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.
Free-agent TE Eric Tomlinson (Giants) signed an undisclosed deal with the New England Patriots Tuesday, Oct. 15.
Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay pulled in five catches (nine targets) for 121 yards in the loss to the Packers on Monday night. Johnson continues to be involved heavily, and with at least eight looks from quarterback Matthew Stafford in each game this season, the 25-year-old has established himself as a top fantasy wideout in 2019. The Lions will face a tough Vikings Defense in Week 7, but Golladay should continue to retain his must-start tag moving forward.
Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown on 13 attempts in the loss to the Packers on Monday. After accumulating at least 20 carries throughout his last two games, Johnson took a step in the wrong direction, and had he not scored, this performance would have been considered another failure. With just three total touchdowns on the year to go along with a subpar 3.3 yards per carry, Johnson's outlook doesn't look favorable against a tough Vikings Defense in Week 7.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford finished with 265 yards on 18-for-32 passing in the loss to the Packers on Monday. The veteran still played relatively well despite failing to throw a touchdown and had it not been for rookie mistakes from tight end T.J. Hockenson, the story would have been different. With Week 6 in the books, things will get tougher for Stafford against a tough Vikings Defense on Sunday.
Green Bay Packers tight end Jimmy Graham pulled in just two of his five targets for 17 yards during the Monday night win over the Lions. With Marquez Valdes-Scantling (leg) and Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest) both missing some time in this one, fantasy managers were hoping for an increase in production. That did not happen. If Davante Adams (toe), Allison, or Valdes-Scantling miss more time moving ahead, look for Graham to see a slight uptick in looks from Aaron Rodgers. However, continue to expect the worst and hope for the best from week-to-week.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling finished with two catches for 48 yards in the win over the Lions on Monday night. Valdes-Scantling would briefly exit this one after injuring his leg but would return to haul in a 46-yard catch to offset his lack of fantasy progress up to that point. With Davante Adams (toe) and Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest) potentially not playing against the Raiders on Sunday, the 25-year-old could see an increased role in Week 7.
Green Bay Packers wide receiver Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest) hauled in three catches (seven targets) for 40 yards in the win over the Lions on Monday night. After leading the way in looks from quarterback Aaron Rodgers, the 25-year-old would exit the game prematurely in the second half. He did not return. With Allison's status for Sunday's showdown with the Raiders in question, fantasy managers will want to monitor his progress throughout the week.
Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams ran for 104 yards on 14 carries to go along with four catches in the win over the Lions. After Aaron Jones fumbled and dropped a wide-open pass from Aaron Rodgers that would have led to a score, Williams was inserted and made the most of it. Though the 24-year-old will likely continue as the No. 1 option out of the backfield, Williams may have some value against the Raiders on Sunday. If Davante Adams (toe), Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest), or Marquez Valdes-Scantling (leg) aren't able to suit up in Week 7, look for Jones to get more looks as a receiver, with Williams coming in for relief, especially on rushing downs.
Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones ran for 47 yards on 11 carries in addition to four receptions for 13 yards in the win over the Lions. It was a much different performance than the four-touchdown outing that Jones had against the Cowboys in Week 5, and while it wasn't a horrible performance, he did fumble and drop a wide-open, 33-yard toss from Aaron Rodgers that would have led to a score. Jamal Williams did get some touches, rushing for 104 yards on 14 carries to go along with a few receptions after Jones hit the sidelines, but expect the 24-year-old to reclaim his role as the No. 1 option against the Raiders in Week 7.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers went 22-for-39 for 283 yards and a touchdown in the narrow win over the Lions on Monday night. Though he did throw an interception, it was an acceptable performance for the signal-caller who was without top receiver Devante Adams (toe), while also dealing with the in-game losses of Marquez Valdes-Scantling (leg) and Geronimo Allison (concussion, chest). Despite the injuries on the offensive end, Rodgers' outlook against the Raiders in Week 7 is still promising.
Green Bay Packers TE Marcedes Lewis ended with two catches for 50 yards on two targets in Week 6 against the Detroit Lions.
Fantasy Spin: Lewis outperformed starter Jimmy Graham, who converted just two of his five targets. Neither is particularly attractive from a fantasy perspective outside of deeper leagues heading into Week 7 against the Oakland Raiders.
Green Bay Packers WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling finished with two catches and 48 yards in Week 6 against the Detroit Lions. He left the game briefly due to an undisclosed injury, but was able to return and finish.
Fantasy Spin: Valdes-Scantling made a highlight-reel catch in the victory, but it was Allen Lazard who actually found the end zone while stepping up for Geronimo Allison, who left injured. MVS might operate as the No. 1 wideout in Week 7 against the Oakland Raiders if Allison and Davante Adams are each sidelined.
Green Bay Packers RB Jamaal Williams ran 14 times for 104 yards in Week 6 against the Detroit Lions, and he had four grabs for 32 yards and a touchdown. His last run was almost a touchdown, as the Lions were going to allow him to score so they could get the ball back, but he gave himself up at the 1-yard line rather than score.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy owners can't complain too much, as he hit triple digits and had the receiving score, but the selfless play at the end cost them some points. He picked up the slack with Aaron Jones having a forgettable game. The Packers host the Raiders in Week 7.
Green Bay Packers RB Aaron Jones rushed 11 times for 47 yards with a fumble lost in Week 6 against the Detroit Lions. He also had four grabs for 13 yards on seven targets, but he dropped a sure touchdown downfield, too.
Fantasy Spin: Jones had a giant performance in Dallas last week, but he fell back to Earth in a big way in this one, and Jamaal Williams took advantage and stepped up his play. Jones remains a decent RB2 or flex fantasy option heading into Week 7 against the Oakland Raiders as he looks to bounce back.
Detroit Lions S Tavon Wilson posted five total tackles with a fumble recovery in the Week 6 game against the Green Bay Packers on Monday, Oct. 14.
Green Bay Packers LB Preston Smith managed four total stops with 1.5 sacks, two tackles for loss and two quarterback hit in the Week 6 game against the Detroit Lions.
Green Bay Packers DE Za'Darius Smith posted five total stops with a sack, a tackle for loss and a quarterback hit in the Week 6 game against the Detroit Lions.
Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers completed 24-of-39 passes for 283 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the Week 6 game against the Detroit Lions while running for 10 yards.
Fantasy Spin: Rodgers should have had a touchdown to Aaron Jones, who dropped a pass while he was wide open and headed for a score. He was also dealing with a banged up receivers corps, losing Geronimo Allison, while Davante Adams was sidelined for a second straight game. Still, he worked through it and had a nice fantasy line. The Packers will look to keep it going against the Oakland Raiders in Week 7.
Detroit Lions WR Danny Amendola (chest) was able to play in the Week 6 game against the Green Bay Packers and he finished with a grab for six yards on his only target.
Fantasy Spin: Amendola was back and healthy enough to play, but he did next to nothing. Fantasy owners, even in deeper PPR leagues, cannot trust him until he starts to show more consistency. The Lions host the Vikings in Week 7.
Detroit Lions WR Marvin Hall had just one catch and one target in the Week 6 game against the Green Bay Packers and it was good for a 58-yard reception.
Fantasy Spin: Hall obviously needs more targets and production before he can be relied upon outside of deeper fantasy leagues. The Lions host the Vikings in Week 7.