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Crabtree Concerned With Wins, Not TDs

Posted by Taylor Price on November 19, 2009 – 4:15 PM

After Thursday’s practice, 49ers rookie wide receiver Michael Crabree spoke with reporters in the locker room on a number of topics. The conversation ranged from him assessing his own play through four games to his thoughts on being held without a touchdown so far in his NFL career.

“My concern is winning,” Crabtree said. “If we’re winning, then I can’t complain.”

Click here to listen to Crabtree’s interview.


Posted in Uncategorized | 76 Comments »

Conference Calls with McCarthy and Rogers

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 18, 2009 – 5:04 PM

On Wednesday, Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rogers spent some time on a conference calls with the Bay Area media.  Rogers discussed the 2005 draft that saw him go to the Packers as Alex Smith was selected by the 49ers.  The former Cal standout mentioned his affinity for the 49ers as a kid and his relationship with Smith.

With the Packers (5-4) one game ahead of the 49ers (4-5) in the NFC Wild Card race, the outcome of Sunday’s game could mean much more by the end of the season.

Click here to listen to Mike McCarthy’s conference call.

Click here to listen to Aaron Rogers’ conference call.


Posted in Game Preview | 2 Comments »

Pro Bowl Update: Week 11

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 18, 2009 – 3:18 PM

The 49ers players need your support to get to the 2010 Pro Bowl in South Florida.  Here’s a recap of what some of the 49ers top Pro Bowl candidates have done through the first ten weeks of the season.  You can vote as many times as you like at nfl.com/probowl.

TE Vernon Davis: Davis is having a career-year, leading the team with 45 catches for 493 yards and 7 touchdowns. His 7 TD catches rank 1st among tight ends and tied for 3rd in the NFL among receivers. He ranks 3rd among NFC tight ends in both yards and receptions.

LB Patrick Willis: Willis leads the 49ers with 98 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks, 2 interceptions (1 returned for TD), 2 forced fumbles, 6 TFLs and 9 PDs. According to league stats, Willis ranks 2nd in the NFL in tackles (88).

RB Frank Gore: Despite missing nearly 3 games due to an ankle injury, Gore has still managed to rush for 551 yards and 6 touchdowns (tied for 4th in NFC), while also leading the NFC with 5.2 yds. per carry. Gore ranks 2nd on the team with 26 catches (211 yds. and 1 TD).

P Andy Lee: Lee ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 41.7 net punting avg. He also ranks 3rd in the NFL in gross punt avg. (47.6) and tied for 5th in the NFL with 19 punts downed inside the 20-yd. line.

NT Aubrayo Franklin: Franklin leads the defensive line with 56 tackles and 6.5 TFLs. He recorded a crucial interception against Chicago (11/12) and has set a career-high with 2.0 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.3 yds. per carry (1st in NFL) and the 3rd-fewest rushing yards per game (87.7).

RB Michael Robinson: Robinson ranks 2nd on the team in special teams tackles (16) and has led the team in special teams tackles in three different games. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008.


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Sims is Playing ‘Outstanding’ Football

Posted by Taylor Price on November 17, 2009 – 3:31 PM

Coach Singletary had a pretty direct answer in responding to a question regarding the play of Barry Sims.

“Outstanding. It’s a pleasant surprise,” the 49ers head coach said of the 11-year veteran who has filled in nicely at left tackle for injured tackle Joe Staley. “I think he’s done a great job. I’m really excited about what he has been able to bring to that position. I think he’s done a phenomenal job.”

Outstanding, check. Great, check. Phenomenal, you can check that too.

Definitely some high praise for Sims, who has given up just a half sack in two starts this season. Sims practically had three starts, considering that Staley was injured on the first play of the game against the Indianapolis Colts.

Sims’ experience (129 starts in 159 games) has been a big plus in helping the 49ers offense the past couple of weeks.

Upon learning that his coach had called Sims’ play ‘outstanding,’ quarterback Alex Smith agreed with his coach’s opinion.

 “I think just that, he stepped right in and hasn’t missed a beat. He has played really well,” Smith said of his fellow University of Utah alum. “That’s hard to do, come in and play left tackle in this league where you are getting matched up every week against big-time pass rushers; the way he’s played has been great. I don’t think twice back there, I trust those guys up front.”

The rest of the 49ers offensive linemen also have a lot of trust in Sims.

“He’s a salty vet, so he knows what it takes to be successful,” said left guard David Baas, the man who lines up directly next to Sims on the line. “That’s what we expected out of him and we’re glad he’s doing well. We trust each other a lot out there, so that’s a good thing.”

Teammates like tight end Delanie Walker said Sims’ experience is exactly what the 49ers offense needed when Staley went down.

“He’s been doing a great job of executing his assignments and he’s been communicating well with the tight ends on certain blocks that we have to accomplish,” Walker said. “He’s been doing a great job. He’s been a leader for us.”

Walker said one of his favorite things about playing with Sims is how the 6-foot-5, 300-pound lineman enjoys what he’s doing on the field.

“He’s the same guy; he doesn’t change on or off the field. I think that’s what makes him a great person,” Walker said. “He goes out there and does what he has to do. I like to see how he acts, I’ve seen him on the field smiling after a big play and I think when other players see that – it puts a smile on your face.”

Losing a player like Staley might have damaged the mindset of some teams, but the 49ers felt confident in Sims, knowing they had a player who has experienced practically everything a player could experience in the NFL.

“It’s tough replacing Joe, because Joe is a great tackle and a big part of this offense,” Walker said. “But I think Barry stepped in and has done a great job. We know he could do it because he had been doing it for a long time. Nobody doubted him, we knew he was going to step in and take care of the big shoes he had to fill.”

More Tuesday Notes:

-Singletary announced on Tuesday that rookie running back Glen Coffee will return this week after missing the Bears game with a concussion. Defensive tackle Demetric Evans will also return to action against Green Bay after missing the last few weeks with a shoulder injury.

-Other injury news: Takeo Spikes is still day-to-day with a hamstring injury. If unable to play, linebacker Matt Wilhelm will step in as Spikes’ replacement. Only Staley (knee) and cornerback Nate Clements (shoulder) have been ruled out for Sunday’s game.

-Singletary said that veteran wide receiver Isaac Bruce would return to action this Sunday after missing the Bears game (ankle), but would be behind Josh Morgan, who will start opposite of Michael Crabtree against the Packers. The 49ers head coach was non-committal in naming Bruce as his No. 3 receiver, citing that the coaching staff would have to determine the usage of receivers based on the personnel package.

