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Afternoon Tailgate: Dec. 17

Posted by Alex Espinoza on December 17, 2012 – 3:06 PM

Following last night’s momentous 41-34 road victory against the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football, the 49ers took a red eye, cross-country flight from Providence, R.I. to SFO that landed about 7 a.m. It was one of the biggest regular season wins in the Harbaugh era, thanks to a complete team effort. Explosive touchdowns and big-time turnovers marked the win for the 49ers, who are now 10-3-1 and one victory away from claiming the NFC West title.

Albert Breer of NFL.com was in Foxborough on Sunday night and wrote that San Francisco proved its mettle against the tough opponent in a hostile environment

“The circumstances were what made this one different, and divine, for a Niners group that has been a bear to deal with for everyone since the minute Jim Harbaugh walked in the door,” Breer wrote. “There was the aforementioned weather. There was the juncture at which they were facing the Patriots, maybe the hottest team in the league over the past month. Then there was the game itself.”

The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate rounds up the best coverage from the Week 15 thriller, and explains why the 49ers are the best team to use in Madden 2013.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated featured the 49ers-Patriots matchup in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column.

Mark Kreigel of NFL Total Access on NFL Network says that San Francisco is the best team in the league.

EA Sports Tips and Tricks labeled the 49ers as the best team to use in 2013 Madden.

Marc Sessler of NFL.com passed along the 4th grade letter from Colin Kaepernick in which he wrote he wanted to play for the 49ers.

Jason Cole of Yahoo! Sports examined the quality teams of both the 49ers and Patriots.

Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea.com wrote that the 49ers beat the Patriots at their own game.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com recapped the playoff berth-clinching 49ers victory.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote about the back-and-forth nature of the exciting win.

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle noted the calm demeanor of Kaepernick as he guided the 49ers to victory.

Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group said the 49ers-Patriots game was an instant classic.

Tim Kawakami of the Bay Area News Group described the good and the bad of the 49ers victory.

Inman spoke to LaMichael James about his game-changing, 62-yard kickoff return in the fourth quarters.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com noted that the 49ers and Seahawks lead the league in average field position this year.

Sando also wrote about the NFC West containing Tom Brady this season.

Lowell Cohn on the Santa Rosa Press Democrat was impressed with the 49ers’ ability to fight through adversity.

Ashley Fox of ESPN.com wrote that the 49ers withstood the elements to claim an impressive victory.

49ers.com’s coverage included a recap of the 41-34 win (video / story / photos), a look at Kaepernick’s evening and the effort put together on defense and special teams. Scott Kegley and Taylor Price also broke down the Week 15 win in the latest Cover 2 presented by AAA, and we brought you highlights and press passes from Jim Harbaugh and Kaepernick.



Best tight end tandem in the game.

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Posted in Announcements | 59 Comments »

59 Responses to “Afternoon Tailgate: Dec. 17”

  1. By RawJa777 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    The suspense about Justin Smith’s injury is killing me! Any news??

  2. By Albert on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    We really need Justin Smith back
    soon for Seachickens Night game!!!

  3. By Rjohnny49 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I would like to comment on the let up in the 3rd & 4th quarter. When are these
    Co-ordinators going to realize that the Prevent Defense is only good when you
    are in the last 5 minutes of the game and you have a 3 score lead. Otherwise it
    just prevents you from winning. It was very stupid to go away from the man to man with safeties back to a 3 lineman rush and a prevent. It sure did not take
    long to lose our lead. Bradey needs to be pressured. In the Fourth Quarter
    all the defensive lineman were hand fighting at the line of scrimmage and not
    pushing the OL into the back field onto Bradey. What was that about

  4. By trueninerfan49 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Don’t know about ya’ll but i noticed when Justin Smith left the game Tom Brady had much more time, that’s when he started hitting his targets…..goes to show how important Justin Smith is to the niners…….what a game…..go niners.
    Get well quick Justin we need you.

  5. By ninerfanfromtonga on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    that game was epic. I take back everything I said about starting Kaepernick too early. It is fair to say that I have always wanted CK for the future, but at the same time, I felt loyalty to AS for the present. Therein is found my mistake, I need to put more trust in our Head Coach Jim Harbaugh….lol.

    In any case, we went into Gillette Field and beat a very good football team soundly. Inspite of their come back in the the third and fourth quarter, we missed some early opportunities early in the game in the first quarter that could have buried them so deep going into the second half, that whatever comeback they had would not have mattered. But, at the same time, we can be very proud of the boys in how they dug deep within themselves to make enough plays to negate all come back efforts from the Patriots.

    Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo Niners!!!!

