49ers offense finally breaks their first-quarter scoring drought

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert ended a drought dating to 2014 with the team's first offensive touchdown in the first quarter.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers needed 15 games to finally score an offensive touchdown in the first quarter.

Blaine Gabbert threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vance McDonald on the opening possession of Sunday’s game at the Detroit Lions to snap a first-quarter drought that spanned 364 days.

The 49ers moved 80 yards and 11 plays for the score, their first on offense in the opening 15 minutes since Dec. 28, 2014, versus NFC West rival Arizona. Gabbert also connected with Torrey Smith on a 16-yard scoring strike early in the second quarter as San Francisco scored 14 points before the half for only the second time this season.

However, San Francisco’s offense, which entered Sunday’s matchup averaging a league-low 14.4 points per game, bogged down after Phil Dawson kicked a 40-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half.

After the break, the 49ers’ season-long struggles surfaced as they failed to score and managed only four first downs and 57 total yards after racking up 16 and 265, respectively, in the opening 30 minutes.

“We’ve been starting slow and finishing strong, and it was the complete opposite today,” Gabbert said

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