-Asked if having the weekend off was a good thing for his players, Singletary answered: “I think any time you have an extra day or two for guys to get their legs back underneath them, some of the pounding that they’ve taken, to heal and use it wisely, I think it can do nothing but help us.”


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Singletary and Teammates Applaud Franklin

Posted by Taylor Price on November 13, 2009 – 3:35 PM

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A day after beating the Chicago Bears 10-6 at Candlestick Park, Mike Singletary said nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin has been his most consistent player this season.

That’s certainly high praise, considering the player who lines up behind Franklin is two-time Pro Bowl middle linebacker Patrick Willis. But Singletary meant what he said in complementing the play of his nose tackle, who took points off the score board by intercepting Jay Cutler at the Bears 1-yard line.

Known in the locker room for being one of the best dressed players on the team, Franklin became a new kind of trendsetter by becoming the first of five different players to intercept Cutler last night.

“It was fun,” Franklin said of his first-career interception. “But I’m just glad they didn’t get in the end zone.”

Franklin was asked if defensive lineman such as himself imagined scenarios where they intercept a pass and the 6-foot-1, 317-pound nose tackle admitted such things were in fact true.

111309-franklin-sub“I think anybody does on the defensive line,” Franklin revealed. “We’re the guys who rarely get our hands on the ball; we’re trying to knock the ball down. Fortunately, God blessed me to get a pick and I held on to it.”

It was Franklin’s first interception since his high school days at Science Hill High in Johnson City, Tennessee. Back then Franklin was an all-state linebacker who recorded 180 tackles as a senior. Franklin said he would send the ball back home to his mother, Chantini Carter who lives back in Tennessee.

Franklin received even more praise from teammate Jeff Ulrbich who was recently placed on injured reserve. Ulbrich, who remains around the team in a daily basis, interrupted Franklin’s media session to openly share his thoughts on one of the 49ers most underrated players.

“I’m putting this out there right now, anybody that doesn’t recognize that he is one of the top-3 nose tackles in the game right now, doesn’t know anything about football. You know nothing and you shouldn’t be writing,” said Ulbrich as he put his right hand on Franklin’s shoulder.

Ulbrich was asked if Franklin should be in the Pro Bowl this year, to which the 10-year veteran said, “He should, without a doubt.”

More Monday Notes

-After having their longest injury list after the Tennessee game, the 49ers have a shorter injury list following last night’s game. The injury list is: Michael Lewis (stinger), Arnaz Battle (quad), Mark Roman (knee), Adam Snyder (AC sprain), Takeo Spikes (hamstring) and Isaac Bruce (ankle).
-Out of the names mentioned above, all figure to be active for the 49ers next game against the Green Bay Packers. Singletary added that the team will need to monitor Spikes on a day-to-day basis.

-Singletary made a decision in regards to the starting wide receivers for the duration of the season. Josh Morgan will remain in the starting lineup when Bruce regains full strength in his ankle. But Singletary reiterated that Bruce will remain a factor in the offense and will see plenty of playing time.

-One are of concern to Singletary was the kicking game. Joe Nedney missed a 39-yard field goal which could have been a useful three points given the close circumstances at the end of the game. Singletary also said that wind played a factor in him not letting Nedney attempt a 50-plus-yard field goal on the 49ers final possession. Singletary elected to let punter Andy Lee pin the Bears inside the 10-yard line, but Lee was unable to do so. “We have to make those kicks,” Singletary said.

- Singletary was pleased overall with his defense and how they were able to execute the game plan for the Chicago game. “I thought our defense did what we focused on which was creating turnovers,” he said. But Singletary found areas for improvement after watching the game again last night. “We have to continue to work on our tackling on the perimeter,” he added. “We have to continue to keep working at that.”

-In addition to Franklin and others on his defense, Singletary singled out linebacker Matt Wilhelm who filled in nicely for Spikes. “Matt has experience and that helps tremendously.” Wilhelm finished the game five tackles, one of which went behind the line of scrimmage.

111309-smith-sub-A day after he completed two impromptu shovel passes for big gains, Alex Smith said he too found himself asking himself why he was doing it too. “Those things seem to come in spurts like that. You don’t get them, then you do two or three of them and you even ask yourself the same question, ‘Why am I doing it?’ It just kind of happens when you’re playing in the game, you’re not thinking, you’re just reacting. And sometimes it’s just a quicker way to get the ball out. You can’ always set up and have a form throw so it’s easier sometimes just to shove it to the guy.

-Smith praised backup running back Michael Robinson, who converted two first downs on the 49ers final offensive drive. “It was huge, especially when you’re trying to run down the clock,” Smith said. “We had the lead and it was important for us to change field position and take as much time off the clock as we could. To get those third down conversions to eat up quite a bit of that clock… in the end, those are things that help you win the game.”

-The maligned 49ers offensive line put together a solid performance, helping Frank Gore surpass the 100-yard mark for the 17th time in his career.

-“I think as the game went on we got better,” left tackle Barry Sims said. “It would have been nice to finish some drives off, we moved the ball well at times, but we needed to finish drives better than we did and give our defense a better chance where they do not have to win it on the last play of the game.”

-Sims, an avid golfer, will not step foot on a golf course this weekend with the 49ers having the weekend off. “I’m just going to relax, keep my body fresh and get ready for Green Bay,” he said.


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Week Ten Blog: 49ers vs. Bears

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 12, 2009 – 3:40 PM

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The 49ers kick off the Thursday Night Football season tonight against head coach Mike Singletary’s former team, the Chicago Bears.  Since it’s an NFL Network game,  NFL.com will be providing shoulder content, highlights and live look-ins throughout the game on Thursday Night Football Live.  Make sure to check it out.  You can also get live game-by-game info in our game center. We also have the injury report posted for both teams and I’ll get the inactives up as soon as we get them.

Tonight’s game is sponsored by U.S. Bank.

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San Francisco Inactives: QB Nate Davis (3rd QB), CB Keith Smith, CB Nate Clements, RB Glen Coffee, C Cody Wallace, T Joe Staley, WR Isaac Bruce, DE Demetric Evans

Chicago Inactives: WR Juaquin Iglesias, S Al Afalava, RB Garrett Wolfe, S Kevin Payne, LB Pisa Tinoisamoa, G Lance Louis, DT Matt Toeaina, DT Jarron Gilbert

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FIRST QUARTER:

The Bears got the ball first after the 49ers deferred to the 2nd half.  The Bears began their drive at the SF 18.  Cutler hit Forte out of the backfield for a gain of 2 on first down and was incomplete on 2nd down.  Cutler found Forte again on 3rd down who was hit immediately by Patrick Willis.  After a 41 yard punt, the 49ers will get the ball at the 41.

***Undrafted free agent LB Diyral Briggs made his NFL debut on kickoff team.

Smith looked for Crabtree on 1st down along the right sideline.  Crabtree mad an acrobatic leaping grab and appeared to come down with the ball.  The officials rule that he did not maintain possession all the way to the ground.  It was close enough for Mike Singletary to challenge so he threw the red flag.  The ruling on the field stands, incomplete.  Smith moved the chains though on 2nd down, hitting Crabtree again, this time on a quick slant to pick up 15 yards.  Smith handed to Gore out of the shotgun on 1st down.  Gore plunged ahead for a gain of 5.  2nd and 5 from the CHI 39, Gore got the carry once again and he ket his feet moving during the tackle to pick up 3.  3rd and 2, Chicago jumped offsides and was pursued hard of the edge.  Smith bought some time and hit Crabtree on a crossing route for the 1st down out to the CHI 28.  1st and 10, Smith hit Vernon Davis on a crossing route and was hit immediately by Nick Roach.  Roach got the worst of it as Davis broke the tackle and picked up 6 yards.  The Chicago training staff came on the field as Roach stayed down for some time.  On 2nd and 4, the Bears were lined up in the neutral zone.  Gore got the 1st down, but the 49ers will take the penalty.  1st and 10 from the 17, but the 49ers were forced to move early this time and they’ll back up 5.  1st and 15 from the 22, Gore bounced out right off tackle.  Nice blocks by Snyder and Morgan gave Gore a nice hole to pick up 8 yards.  Smith hit Crabtree on a crossing route, but he couldn’t hold on.  3rd and 7, Smith avoided the first rusher, but was eventually dragged down by Tommie Harris.  Nedney’s field goal was wide right so after an impressive opening drive, the 49ers sputtered in the red zone and walk away with no points.

The Bears will get the ball at the 29 after the missed field goal.  Spikes made a nice tackle on Forte who had no running room inside.  2nd and 10, Forte tried to cutback on 2nd down, but Haralson had good backside containment and brought him down for a gain of only 1.  3rd and 9, Cutler hit Olsen who was matched up with Mark Roman.  Roman did well though to make the tackle on the big tight end in space.  Brandon Jones let the ball bounce and it will be 49ers ball at the 26.  Good job by the 49ers defense early on to force two straight 3 and outs.

1st and 10 from the 26, Gore ran behind Norris straight ahead for a gain of 4.  2nd and 6, Gore didn’t find any running room inside and was stopped for no gain.  3rd and 6 from the 30, Smith hit Jason Hill on a crossing route.  Hill avoided Tillman and reached ahead for the first down marker.  It will be very close and the chain gang will have to measure.  It will be just short and Lee will have to punt.  Devin Hester is back fro the kick.  Hester fielded the punt, but was quickly brought down.  The Bears were called for a block in the back and the Bears will get the ball at their own 11.

1st and 10 for the Bears, Cutler hit Clark over the middle as Lewis and Willis hit him hard.  A good catch by Clark nets 7.  2nd and 3, Forte got the carry inside, but gained just 2.  3rd and 1, Forte got 1 yard passed the first down marker.  1st and 10 from the 22, Cutler threw too high for Hester on what was supposed to by a screen to the right.  2nd and 10, Cutler hit Olsen who found a hole in the zone.  Goldson gave him a hard hit, but he was able to hold onto the ball for a gain of 16.  2nd and 8, Cutler found Olsen again who was wide open on the right sideline out to the SF 40.  1st and 10, Cutler found Olsen yet again for a gain of 7, bringing an end to the first quarter.

SECOND QUARTER:

2nd and 3 from the 33, Forte bounced out right and did well to avoid some tacklers and pick up 2.  3rd and 1, Forte dove ahead, picking up the first down.  1st and 10 from the 30, Cutler threw for Olsen who was defended by Brown.  Brown did well to use the sideline and push Olsen out of bounds despite making the catch.  Forte made the 49ers pay on 2nd down, spinning away from defenders for a gain of 16.  1st and 10, Forte was met by Justin Smith for no gain.  2nd and 10, Cutler hit Bennett on a cross for a gain of 9.  3rd and 1, Cutler plunged ahead and the defense again continues to give up 3rd down conversions on this drive.  1st and goal from the 3, Forte couldn’t find much room inside and was stood up at the 2.  2nd and goal, Forte is again held short at the 1 after the tackle by Spikes.  3rd and goal from the 1, Aubrayo Franklin dropped as Cutler play actioned and THE NOSE TACKLE PICKED ONE OFF!!!  That’s a huge play by the D and an even better play by a guy who should be going to the Pro Bowl.  Just a reminder to vote at nfl.com/probowl.

After a 10-yard return by Franklin, the 49ers will have a 1st down at their own 16.  1st and 10, Smith couldn’t get rid of the ball and was sacked at the 6.  2nd and 15, Vernon Davis was called for the false start.  2nd and 18 from the 3, Smith hit Morgan quick to the right on a well setup screen for a gain of 11.  3rd and 7, Smith bought some time, hitting Gore who came out of the backfield after the play fake.  Gore turned up field and got a nice block for a gain of 9.  1st and 10, Smith hit Gore on the shovel pass as the pocket collapsed.  Gore had a nice gain before being hauled down after a gain of 9 by Anthony Adams.

“Double A” as Adams was know when he was with the 49ers until 2006, used to host a show for us on 49ers.com called the Adams Report.  The first time we faced him as an opponent in 2007, made for an interesting topic on the Robinson Report.  Enjoy!

Gore rumbled ahead on 2nd down and will get the first down.  1st and 10 from the 33, Smith’s pass was tipped in the air by Roach and Roach nearly made the catch as Smith closed.  Gore took the handoff from the shotgun on 2nd down and picked up 4 up the middle.  3rd and 6, Smith hit Morgan on the short cross who got enough for the first down.  1st and 10 from the SF 46, Smith tried to hit Crabtree who was 1-on-1 with Bowman.  The pass was behind Crabtree and Bowman picked it off.

1st and 10 for the Bears from the SF 19, Devin Hester moved early and the Bears will move back 5 yards.  1st and 15, Forte ran right for a gain of about 6, but Hester was flagged on the second straight play – this time for a hold.  1st and 19 from the 19, Cutler hit Forte on a short out route to the right.  Forte was hit quickly after a gain of 4.  2nd and 15, Cutler hit Forte and a great screen play.  Goldson pursued as Forte had a nice set of blockers.  It was a gain of 37.  Takeo Spikes was shaken up on the play. 1st and 10 from the SF 49, Cutler looked for Hester who slipped. Tarell Brown stepped in front and made the pick, cutting back all the way across the field, following some great blocks by Spencer and Goldson down to the CHI 14.

