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What we learned from 49ers' victory over Browns

*The New England Patriots and ... the San Francisco 49ers: Through five weeks, those two are the last remaining undefeated teams in football. San Francisco (4-0) secured its fourth win in as many tries by routing the Cleveland Browns (2-3), 31-3, on "Monday Night Football" in Week 5. Here's what we learned: *

  1. San Francisco doesn't run over teams. No, the Niners run by them, untouched, through open prairie lanes, accompanied by mobile downfield blockers and stumbling, bumbling defenders. San Francisco set such a tone early on Monday night, when Matt Breida took the Niners' first offensive snap 83 yards to the house untouched, accelerating through a gap to the left sealed by Kyle Juszczyk, George Kittle and Laken Tomlinson. Breida enjoyed so much breathing room that he accelerated to 22.3 mph, according to Next Gen Stats, the fastest speed a ball-carrier has reached in the last two seasons. The Niners beat teams with speed, and they bludgeoned the Browns so in prime time. The return of Tevin Coleman keyed a San Francisco ground game that racked up 185 rushing yards in the first half alone and 275 total; Breida (114) and Coleman (97) nearly each recorded over 100 yards on the ground, coming three Coleman yards away from becoming the first Niners pair to do so in the same game since Frank Gore and Colin Kaepernick in 2014. So deep is San Francisco's backfield now that speedster Raheem Mostert was subjected to clean-up duty, while goal-line star Jeff Wilson Jr. was inactive. San Francisco has now recorded at least 168 rushing yards in three consecutive games, and Kyle Shanahan's unit is showing no sign of slowing down.
  1. Nick Bosa is making a bee line for the quarterback -- and for Defensive Rookie of the Year consideration. The second-overall pick was unstoppable against Cleveland, providing constant pressure on Baker Mayfield's blind side. Even when he didn't show up in the box score, Bosa contributing to others' tallies. His pressure on Mayfield on Cleveland's second drive, forced an overthrow on the QB's first pick. Bosa moved the pocket so that Mayfield ran into poor decisions and other sacks (San Francisco had four on the night). Of course, Bosa also ravaged the box score, sacking Mayfield twice, forcing a fumble and recovering another. The rookie benefited from a subpar Browns offensive line and a quarterback comfortable with holding the ball well past the play's expiration date, but Bosa and the Niners defensive line, one of the deepest in football, should expect a lot more of these nights. The way Bosa fought through single-teams, double-teams and everything in between portend more dominant games in the near future.
  1. Welcome back, Bad Browns. After a week's reprieve in Baltimore, Cleveland returned to its natural state in its second "Monday Night Football" and third prime-time window in five games. The Browns opened with trickery -- an Odell Beckham pass to Jarvis Landry was Cleveland's only completion for over 14 minutes of game time -- but ended up fooling themselves. Though the Browns moved the ball well early on, Cleveland faltered in the red zone on both of its first-half opportunities. Their first sojourn ended with a field goal from the 12-yard-line. Cleveland was closer to reaching pay dirt on its second trip to the goal line, but a Mayfield pass from the 6-yard-line intended for Antonio Callaway was low and behind the wideout. Callaway should have caught the pass and pulled Cleveland back within one score, but the ball deflected off his hands and into those of K'Wuan Williams. That play occurred with 4:45 left in the first half. The Browns didn't run a single play inside San Francisco territory for the remainder of the game, picking up just one first down in the second half and punting on five of six of their remaining possessions. Through five games, Freddie Kitchens' Browns offense sure is unpredictable -- but not in a good way.
  1. In a battle between arguably the two most hyped quarterbacks of the last two offseasons, Jimmy Garoppolo outplayed Mayfield with flying colors. Whereas Mayfield (100 yards, 2 INTs) played flustered, hurried and loose, committing three turnovers and completing just eight passes, Garoppolo (191 yards, 2 TDs) was steady and assured. The Italian Stallion spread it around but played it safe, attempting just one pass over 20 yards downfield; it went for a touchdown to George Kittle, who was predictably wide open. Jimmy G didn't need to do much to keep Cleveland at bay -- his running backs shouldered the load (40 carries to 31 dropbacks) -- but he did just enough to move the ball, completing at least two passes to six different receivers against the overextended Browns defense.
  1. Rough debut for Callaway, who, in his first game back from suspension, didn't record a single completion on three targets from Mayfield and saw two of those targets intercepted by San Francisco. The second-year receiver failed to provide depth to a receiving corps that was missing Rashard Higgins and saw just two players (Jarvis Landry, 4; Odell Beckham, 2) record more than one reception. Without Higgins and the sidelined David Njoku, the Browns remain short on playmakers, especially when defensive backs key in on OBJ and Landry and couple that coverage with a blistering pass rush as San Francisco executed Monday night.
  1. The 49ers could have won this one by 37 if its field goal battery had co-operated. Three of Robbie Gould's four FG attempts on Monday night failed to travel through the goalposts, the first time in his career that Gould missed three field goals; two were clearly missed, while one was blocked. In closer contests, Gould's misses would have been killer, and his play, along with that of holder Mitch Wishnowsky and long snapper Garrison Sanborn, would have been under the microscope. They still might be, but their sketchy performance will be footnotes in Monday's romp.
  1. Four games, four wins for the 49ers, who are just one of two undefeated teams in football after five weeks. More important than staving off their first defeat, the Niners remain atop the NFC West ahead of postseason stalwarts in Seattle (4-1) and Los Angeles (3-2). A matchup with the division-rival Rams in Los Angeles on a short week looms. As for the Browns, they blew an opportunity to stick around with the Ravens (3-2) atop the AFC North. At 2-3, Cleveland is as close to Baltimore in the standings as it is to Pittsburgh. A fitting place for an inconsistent, unknowable unit.
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