By FRED GOODALL
AP Sports Writer
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) runs out of the pocket against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) tackles Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Chris Godwin (12) prepares to make a touchdownn catch in the end zone against San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman (25) celebrates with his teammates after his touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Richie James (13) runs to the end zone for a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2019, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers had three touchdowns negated by penalties, turned the ball over twice and didn't a get particularly sharp performance from Jimmy Garoppolo.
That just made beating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 on a hot, humid Sunday in Florida that much sweeter.
''It's fun to win when you can be hard on the guys the next day because there's a lot of stuff on that tape that could have cost us that game in all three phases,'' coach Kyle Shanahan said.
''I was disappointed with that and still to be able to pull out a win says a lot about the guys we've got in there. They kept grinding, and when you do that usually good things happen.''
Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon returned two of a retooled defense's three interceptions of Jameis Winston for touchdowns and Robbie Gould kicked three field goals for the 49ers, who forced four turnovers overall and also deflected an early punt to set up the offense's first scoring drive.
''I'm just happy for our defense, I'm happy for our team. We played sloppy, but it's the first game,'' Sherman said. ''We've got to knock out some of the wrinkles. We've got to find a way to play a more mistake-free football game, myself included. I had a couple penalties that I shouldn't have had. I've got to put myself in better position. It was a decent game for us, but we've got to get better.''
Garoppolo threw for 166 yards and one touchdown in his first game in nearly a year.
''The whole offense was shaky. I think he made a couple good throws but Jimmy, everyone else including myself needs to be a lot more consistent,'' Shanahan said.
''There's some things out there that we missed. Fortunately our defense got us turnovers. It's hard to win when you have two turnovers on offense, but when you get four on the other side, especially when they score on two of them, that makes it a little easier to overcome some sloppy play that we had.''
Winston threw for 194 yards to become Tampa Bay's career passing leader, including a 10-yard scoring pass to Chris Godwin that trimmed a double-digit deficit to 20-14 late in the third quarter. Ultimately, though, the Bucs could not overcome the fifth-year quarterback's mistakes and dropped their debut under coach Bruce Arians, who was lured out of retirement after Tampa Bay finished 5-11 last season and missed the playoffs for the 11th straight year.
''We talked all week about winning the turnover battle, and when it's four to two, it's always going to be tough,'' Arians said. ''But there were some really bright spots and areas that we can build off of and also learn why we're losing instead of winning. That one is pretty easy.''
Garoppolo, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, completed 18 of 27 passes with one interception. His 39-yard pass to Richie James Jr. put the 49ers ahead for good early in the second half.
Despite moving past Vinny Testaverde to become Tampa Bay's career passing leader, Winston has yet to lead the team to the playoffs or prove he's the club's long-term answer at quarterback.
Arians has also worked with Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck and Carson Palmer as a long-time coach and offensive coordinator, and the Bucs are counting on him to help the No. 1 overall pick from the 2015 draft realize his potential.
This is also a season when the 49ers are counting on Garoppolo to make major strides, too. The 49ers gave the sixth-year pro a $137.5 million, five-year contract after Garoppolo won his first five starts for San Francisco in 2017. He didn't look nearly as good early last season, when he completed less than 60 percent of his passes before suffering a knee injury that sidelined him the final 13 games.
''I think there were some ups and downs, but it's always fun to start the season 1-0,'' Garoppolo said. ''It feels good to just be back. It's been a while since I've been out here with the guys for a full game. It was fun out there today.''
Neither quarterback distinguished himself during a sloppy first half that saw the teams combine for four turnovers and have five touchdowns - three by San Francisco, two by Tampa Bay - nullified because of penalties in a 7-6 game.
The Bucs' Vernon Hargreaves returned an interception 15 yards for the only TD that counted before halftime. Sherman countered for the 49ers, sprinting 31 yards up the sideline with his first interception in eight games to give San Francisco a 20-7 lead a little over three minutes into the third quarter. Witherspoon put the game out of reach with his 25-yard TD return in the closing minutes.