The 49ers didn’t waste any time on that drive, giving to Gore who nearly walked into the end zone behind great blocks by the right side of the offensive line.  Not a bad 1 play, 4 second drive.

49ers 7 – Bears 0

***LB Takeo Spikes has a hamstring strain and is out for the rest of the game.

Manning fumbled on the return it appeared, but the Bears recovered and will get the ball at the 1 with 1:55 left in the half.  1st and 10, Cutler looked for Hester and Spencer nearly had another pick, stepping in front and knocking it away.  Forte got the carry on the 2nd down draw, but Goldson made a good ankle tackle for a gain of just 2.  Cutler hit Hester on 3rd and 8 on a screen for a gain fo 12.  Cutler then hit Bennett who was wide open around midfield.  The Bears take their first timeout of the half, stopping the click with :37 remaining.  1st and 10 from the CHI 48, Ahmad Brooks had a nice rush and leaped up to bat down Cutler’s pass.  2nd an 10, the Bears were called for delay of game.  2nd and 15 from the CHI 43, Cutler hit Knox over the middle who did well to get out of bounds at the SF 46 after a gain of 11.  3rd and 4, Cutler hit Olsen for the 1st down and was wrestled down by Roman at the 39.  They’ll take their second timeout with :20 left in the half.  1st and 10, Cutler stepped up in the collapsing pocket and threw too high for Devin Hester.  Spencer was flagged for PI, getting to Hester to early and the Bears will get a first down at the 35.  With :09 left, Cutler hit Hester who got out of bounds at the 27.  With just :06 left, Robbie Gould will come on for the 45 yard attempt.  Gould hit the kick, but the Bears were called for a delay of game.  So it’ll be a 50 yard attempt.  Gould was right down the middle again so the Bears will cut into the lead by 3.

49ers 7 – Bears 3

The Bears will have to kickoff with just 2 second in the half.  Balmer got the short kick and fell on the ball to end the half.

THIRD QUARTER:

The 49ers will get the ball to begin the second half.  Battle brought the kick out with speed to the 30, but Roman was called for a hold.  1st and 10 from the 20, Gore took the carry up the middle for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, Harris dragged down Gore in the backfield for a loss.  3rd and 10, Smith hit Crabtree quick, but only for a gain of 5.  Lee’s punt bounced in front of Hester and rolled out of bounds at the 36.  Walker was called for a personal foul though during the return, giving the Bears a gift of 15 yards.

1st and 10 from the SF 49, Cutler hit Hester quick right for a gain of 8.  Forte was stood up in the backfield as Lawson got in the backfield to bring down Forte for a loss of 2.  Lawson was shaken up on the play.  3rd and 4 from the 43, Goldson stepped in front of Hester and Cutler tried to get rid of the ball with Haralson closing in.  Goldson’s pick gives his team the ball at their own 45.

1st and 10, Gore couldn’t find much running room inside and was stopped for no gain.  Smith hit Gore in the right flat, but was brought down quickly for a loss of 2.  3rd and 12, Smith was hit and his pass floated in the air and was intercepted.  That won’t matter though as the Bears were offside.  3rd and 7, Gore took the handoff from the shotgun formation and picked up 6.  The crew will measure and it will be just short.  The 49ers will go for it on 1st down.  Smith tried to sneak the ball and they’ll have to measure again.  It’ll be short and it’ll be a turnover on downs.

The Bears will have a 1st and 10 from their own 45, Cutler hits Forte on another screen pass for a huge gain down to the 24.  The Bears have had so much success with that play all night.  Cutler hit Hester quick right and Lawson pursued and dragged him out of bounds after a gain of 2.  2nd and 8, Briggs and Wilhelm got in the backfield quick and dragged down Forte for no gain.  3rd and 8, Cutler hit Bennet quick right.  Goldson read the play and though he couldn’t make the tackle, he slowed him up enough for Roman to close after a gain of 1.  Gould’s field goal is good.

49ers 7 – Bears 6

Battle showed some speed again on the return, getting wide left and out to the 31.  1st and 10, Smith looked for Crabtree on a deep in for a gain of 20 yards.  1st and 10 from the CHI 49, Smith faked the handoff and hit Morgan who sat down in the zone for a 4 yard reception.  2nd and 6, gore took the handoff and was hit hard in the backfield by a host of Bears for a loss.  3rd and 8, the 49ers were called for a false start.  3rd and 12, Smith hit Davis on a TE screen, but there was a flag on the play for an illegible man down field.  The penalty was declined and Lee will punt.  The 49ers were called for a facemask and the Bears get a free 15 yards.

1st and 10 from the 31, Wilhelm beat his block and stood up Forte as he tried to get outside the left side of the line.  2nd and 11, Cutler tried to hit Bennett on a quick out route to the left, but the pass was low and incomplete.  3rd and 11, Cutler hit Olsen over the middle for the first down.  1st and 10, Cutler tried to connect with Forte in space, but he couldn’t hang on to it.  2nd and 10, Cutler hit Bennett for a big gain, but there were two flags on the play.  The Bears were flagged for an illegible man down field and Brown was called for a personal foul.  That means only Brown’s penalty is enforced.  1st and 1o, Smith hit Cutler as he released the ball and the pass sailed long.  2nd and 10, Wilhelm made a nice tackle to stop Forte after a loss of 2.  3rd and 8, Knox was absolutely wide open down field, but Cutler threw on the run and the pass skipped short.  Maynard will punt and bounce the ball at the 3 and it rolls out at the 6.

The 49ers will begin their drive from deep in their own territory, needing to go 94 yards to get six points.  1st and 10, Gore was stood up at the line of scrimmage for no gain.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Davis crossing from right to left for a gain of 5.  That’ll bring an end to the 3rd quarter.

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FOURTH QUARTER:

Smith looked for Morgan on 3rd down, but Morgan slipped on his cut.  Lee’s punt was downed at the 50 after just a 39-yard punt.

1st and 10 for Chicago from midfield, Forte rushed up the middle, but was hit by Franklin for a gain of 2.  2nd and8, Forte tried right and cutback left.  Wilhelm and Justin Smith kept containment and held him to a gain of 1.  Mark Roman made the 49ers’ 4th interception, stepping in front of the receiver on a deep post.

