Sports

49ers defense shines through all the distractions and doubts, forces 4 turnovers

  • Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Corey Lemonier (96) and San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014,  in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald/ Jose Yau)

    Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray (29) is tackled by San Francisco 49ers linebacker Corey Lemonier (96) and San Francisco 49ers inside linebacker Patrick Willis (52) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald/ Jose Yau)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh instructs his team from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh instructs his team from the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  (The Associated Press)

  • San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) discuss plays in the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

    San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, left, and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) discuss plays in the first half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys, Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  (The Associated Press)

So much for all that talk of distractions, letdowns and doubts about San Francisco's longtime dominant defense. One impressive first-half sequence handled all of that.

The 49ers made interceptions on three straight possessions in a 28-17 Week 1 win at Dallas on Sunday, and forced four turnovers in all. All that after both starting cornerbacks — Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver — were injured. Perrish Cox again proved a reliable replacement.

The offense thrived, too, even with two fill-ins on the offensive line in Joe Looney and Jonathan Martin. The Niners' 21 first-quarter points — on all of four plays — were their most since 1995, and tight end Vernon Davis caught a pair of touchdown passes from Colin Kaepernick.

The 49ers have won their opener in all four seasons under coach Jim Harbaugh.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL