line dominated the Texans’ famed pass rush to which Gore said:
“We’re the 49ers. When we’re on, we can do whatever we want to do. 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.”
Phil Dawson added two field goals to complete the scoring.
Colt McCoy mopped up the last few minutes of the game and LaMichael James got four carries for 31 yards.
John Baldwin started as the No. 2 wide receiver, but came away with no catches on two targets.
San Francisco hosts the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday at 1:25 p.m.