1st and 10 for the 49ers from the CHI 44, Smith was under pressure, but somehow hit Gore wide right who gained 5 yards.  2nd and 5, Smith rolled left, but couldn’t find an open target and threw it away.  3rd and 5, Gore took the direct snap and rushed down to the 7 and coughed up the ball as he was tackled.  Luckily, Morgan was there to recover and the 49ers will have a 1st and goal at the 6.  Tillman caused the fumble by Gore.  1st and goal, Gore cutback on a belly play down to the 2-yard line.  Gore was stuffed on 2nd down and Smith had to throw it away on 3rd down.  Nedney will come on for a a 21-yard field goal.

49ers 10 – Bears 6

A nice hit by Hudson and Briggs on the kickoff and the Bears will start at the 17.  1st and 10, Hester caught the quick screen, but Spencer made a nice play to hold him to a gain of 2.  2nd and 8, Cutler threw for Knox and the ball sailed high.  Brown hit Knox to make sure it fell incomplete.  3rd and 8, Willis pressured Cutler and forced a floating pass that was nearly picked off.  Maynard’s punt was low and rolled down inside the 49ers’ 20.  It will be a net of 63 yards.

1st and 10 for the 49ers from the 18, Gore got the handoff and was again swarmed in the backfield for a loss of 1.  2nd and 11, Gore got the draw from the shotgun formation and hit a huge hole on the right side of the line the for a gain of 23.  1st and 10 from the 40, Gore got the handoff from the shotgun and cutback left for a gain of 3.  2nd and 7, looks like the same play that netted 23 earlier, but this one only goes for 4.  3rd and 3, Robinson took the sweep right for the first down.  1st and 10 from the CHI 49, Gore got the handoff, but didn’t have much of a hole or gain on the right side.  2nd and 10, Smith’s pass was incomplete for Norris as he was pressure, but the Bears were offside and they’ll gain 5 on the penalty.  2nd and 5, Gore took the handoff behind Rachal for a pickup of 2.  3rd and 3, Smith shoveled to Robinson.  Robinson juggled it, rolled and somehow made the catch for a gain of 4.  1st and 10 from the 38, Gore was stuffed at the line for no gain.  Chicago took their first timeout.  gore ran ahead for a gain of 2 on 2nd down.  3rd and 8, Smith scrambled, but only for a couple.

I have to run down to the field, but get your updates from us on Twitter.


Posted in Gameday | 35 Comments »

‘Mooch’ Breaks Down Thursday’s Matchup

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 10, 2009 – 5:14 PM

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NFL Network analyst and former 49ers head coach Steve Mariucci was on a conference call Tuesday with the Bay Area media on Tuesday to discuss the first Thursday Night Football game of the season.

And in case you were wondering, there will be plenty of pregame coverage on NFLN, starting at 3:00 p.m. PT with Thursday Night Kickoff presented by Sears.  Rich Eisen will host the show and be joined by Mariucci, Marshall Faulk and former 49ers cornerback Deion Sanders.

But before he analyzed the 49ers-Bears matchup on the Thursday pre-game show, Mariucci broke things down for those on the conference call.

“We have a couple of teams here that are trying to find their way,” Mariucci explained. “The 49ers having lost four in a row and the Bears having lost three out of the last four. It’s an important game for both teams really to stay in the fight.  It’s an evenly matched kind of game and it’ll be an interesting game.  I like where both teams are headed in the future.”

Mariucci was particularly enamored with the rising stars in San Francisco, praising the team’s recent draft picks:

“When looking at their draft picks, especially early in the draft over the last handful of years, with Alex Smith coming back and starting again, I think his future can be bright. Vernon Davis is having a Pro Bowl kind of a year.  We know Patrick Willis is a keeper.   I mean this guy ought to be their star player and captain for the next 10 years.  I like Joe Staley.  I know he’s not playing, but the Chippewa from Central Michigan is going to be a very good player in this league and then all of a sudden here comes Michael Crabtree.  When we watch the 49ers play, whether they win or lose, this is their future.  These are their skill players that are going to be around for awhile and need to be developed into star players. I think they’re on the right track.”

Mariucci analyzed the 49ers signal caller even further, giving his opinions on why things have been difficult at times for Smith, the former No. 1 overall pick.

111009-mariucci-sub“I like Alex Smith,” Mariucci said.  “I liked him coming out of college and it’s unfortunate he got injured and he had so many coordinators.  What he needs in his life, and I’m not Dr. Phil okay, but what he needs in his life is some continuity – continuity with an offensive scheme. He needs a supporting cast that he gets to practice with and play with week in and week out  and grow and develop with that bunch of guys in that system.”

While Mariucci admits he is no Dr. Phil, he does know what it’s like to be a coach going against his former team.  Singletary will be facing the team that he played 12 seasons for on Thursday, but Mariucci believes Singletary’s situation is different than his when he faced the 49ers as the coach of the Detroit Lions.

“I didn’t make the Hall of Fame in San Francisco,” Mariucci said.  “I came back a year later.  I knew everybody on the field and half the people in the stands.  Mike has been away from his team a long time now.  [Singletary] doesn’t want this game to be about him.  We all make it about him, but it’s not.  It’s about the guys on the field banging heads and I think he’s got that in perspective.”


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Pro Bowl Update: Week 10

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 10, 2009 – 2:24 PM

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The 49ers players need your support to get to the 2010 Pro Bowl in South Florida.  Here’s a recap of what some of the 49ers top Pro Bowl candidates have done through the first nine weeks of the season.  You can vote as many times as you like at nfl.com/probowl.

TE Vernon Davis: Davis is having a career-year, ranking tied for 1st in the NFL with a career-high 7 TD rec. He is also leading the 49ers with 42 rec., 477 rec. yds., and 7 TDs. Davis is on pace to set career-highs in both receptions as well as receiving yds.

LB Patrick Willis: Willis  leads the 49ers with 86 tackles to go along with 2.5 sacks, 2 INTs (1 returned for TD), 2 FFs, 6 TFLs and 8 PDs. According to gamebooks, Willis ranks 3rd in the NFL in tackles (77).

NT Aubrayo Franklin: Franklin is the force in the middle of the 49ers run defense and leads the defensive line with 50 tackles and 6.5 TFLs. He has also set a career-high with 2.0 sacks. Franklin has helped limit opponents to 3.4 yds. per carry (2nd in NFL) and the 5th-fewest rushing yds. allowed (746).

P Andy Lee: Lee leads the NFC and ranks 2nd in the NFL with a 42.5 net punting avg. He also ranks 1st in the NFC gross punt avg. (48.5) and 5th in the NFL with 18 punts downed inside the 20-yd. line.

