SANTA CLARA — This is the live blog for the first quarter of the 49ers’ Week 16 game against the Chargers. I will update this frequently with information and analysis from the press box.
5:21 The Chargers call tails. It’s tails, and they defer.
5:27 Bruce Ellington returns the kickoff 21 yards to the Niners’ 24.
5:29 Frank Gore follows Mike Iupati through the stongside C gap on a Power Bob Trey O run. Gore breaks four tackles, stiff arms Eric Weddle and scores a 52-yard touchdown. Gore showed up. 7-0 Niners.
5:33 Chris Davis returns the kickoff to the Chargers’ 23.
5:34 Perrish Cox almost intercepts Philip Rivers’ pass on third-and-five, and the Chargers go three-and-out. Ellington returns the punt to the Niners’ 29.
5:43 Gore gains 16 yards on another Power Bob Trey O run to the right. Next play, Greg Roman calls an inside handoff for Bruce Miller who fumbles near the goal line. Anquan Boldin grabs the ball and fumbles it again, and the Chargers recover at their 5-yard line.
5:49 The Chargers convert back-to-back third-and-short with runs up the middle. The Niners’ run defense ain’t so hot without Chris Borland.
5:53 The Niners put eight defenders in the box on first-and-10 from the Chargers’ 40. So Philip Rivers throws deep and the pass hits Perrish Cox between the numbers. Superb accuracy. Niners’ ball at their 33.
6:00 Kaepernick play fakes and hits a wide open Anquan Boldin in the end zone. Then Boldin throws the defensive back into a photographer, then Boldin punches the defensive back, then Boldin headbutts him. Joe Staley is flagged for holding, negating the touchdown.
6:02 Eric Reid has a head injury and his return is questionable. Not the first head injury of his career.
6:04 Kaepernick checks down to Alfonso Smith who gains four yards on first-and-20 from the 31, and the first quarter ends.