49ers: FS Jimmie Ward (hand) was inactive, replaced in the lineup by Tarvarius Moore. ... RB Tevin Coleman left with an ankle injury and did not return. .... CB K'Waun Williams (dehydration) left in the third quarter.
Buccaneers: DL Rakeem Nunez-Roches left in the second quarter with a hand injury.
San Francisco LB Kwon Alexander was penalized 15 yards and ejected for lowering his head to initiate contact on a hit on Winston late in the first quarter. Winston scrambled for a 5-yard gain and was hit by his former teammate as the quarterback began to slide at the 49ers 45. Alexander was playing his first game since signing with San Francisco as a free agent. He played the first four years of his career with the Bucs.
Fans arriving early to Raymond James Stadium were entertained by country music star Tim McGraw. The concert in 90-degree heat began more than two hours before kickoff. McGraw also performed an encore at halftime.
49ers: at Cincinnati next Sunday. The franchises met twice in Super Bowls in the 1980s, the Niners winning both.
Buccaneers: road opener at Carolina on short rest on Thursday night.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers TE O.J. Howard will not be traded at the deadline, according to a source. The organization can also have him under control for two to three more years depending on franchise or transition tags, too.
Fantasy Spin: Howard is having a down year statistically, as head coach Bruce Arians has relied upon the tight end more for his blocking ability. At this point he has devolved into a TE2 in most fantasy formats, but at least it appears he won't be changing organizations anytime soon.
Green Bay Packers SS Ibraheim Campbell (knee) and TE Jace Sternberger (ankle) were able to practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. The team has 21 days to let them practice to decide upon activating them and having the players count against the 53-man roster.
Miami Dolphins DE Robert Nkemdiche (undisclosed) and CB Cordrea Tankersley (undisclosed) returned to practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. Both players started on the Physically Unable to Practice (PUP) list. The two players can practice up to 21 days before the team has to decide to activate them and count against the 53-man roster.
Cincinnati Bengals CB Darqueze Dennard (knee) was able to practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. He remains on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, and he can practice up to 21 days without counting against the 53-man roster. The hope is that he can return as soon as Week 7 against the Jacksonville Jaguars with CBs Dre Kirkpatrick (knee) and William Jackson III (shoulder) out.
Coming out of a bye week, Oakland Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is in prime position to pick up where he left off after a dominating Week 5 performance. After trouncing the Bears Defense for 143 total yards and two rushing scores two weeks ago, the 21-year-old will be leaned on heavily once again versus a susceptible Packers run defense in Week 7. Green Bay has given up the fourth-most fantasy points to running backs this season, which includes six rushing touchdowns allowed over their past four games. Look for the Raiders to keep the ball on the ground and in the hands of Jacobs, who owns a dominant 72% carry share over his backups Jalen Richard and Deandre Washington. He's also improved as a pass-catcher over his last two games, putting him a step closer to becoming a true bell-cow back. The first-round rookie is a firm RB2 ahead of Sunday's game with the potential to finish as an RB1 if he continues to get more involved in the passing game.
Los Angeles Rams RB Todd Gurley (quadriceps) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Gurley was not able to play last week but appears to have a chance to be active for Week 7. He should be a starting option if he plays, but fantasy players should have other options available in case Gurley misses another game.
Los Angeles Rams LB Clay Matthews (jaw) and CB Jalen Ramsey (non-injury) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay said the goal is to have newly acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey (back) ready to play in Week 7 against the Falcons. Ramsey missed the last three games with the Jaguars before being dealt to the Rams this week to help shore up their secondary issues. If he makes his debut with LA this Sunday, he'd be tasked with shadowing and slowing down Falcons stud receiver Julio Jones. That'd be a downgrade to Jones' matchup, but he's still a must-start for fantasy purposes after going over 100 yards in a bounce-back game in Week 6. Against Atlanta's explosive offense, the Rams are off the streaming radar this weekend.