RB Michael Robinson: Robinson ranks 2nd on the team in special teams tackles (16) and has led the team in special teams tackles in three different games. He was a Pro Bowl alternate in 2008.

LB Scott McKillop: McKillop has been a special teams standout in his rookie season. He leads the team in special teams tackles (21) and also registered a special teams fumble recovery for a touchdown vs. StL.


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Singletary: ‘This is when I’m at my best’

Posted by Taylor Price on November 9, 2009 – 4:09 PM

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One day after his team suffered a fourth consecutive loss, the third to an NFC South opponent, 49ers head coach Mike Singletary didn’t abandon his desire to get his team into the playoffs.

“In these moments – this is when I’m at my best,” Singletary said. “I think in these situations, you just have to rise above. You have to put your best foot forward. You have to look at where things are you just have to call it like it is. I can’t get lost in the reality of the four losses. It’s not something that you want. It’s not a place where you want to be. But that’s where it’s at.”

Despite seeing his offense turn the ball over four times on Sunday (three interceptions and a fumble), Singletary was still pleased with how his offense looked at times against Tennessee.

“When I look at the offense for the most part, if you take away the turnovers, we really had a chance to have a nice offensive game, have some excitement and momentum going forward. But it didn’t happen. We did have the turnovers and I just think that’s something that we need to work on.”

Singletary came back to team headquarters Sunday night to watch film and ultimately analyze what went wrong with the turnovers. After his film study, Singletary was satisfied with the play of Alex Smith and that only one of the four turnovers was solely on his starting quarterback.

110909-int-sub“I thought Alex did a good job of throwing the football. I thought the first turnover he had; the ball just took an unlucky bounce. That doesn’t happen too often. The last turnover where he threw to Josh [Morgan], there were a couple of things that could have happened [differently]. Josh could have made a better play on the ball coming back to it and I thought the defender got there a little bit early, but we didn’t get that call.

“Other than that, I just think Alex had one play that was really on him. I thought he did a good job.”

Singletary said Smith’s second interception to Titans safety Chris Hope was caused by Smith’s confusion with Tennessee’s coverage on that particular play.

“He thought it was cover-4, and the defensive back [Hope] came off. Alex was trying to get it in on time and the guy made a nice play,” Singletary said of the crucial takeaway.

Also from his film evaluation, Singletary was happy with the strides his offensive line continues to make despite being without the services of two starting tackles.

“Our O-line I thought did a heck of a job. I was very encouraged,” he said.

Singletary also singled out Frank Gore for running hard and the blocking from his receivers downfield.

Asked why Jason Hill replaced Isaac Bruce as the 49ers third wideout in the second half, Singletary said it was because of a sore ankle had been hampering Bruce.

Hill caught four passes for 50 yards with two touchdown catches in his first offensive action all season.

Singletary revealed that he would meet with his entire coaching staff to evaluate the wide receiver position. “We have to figure out the right combination,” Singletary said.

More Monday Notes

-Rookie running back Glen Coffee suffered a concussion on the game’s final kickoff return and has already been ruled out for Thursday night’s primetime home game against the Chicago Bears. (Here is the link to injury reports for both teams).

-With Singletary hosting his former team, there was a lot of questions for him regarding that particular storyline, but Singletary wouldn’t classify this game as any more important than his team’s other 15 regular season games.

“Not in particular,” he said of having any extra emotions for Thursday’s game. “I’m just excited for the game, but no emotions outside of the emotions that I have for any other team.”

110909-vd-sub-A national reporter, (who doesn’t cover the team on a regular basis) asked Singletary what Vernon Davis is doing to be so successful this season, and got this response from the 49ers head coach: “What he’s doing now is just the investment he made in the offseason. He continues to get better and he’s going to help this team win a lot of football games. He is committed – that’s why he’s a captain. He’s making a difference on the team.”

-As a Hall of Fame linebacker, Singletary has played against some of the best running backs in Pro Football history. After seeing Tennessee’s Chris Johnson up close and in person, the 49ers head coach was thoroughly impressed. “What you saw there was real speed. I don’t think there’s ever been a running back as fast as him.”

-Singletary added that his defense did a “pretty decent job” overall against Johnson, but struggled to contain the perimeter at times as well as get off blocks. “When you see the guy turn the corner and Patrick Willis is running after him – you don’t see that too often. Pat is going to catch the guy, and he did a few times, which is a credit to him. But the guy [Johnson] made some good plays. They locked on to us and we didn’t do a great job of getting off blocks yesterday.”


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Week Nine Blog: 49ers vs. Titans

Posted by Scott Kegley on November 8, 2009 – 11:47 AM

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The 49ers (3-4) have lost three straight games an will look to rebound this week against the Titans (1-6).  Here’s the injury report for both teams and I’ll post the inactives around 90 minutes before the game.

49ers Inactives: QB Nate Davis (3rd QB), CB Keith Smith, CB Nate Clements, S Reggie Smith, LB Diyral Briggs, C Cody Wallace, T Joe Staley, DE Demetric Evans

Titans Inactives: CB Nick Harper, RB Javon Ringer, LB David Thornton, T Mike Otto, T David Stewart, DE Jevon Kearse, DT Sen’Derrick Marks, DE Dave Ball

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FIRST QUARTER:

The Titans picked up their first 1st down on a Vince Young pass to Justin Gage along the left sideline.  On 2nd an 1, aubrayo Franklin broke into the backfield and stopped Johnson for a loss .  On 3rd and 6, Young’s pass went off Johnson’s hands over the middle and was nearly picked off by Patrick Willis.  Brandon Jones fielded the punt and the 49ers will start their first drive from their own 11-yard line.

*** S Curtis Taylor has a right shin contusion and his return is questionable.

Alex smith threw short right to Vernon Davis on first down who was ridden out of bounds quickly for no gain.  On 2nd and 10, Smith hit Gore on a well set screen pass.  Gore got out to around midfield behind a good downfield block by Rachal.  The Titans were called for a personal foul (Finnegan) which will give the 49ers a first down at the TEN 39.  Smith then tried to hit Walker on a short out route, but the coverage was solid and Smith’s pass sailed high.  2nd and 10, Smith hit Walker on a quick slant pass.  Walker beat the coverage inside and the 49ers will pick up 13 and get another 1st down.  On 1st and 10, Smith tried to hit Davis down around the goal line on a skinny post.  The pass was too long but out of the reach of the Titans defenders.  On 2nd down, the 49ers went with their first run of the game as Gore carried up the middle for a gain of 6.  3rd and 4, Smith scrambled left as the pocket collapsed.  Smith picked up three yards as Finnegan closed quickly for the tackle and on 4th and 1, Nedney will come on for the field goal.  The 49ers seemed to hesitate getting their field goal unit on the field and a delay of game will back them up 5 yards, making it a 40-yard attempt.  The field goal is good and the 49ers grab the early lead.