  6. By 49thsamurai on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I think the let up in the 3 and most of the forth was to prevent injuries. But once we were in danger of losing the game we went back to the game plan that we had in the first half. No matter how you look at it that was the biggest win of the year. Awesome game. Maybe now the so called QB controversy can go away. Only wish i could have seen Moss’s TD live.

  7. By ninerfanfromtonga on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Justin (freakin) Smith……………our prayers are with you to get well. Take your time and be well, the playoffs needs you in it.

  8. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I have been telling you guys all year long,,,,,IN HARBAUGH WE TRUST !!!

  9. By all9ers on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    @Rjohnny49 – Agree with you on the let up, coaches fault for almost losing the game! You can let up on most teams but not on teams that are #1 in offense, with those you have to be ahead by 40 pts with almost 2 quarters left. Both Offense and Defense went wrong here so coach H has to get the point that he can’t do this too early, but it is good that this happened now so they don’t do something dumb like this in the playoffs where they will be facing high powered offenses. I also think that they should run at least 2 to 4 planned run plays for Kap, didn’t see any yesturday. I’m also glad they fixed the game clock situation, not they need to fix the SNAP situation. goooo49….

  10. By DMT on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I agree with Rjohnny49 about letting up when you get a big lead. If you have a 31-3 lead, keep your foot on the gas, like Pete Carroll does, they did a fake punt with a 30 point lead, and I loved it. Anyway, great win Niners, oh and one more thing, for all of you Alex Smith fanboys, CASE CLOSED!

  11. By Hmrhead1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    For those of you on the west coast that get to follow daily updates, what’s going on with Tarell? Is he hurt or something? For the last 6-8 weeks, he seems to be lacking any aggressiveness. It’s almost like he’s playing not to be beat vs making plays. Last year, he was attacking the ball. Big drop in play this year.

  12. By phatalerror on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    The case is closed because the Patriots turned the ball over 2 times more than the 49ers and let the 49ers start six drives in their own territory and managed to lose by only 7 points? The case is closed because Kaepernick has a 4 score stat line? The case is closed because you say so? There was nothing here that suggests that the game would not have been won by the 49ers if Alex Smith had started. If anything, starting Kaepernick turned it into a game that demanded the defense play flawlessly for the first half of the game.

    I don’t see your point.

  13. By Hmrhead1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    I dont care that he gets beat every so often. That happens. I just cant stand when he gives up constant 6-8 yd curls because hes playing so far off the ball.

  14. By phatalerror on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Why did the Patriots almost make a comeback? Because whenever Kaepernick wasn’t being gifted great field position during the second half, he accomplished nothing, and the ball went right back to the Patriots and the 49ers’ defense went back out on the field. You say “In Harbaugh we trust!” and then you take it all back with dumb comments about how the 49ers’ play calling dropped off at the end.

  15. By JParker on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    The rest of the team is going to have to pick it up a notch to make up for the loss of Smith. And I have no doubt they will.

  16. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    @ phatalerror,,I think you got me and someone else mixed up ,,,im the one that posts ,,IN HARBAUGH WE TRUST,,,I didnt say anything about the 49ers play calling

  17. By Hmrhead1 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    What?!?! The guy put up 41 on the road against the Patriots! He hit numerous chunk plays including 4td throws. And hes only going to get better. I understand you really want to be right about Alex but your argument is lost.

  18. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    @ hmrhead1; as far as brown is concerned, he is fighting through a slight shoulder sprain and should be fine, that may be why he’s playing a bit further back than usual, he cant turn to one side as fast as he’d like

  19. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    according to coach harbaugh who today on his live press conference at 12 pm here in the bay area, said justin smith is having some more tests done, lets hope its something he can wear a brace over like j.j. watt, and not something that will require immediate surgery. its an elbow injury not a shoulder as earlier reported, but who knows? with harbaugh it could be more but why give up all the info right before the next biggest game of the year, its a story that will be well watched throughout the next week

  20. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    im pretty sure when vic fangio started playing more zone coverages, he had guys starting to tire, that is a very fast paced offense the patriots run, and zone is a defense that allows guys to not have to run around as much, as you play in a certain area of responsibility,a.k.a known as a zone, we all saw our defense gasping for air, and when the pats tied it up coach vic went back to more man coverage and the defense got 2 big sacks of brady, good job ricky-jean,,so dont trip everybody, our coaches are doing a helluva job,,,IN HARBAUGH WE TRUST

  21. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    well,now I have said something about the play calling but it had nothing to do with the play of CK7

  22. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    and yes,it was obvious to all that when justin smith went out that we weren’t able to apply no where near as much pressure on brady untill late in the game,,when we went back to man coverage,,big ray and ricky-jean kept chopping away and finally got to brady,,we habe come depth depth on the d-line but to lose the last american bad a$$ for any length of time would be a big blow to our front 7

  23. By Hermie on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Philacio and Ogress need to find a new site. Philacio can’t stand it that the coaches actually know what they are doing. No Brag…Just fact!!

