This is the live blog for the San Francisco 49ers (8-7) week 17 matchup with the Houston Texans (4-11) from Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.
San Francisco controls its own destiny and clinch a spot in the playoffs today with a win and New Orleans loss to Carolina.
4:02 That’s the ballgame. 49ers win 23-7.
3:57 San Francisco takes over deep inside Texans territory after holding Houston on downs, and Robbie Gould kicks another field goal. 49ers 23 Texans 7
3:47 Trey Lance connects with George Kittle on a beautiful play for a gain of 29. Lance put it on the money to Kittle down the middle of the field and Kittle made a one-handed grab despite being interfered with.
Elijah Mitchell bursts through the Texans defense for a gain of 37-yards on the next play.
A holding penalty on Brandon Aiyuk wipes out a Lance touchdown run, and the 49ers settle for a Robbie Gould field goal.
49ers 20 Texans 7
3:36 Davis Mills just had Brevin Jordan wide open for a first down and missed him with an inaccurate throw. 49ers will take over on their own 20.
3:27 For the second time in the second half Kyle Shanahan dials up the corner post off play action, after a long pass interference earlier, this one is complete to Deebo Samuel for a 45-yard touchdown. Huge play for San Francisco.
49ers 17 Texans 7
3:21 Back-to-back pass interference penalties put Houston deep in 49ers territory before Samson Ebukam and Arden Key team up to sack Davis Mills to force a 45-yard field goal attempt.
The field goal sails wide left and the 49ers escape. 49ers 10 Texans 7 with 12:04 left to play in the fourth quarter.
3:13 Nick Bosa had been non-existent for the 49ers until the last play of the third quarter. Davis Mills hits Brandin Cooks for a gain of 50, but it’s called back due to a hold on Bosa by Texans tight end Pharoah Brown.
3:09 The answer is no. Trey Lance with a nice throw over the middle to Deebo Samuel on second down, but the wide receiver drops it. Lance can’t find anyone open on third down and is stopped a yard short on third down.
Kyle Shanahan makes the right choice to punt the ball away. Houston takes over at their own 10.
3:02 The 49ers defense comes up with a big stop again. Jordan Willis comes off the left side unblocked and sacks Davis Mills on 3rd and 2. The San Francisco offense has done more than enough in this game. Can the offense do its part now?
2:55 The 49ers have had receivers open deep on the corner post route all season and the quarterback hasn’t taken the throw. Lance does and Houston is called for 43-yard pass interference penalty.
Facing 3rd and 4, Lance does a good job of finding JaMycal Hasty for 7 yards on a checkdown. On the next play Lance finds Elijah Mitchell in the right flat on a play action roll out and Mitchell gives the 49ers their first lead of the day. 49ers 10 Texans 7
2:51 Marcell Harris bails out the offense with an interception of Davis Mills at the 49ers 40 yard line.
2:45 Trey Lance with a beautiful throw to Brandon Aiyuk for 43 yards on the 49ers third play of the secon half, but it’s all downhill from there.
Lance had Trent Sherfield wide open but couldn’t get the ball over the linebacker. A couple of Lance runs then sets up 4th and 1, and instead of keeping it for the first down Lance throws incomplete to Brandon Aiyuk.
San Francisco is now 1-7 on 4th down in Lance’s two starts. Maybe they should stop going for it and take the points instead?
2:25 On his second opportunity at a two-minute drill, Lance is able to get the 49ers into field goal range and Robbie Gould puts the 49ers on the board as time expires.
The 49ers will get the ball to open the second half as well. 49ers 3 Texans 7
2:19 Big sack by Arik Armstead leads to a three and out. Lance will have one more chance this half.
2:14 Three and out for the 49ers. Everything from Lance just seems slow. His passes all take a beat too long to come out of his hand and he’s not making anything happen with his legs. This is about as bad a start as you can have.
2:08 After the Lance interception, Houston goes 80 yards on 14 plays and finishes off the drive with a touchdown throw from Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks from 8 yards out. Cooks beat Fred Warner for the score. Texans 7 49ers 0
1:52 On first down Kye Shanahan calls for a shot play and Trey Lance just completely missed it. He had Deebo Samuel 10 yards behind the defense and instead throws to George Kittle and the ball is intercepted.
1:48 Ambry Thomas almost came up with his first interception on third down. Nico Collins ran a curl and Thomas was all over him, just couldn’t hold on to the ball.
1:44 49ers offense made it into Houston territory before going backwards on a loss of one by Deebo Samuel and a sack of Trey Lance. On 3rd and 19, Lance had Brandon Aiyuk wide open at the sticks for a first down and Lance never saw him, checking it down to Jauan Jennings for a gain of 8.
Houston ball on their own 12.
1:35 Trey Lance with a couple of nice throws to Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Sherfied plus a 13-yard run from Deebo Samuel gets the 49ers out to the 42 yard line as the first quarter comes to a close.
1:30 The San Francisco defense gives up a first down, but forces Houston to punt.
The 49ers offense is backed up to its own three after that exchange. Houston is slowly beginning to win the field position battle. Something that may help determine the outcome of this game.
1:23 After moving the ball out near midfield, the 49ers offense gets shut down. Lance threw behind Kyle Juszczyk on first down leading to a gain of only three. Then, two Trey Lance runs bring up 4th and 1. Kyle Shanahan decides to go for it and Elijah Mitchell is dropped for a loss of 3.
This offense looks handcuffed by the quarterback so far, and the 4th down stop gives Houston good field position.
1:15 Three straight runs for the Texans and the 49ers defense holds. Houston doesn’t seem to want to ask Davis Mills to do too much.
If the 49ers offense can get in gear this game could be over early.
1:11 Not much for the 49ers offense on their first possession. A couple of runs leads to 3rd and 10 and Trey Lance takes off from the pocket and is stopped after a six-yard gain. Looked like he had Brandon Aiyuk coming open over the middle when he took off.
1:08 49ers defense forces a quick three and out. Terrific coverage on 3rd and 8 forces Davis Mills to check it down to Rex Burkhead who is stopped five yards short. Trey Lance time from the 22.
1:06 How about that? The 49ers kickoff team stopped a return short of the 25.
1:03 49ers win the toss and defer to the second half. Houston will get the ball to start the game.
12:55 – Just a little bit of pressure on Trey Lance today. The crowd at Levi’s Stadium during pregame is the most electric it has been all season.
11:45 – Something to keep an eye on today, Houston’s pass defense has allowed the 8th lowest passer rating this season and is tied for the 6th most interceptions in the NFL. The Texans are particularly good covering the middle of the field, eight of their 16 interceptions have come on throws to this area.
Trey Lance has shown a tendency to sail throws high, when that happens on passes over the middle bad things happen.
The weak spot for Houston’s pass defense? Throws to the right side. They’ve given up the seventh worse passer rating on throws in that direction and have only three interceptions on that side of the field.
11:39 – 49ers inactives: Jimmy Garoppolo, Talanoa Hufanga, Azeez Al-Shaair, Dre Greenlaw, Colton McKivitz, Tanner Hudson, Maurice Hurst
11:38 – It’s finally official, Trey Lance will be starting today.