49ers 3 – Titans 0

Nedney’s kickoff went into the end zone an was downed for a touchback.  On 1st and 10, Young hit Washington for a gain down to the SF 38.  Brown was called for illegal contact but it was declined.  the Titans went with an option on 2nd.  Young pitched to Johnson for a gain of 5.  Young play actioned and hit Gage for a gain of 49 down to the SF 8.  Franklin stuffed the Titans first down run, breaking into the backfield an wrapping up Johnson.  They Titans lost a yard on the play.  On 2nd, Young hit an open Chris Johnson down the left side.  Willis closed quick to save what could’ve been a touchdown.  On 3rd and goal, Johnson took the toss wide right and tried to pass.  Lewis had good coverage on the play and the pass was long.  Bironas hit the short field goal to tie it up at 3.

49ers 3 – Titans 3

Gore took the toss left on 1st down and was wide open, picking up enough for a 1st down.  The pocket collapsed around Smith on first down as Jovan Haye came in for the sack and a loss of 7.  On 3rd and 17, Smith hit Crabtree on a quick screen right.  Crabtree could only pick up a couple and the 49ers will have to punt.  A great punt by Andy Lee that bounced at the 5 and was downed at the 4.  It was a net 57 yard punt and the 49ers will pin the Titans deep in their own end.

On 1st and 10, Johnson cut back inside picking up 4 yards.  On 2nd down, Haralson flew off the left edge and into the backfield, bring down Johnson for a loss of 3.  3rd and 9, Young rolled out of the pocket and threw incomplete down the left sideline.  Brett Kern’s punt was fielded by Jones as it went out of bounds at the SF 49.

Gore plunged ahead for a gain of 2 on 1st down.  Nice coverage by the Titans on 2nd down and Smith rolled out of the pocket and threw it away.  3rd and 8, Smith threw for Crabtree, but the ball was deflected in the air and intercepted by Rod Hood who returned the ball to the SF24 and was tackled by Snyder.

Sopoaga filled the running lane on 1st down and stopped Johnson for no gain.  Young hit Scaife to the right side as Brown and Lewis closed for the tackle after a gain of 5.  That play will bring an end to the first quarter.

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SECOND QUARTER:

3rd and 5 from the 19, Young hit Gage who found a whole in the middle of the field just beyond the first down marker. 1st and 10 at the SF12, Young hit Gage down the right side for a gain of 3.  LenDale White got the carry on 2nd down who plunged up the middle for a gain of 2.  on 3rd down, no one accounted for Young who took the draw up the left side for the score.

Titans 10 – 49ers 3

Robinson took the kickoff and returned it out to the 30.  1st and 10, Hill hit Isaac Bruce quick right for a gain of 3 yards.  2nd an 7, Gore took the carry up the middle and cut right for a gain of 6.  3rd and 1, Smith looked to throw and scrambled for a gain of 8. 1st and 10 from the 47, Smith threw a dart over the shoulder of Davis who turned and made a nice grab down to the TEN 14.  It was a gain of 40 on the play.  The Titans were called for offsides on 1st down.  1st and 5, Gore took the handoff up the middle.  There wasn’t much of a hole, but Gore was able to break a couple tackles, getting out near the first down.  The officials came on to measure and the 49ers will get the 1st down.  1st and goal at the 3, Gore took the handoff and bounced out left for the score.

49ers 10 – Titans 10

Pearman took the kick back to the 26 where the Titans will start their drive. Young took a shot for Gage down the left sideline against the coverage of Spencer.  the pass was too long and incomplete.  2nd and 10, Whit took the handoff and cut left, but Balmer and Smith combined to bring him down for a gain of just 1.  3rd and 9, Young avoided a blitzing Shawntae Spencer but couldn’t avoid Manny Lawson who got the sack.  Jones took the punt and the 49ers will get the ball at the 45.

1st and 10, Smith hit Gore out of the backfield for a gain of 8 yards down the right side.  2nd and 2, Smith was wrestled down by his jersey and the ball popped loose.  The 49ers recovered, but for a loss of 21.  Coffee took the handoff on the draw and picked up 4.  Lee will come on to punt.  Another great punt by Lee was fielded at the 4 and Wilhelm made the tackle at the 14.   A 60 yard punt and a 10 yard return for a net of 50 on the punt.

Johnson broke a huge run down the right sideline, but couldn’t outrun Willis after a gain of 26.  Young hit Johnson, but Willis was right there and drove him back after a gain of 3.  Johnson got the carry on second down and drove the pike up the middle for a gain of 4.  3rd and 3, Young threw for Gage who was blanketed by Tarell Brown and the pass fell incomplete.  The punt bounced short of Jones and rolled to the SF 13.  Tennessee was called for an man downfield and the penalty will be tacked on.

1st and 10 at the SF 18, Gore took the handoff out of the shotgun formation and picked up 9.  2nd and 1, Tony Brown jumped through the line early and the 49ers will get the first down the easy way.  1st and 10 from the 32, Smith hit Crabtree on a short slant.  Crabtree made a great catch between two defenders.  The clock will stop for the two-minute warning.  2nd and 1, Gore took the handoff and spun to avoid a tackler, picking up 4. Smith then hit Crabtree on a deep in for a nice gain out to the TEN 39.  Smith was hit as he threw, but still hit Davis for a gain of 4.  The 49ers took their first of three timeouts with 1:03 left in the half.  2nd and 6, Smith threw for Bruce who fell as he made hit cut.  3rd and 6, Smith hit Davis who cut back and made the catch for a gain of 13.  1st and 10 at the 20, Smith hit gore underneath and hurried to the line.  Smith did not spike the ball, but avoided pressure and rolled right.  Jason Hill broke loose and was wide open in the right side of the end zone.  Smith didn’t miss him and Hill made the catch to put the 49ers up by 7.  It was a 9 play, 82 yard drive.  It was also Hill’s first catch of the year.

49ers 17 – Titans 10

Pearman took the kickoff out to the 25.  One carry by Johnson and that will end the half.

