By the time running back Ahmad Bradshaw ran into the endzone from a yard out late in the fourth quarter, the expected storyline had already not played out in Candlestick Park.
The Indianapolis Colts defense held the reigning-NFC champion San Francisco 49ers scoreless in the second half, and came away with a 27-7 win in its first road game of the season, Sunday, Sept. 22, in San Francisco.
The Colts (2-1) dominated the 49ers with its ground game in the second half after the opposite occurred during the first.
Leading 13-7 with 11:14 remaining, the Colts proceeded to run the next seven minutes off the clock in advancing on an 11-play, 80-yard drive. Of those yards, 54 came on the ground, half of which came on a 27-yard scamper by Bradshaw. Luck would cap the drive with a six-yard bootleg on third down to push its lead ahead to 20-7.
The defense, stepping up as it had nearly all day after the first quarter, saw linebacker Jerrell Freeman produce a sack and fumble of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick within his own 10-yard line, which was recovered by Kavell Conner. Three plays later, Bradshaw punched it to set the final score.
With both teams coming off losses in their previous games, something had to give at Candlestick, as neither Colts quarterback Andrew Luck or 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh had lost back-to-back contests during their time in the NFL.
The Colts outgained the 49ers on the ground 179-115, with 95 coming from Bradshaw on 19 carries. Newcomer Trent Richardson, traded from the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday, Sept. 18, contributed 35 yards on 13 carries, and scored a touchdown on his first carry from a yard away on the game's opening drive.
With the Colts up 7-0, its defense was tested after the 49ers (1-2) had five runs going for over 10 yards during its lone scoring drive of the game to tie the game at seven, amassing a total 77 yards rushing. Following the drive, it held the opposition to 38 yards for the game on the ground.
Kaepernick threw 13-of-27 for 150 yards and an interception, while being held to 20 yards on seven carries.
Luck meanwhile found wide receiver Reggie Wayne when he needed to while on his way to going 18-for-27 passing and 164 yards.
Wayne had five catches for 63 yards, and moved into ninth on the all-time receptions list.
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