Free-agent WR Ryan Grant (Raiders) signed with the Green Bay Packers Wednesday, Oct. 16. Terms of the contract were not disclosed. The team also released RB Tra Carson.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers (knee) was limited during practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Rodgers is in no danger of missing the Week 7 game but may be without some of his pass catchers because of injuries. He can still be considered a starting option in all leagues.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones (shoulder) fully participated in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Jones had his four-game touchdown streak snapped last week and received only 11 carries during the game. He is still the main option in the running game and can be a No. 2 running back or flex option because of his touchdown potential.
Green Bay Packers S Darnell Savage (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16. CB Tony M. Brown (hamstring) and TE Robert Tonyan (hip) were limited during practice. OT Bryan Bulaga (non-injury), LB Oren Burks (chest), DT Kenny Clark (calf), CB Kevin King (groin, knee), S Will Redmond (ankle, shoulder) and LB Za'Darius Smith (knee) fully participated in practice.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has been arguably the best tight end in fantasy football since last season. He's continuing his strong play this season and should put together another solid game in Week 7. Kelce has a matchup against the Denver Broncos on Thursday night. Kelce has been heavily involved in the offense basically every single week. Fantasy owners can feel safe about Kelce being a top tier TE1 for Week 7 in Denver.
Oakland Raiders tight end Darren Waller will once again have a prominent role in the offense in Sunday's matchup versus the Green Bay Packers. He has far and away led the team through five games with 37 receptions and 359 yards, proving to be a reliable receiving option for quarterback Derek Carr who has largely favored his tight ends over the last two seasons. With Tyrell Williams questionable ahead of this weekend's contest, the air attack will funnel through Waller with the team likely playing from behind as seven-point underdogs. The 28-year-old has displayed a reliable floor and can be fired up as a TE1 for Week 7 as he's well past due to secure his first touchdown of the season.
Green Bay Packers WR Geronimo Allison (chest, concussion) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Allison will need to pass all of the concussion tests before he is cleared to play, so his status will not be known until later in the week. He has been more involved over the last few weeks but probably can be avoided in most leagues even if he plays.
Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (ankle, knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to check later in the week to see if Valdes-Scantling is in any danger of missing the Week 7 game. He has been held to under 50 yards in each of the last three games but still be a flex option in some leagues if he plays.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Fantasy Spin: Graham was held to only 17 yards last week but could have a solid role in the passing game if he plays since the Packers have multiple injuries at receiver. He could be a possible low-end No. 1 tight end if he plays.
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Byron Pringle had a huge Week 5 performance where he caught six passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. He saw eight targets during his huge Week 5 game, but then he was targeted just three times during the Week 6 loss to the Texans. It seems like that performance might have just been a fluke. Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Demarcus Robinson are all above Pringle on the depth chart. It's unlikely Pringle will get more than two or three targets with all those receivers healthy. He could be a desperation flex in deep leagues, but most fantasy owners should bench or drop Pringle. Most fantasy owners shouldn't bother with Pringle for the Week 7 matchup versus the Denver Broncos.
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr will have his work cut out for him this Sunday when his team travels to Green Bay to face the Packers. The veteran has done a commendable job managing games so far this season, proving to be a better real-life quarterback than in the fantasy game. Carr has surprisingly led his team to a 3-2 record on the season, but has yet to surpass 17 fantasy points in a single contest. His task will be even tougher this weekend if Tyrell Williams foot injury doesn't heal in time to face a Packers Defense that's currently giving up the seventh-fewest FPPG to the QB position. Carr can be safely ignored in all formats for Week 7 and for the foreseeable future.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay is coming off a very solid performance against the Green Back Packers on Monday Night Football in Week 6, but fantasy owners may want to temper expectations with the Minnesota Vikings coming to town in Week 7. The Vikings have allowed just one 100-yard receiver through the first six weeks of the season, and while fantasy owners will point to the 10 touchdowns allowed to wide receivers over that same time frame, a good chunk of those scores came in garbage time. The Lions haven't won in two weeks but have been playing very good football nonetheless, so extended garbage time looks may not be in store in this game. Slot Golladay in as a mid-range WR2 in this matchup.