THIRD QUARTER:

Robinson took the return out to the 24.  1st and 10, Gore took the handoff on the draw, but was brought down quickly for a gain of just 2.  2nd and 8, Gore took another handoff out of the shotgun formation and rushed ahead for a pickup of 4 yards.  3rd and 4, Smith hit Hill who was crossing from right to left.  Hill made the catch and reached the ball past the marker for the first down.  On 1st, Davis was flagged for a false start and the 49ers will back up 5 yards.  1st and 15, Smith hit Gore over the middle for a gain of 7.  2nd and 8, Smith threw for Morgan, but it was low and incomplete and he was under pressure.  3rd and 8, Smith rolled right, but couldn’t find an open receiver and threw it away.  Pearman called for the fair catch after a 53 punt by Lee.  It will be Titans ball at their own 10.

1st and 10, Haralson got into the backfield and tripped up Johnson for again of 1.  2nd and 9, Young went with the option and pitched it to Johnson who ran up the right sideline and was forced out by Lawson after a gain of 5.  3rd and 4, Young threw for Gage, but he hadn’t yet turned around and the ball was at his feet.  Nice work by the 49ers defense to get the ball back after a 3 and out.  Jones caught the punt at the 27 and had nowhere to go.

*** G David Baas has a stinger and his return to the game is questionable.

1st and 10 at the SF 27, Smith hit Davis on a quick out left and Davis got around the corner for a gain of 13.  On 1st down, Hope got into the backfield quickly and sacked Smith.  2nd and 17, Smith’s arm was hit as he threw and the ball fell incomplete.  The Titans threw the red flag to challenge the ruling that the pass was incomplete and not a fumble.  The officials overturned the call and the Titans will get the ball at the SF 36.

1st and 10, Johnson got the carry and got around the right side for a gain of 8.  Brown looks to be shaken up on the play.  2nd and 2, Johnson rushed ahead for the first down.  1st and 10 from the 21, Young looked for Washington in the end zone.  Washington tripped and the ball was incomplete.  On 2nd down, Sopoaga wrestled Johnson down after a gain of 1.  3rd and 9,  Young hit Johnson on the screen.  Johnson got down to the 3 for the first down. On 1st and goal from the 3, Johnson took the toss left and nearly got in.  On 2nd and goal from the 1, Johnson plunged ahead and tied up the game at 17.

49ers 17 – Titans 17

*** Brown has a rib contusion and his return is probable.

Robinson fielded the kick and took it out to the 27. Smith threw for Morgan on 1st down.  The ball went off his hands incomplete.  Gore ran left on second down and had nowhere to go.  The Titans were offsides however so the 49ers will move forward 5 and repeat 2nd down.  The 49ers will give those yards right back after being flagged for a false start.  On 2nd and 10, Smith hit Gore out of the backfield.  It looked like he was surprised by the ball as he saw it late, but he was still able to make the catch and pick up 9.  3rd and 1, the refs blew the play dead and called offsides on the Titans.  1st and 10 from the SF 41, Morgan took the handoff on the end around.  The blocks were set up well and Morgan ran for a nice gain up the right side and a first down.  It was a gain of 11.  1st and 10, Gore took the handoff on the draw for a gain of just a couple up the middle.  2nd and 8, Smith hit Davis on an out route to the right.  Davis turned upfield and picked up 7.  3rd and 1, the Titans had 9 men in the box, but gore still plunged ahead for a short gain that was good enough for the conversion.  1st and 10 from the TEN 47, Gore took the directs step and bounced out right for a gain down to the 24.  Davis was called for a false start and it will be 1st and 15 from the 29.  Smith hit Coffee on the screen left.  Coffee had a nice gain, but it will be called back as Baas was flagged for being down field illegally.  That play brings an end to the quarter.

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FOURTH QUARTER:

On 1st and 20, gore rushe straight up the middle with a nice hole for a gain of 7.  2nd and 13, Smith hit Davis on a screen.  Davis broke one tackle and stayed on his feet for a gain of 7.  3rd and 6, Smith hit Morgan near the first down.  It is close, but the refs will measure and it will be just short.  On 4th and inches, Smith pitched it to Gore left who made on man miss and picks up 5 yards for the 1st down.  Walker was shaken up on the play.  1st and goal from the 10, Robinson got the handoff, but lost a yard on the play.  Smith hit Robinson quick left for a gain of 4 down to the 7.  Smith looked for Gore on a short slant.  He appeared to be held on the play and asked for the flag to no avail.  Nedney’s field goal is good and the 49ers retake the lead.

49ers 20 – Titans 17

*** TE Delanie Walker has a knee sprain and his return is questionable.

Pearman takes the kickoff and returns it to the 19 where he was tripped up by McKillop.  1st and 10, Young threw for Washington.  Lewis had good position, turned and knocked the ball down.  2nd and 10, Johnson hit the afterbruners and outran everybody for the 81-yard score.  Singletary challenged the play, saying that Johnson stepped out of bounds down the left sideline.  On the replay, it appears that he stepped out of bounds as Lewis tried to push him out.  The officials ruled he was out of bounds at the SF40.  1st and 10 at the 40, Haralson threw Johnson down for a loss of 4 as he tried to bounce out left.  Young hit Gage who was upended, but still held onto the ball at the 11.   Tennessee called a timeout.  1st and 10 from the 11, Young Scramble and was run out of bounds by Lewis at the 6.  Johnson got the carry and spun up the middle near the 1-yard line.  They appear to be short of the first down.  3rd and inches from the 1, Young gave it to White and it will be very close.  The ball is just short and the Titans will go for it on 4th and inches.  Haralson had Johnson for a loss, but he got away and went in for the touchdown.

Titans 24 – 49ers 20

*** Michael Lewis has a quad strain and his return is questionable.

Robinson’s return is out to the 30 where the 49ers will get the ball with some work to do.  Smith hit Gore on a swing pass out of the backfield for a gain of 2.  Smith looked for Morgan, but it was intercepted by Hope at the 39.

Johnson took the carry for a gain of 2 up the middle on 1st down.  2nd and 2, Willis tracked down Johnson as he ran left for a gain of 4.  3rd and 4, Young hit Scaife for the first down.  1st and 10 from the 18, White rushed up the middle for no gain as Franklin and Sopoaga brought him down.  2nd and 10, Johnson took the carry up the middle, sliding through the defense for a gain of 5. Young rushed, but was stopped by Willis just short of the first down and the Titans will try the field goal.

Titans 27 – 49ers 20

1st and 10 from the 28, Smith looked for Morgan, and the ball went off his hands in the air for an easy interception by Finnegan who returned it for the touchdown.

We’ll run down to the field now for postgame.


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