  24. By Hermie on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Yeah, Kaep didn’t have a great game and we still put up 41pts as a team. To say Alex would have or would not have been able to win the game shows the ignorance of the person that said it about their knowledge of football!!

  25. By Ladybug on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    On the news tonight they said Justin Smith has a elbow sprain (didn’t know you could sprain an elbow)..and he will be on the practice field this week. I think they are expecting he will improve as the week goes along.
    One of the reasons the Patriots ran up the score in the 2nd half was that the 49ers changed from man-on-man to zone defense, and the Patriots were able to take advantage of that. Did you notice that after the 3rd quarter the 49ers were back to man-on-man? And able to contain Brady. Don’t understand why they changed … it was working (man-on-man) beautifully.
    Nevertheless, I am super proud of our guys…Never gave up, brought the game to the Patriots IN THEIR HOUSE…in that rotten weather. I think our guys surprised the Brady Bunch !

  26. By Hermie on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    OK, Phatalerror…The Alex led 9er teams between 2005 and this year before he went out have put up 41 pts or more twice (what that’s 7-8yrs…”two” games). What makes you think he could have put up 41 last night in terrible weather?? I wish I had the drugs youare on!!

  27. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    im no alex smith hugger and am not taking sides on the qb controversy at all. but CK7 is coming into the league on a very good team as where alex is concerned he came into the league on a terrible team, I think trying to compare the 2 qbs at this point of their careers is not at all an equal evaluation. the teams alex was on his first 5 years couldnt win anything and his coaching during that time was $hit, but I like what I am seeing from CK7 for sure and I want to see more of the kid at this point. he is getting better by the week and his mistakes he is making are correctable, with alex we know what we have and if something were to happen to CK7 we have a capable back-up with alex. so,come together as fans,support coach harbaugh’s choice on the starting qb and lets go beat the seakawks,,IN HARBAUGH WE TRUST

  28. By tanglung on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Once again, The 49ers will win BIG. Seahawks are going to see a different 49ers team that they will not be ready for. Mark my words.

  29. By Ladybug on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    The play I just loved was the fake punt…..boy did we ever fool them. They had no idea what was coming. That’s what I like about JH…he’s got a lot of sneaky tricks up his sleeve. The Seahawks are being touted as a “tricky, sneaky, team” well, we’ve got a few too. Wait and see.
    The niners have got to be RELENTLESS in the game with the Seahawks.
    Pressure, pressure, pressure…

  30. By phatalerror on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    If you still count games against Alex Smith that were coached by Mike Nolan or Mike Singletary, you simply do not respect Jim Harbaugh’s coaching as much as you think you do. ‘Smith needed a good coach to win games,’ but then ‘blame the coach when the kid laterals the ball over his teammate’s head’. Double-standard. Again.

    Colin Kaepernick had sixteen drives not including the kneel-down at the end, and captained his team to score an average of less than 2.6 points per drive. The kid had six drives start on New England’s side of the field, and three of them started in the red zone. 41 points in that situation is not amazing.

  31. By phatalerror on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    By comparison, during week one, in eleven drives, Smith’s offense put up 30 points (2.7 points per drive), with only one possession starting in Green Bay’s territory, and that possession was a one play drive for a TD.
    During week two, in eight drives, Smith’s offense put up 27 points (3.3+ points per drive), with one possession starting in Detroit’s territory, and that resulted in a TD.

    This is representative of what Smith did all year: Control possession of the football, and win games the defense didn’t win for him. Who was the first 49er to turn the ball over in the Vikings game? What did the 49ers’ team do on Smith’s one off game of the year against the Giants? And yet when Colin single-handedly loses a game the defense played well, fans blamed the coaches for the play call. But the fact is, Colin Kaepernick has yet to win a game the rest of the team hasn’t won for him.

  32. By all9ers on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Enough with ck7 and as11. Why is anyone comparing them anymore??? That is old news now! Whomever is the best choice will be starting and playing. If ck7 gets hurt then as11 will be playing, end of subject. Will as11 be with 9ers next year? Probably NOT. Will he be better next year, maybe, after this experience he better practice harder so it doesn’t happen again while he is still considered “young”. Will the 9ers miss as11? Maybe, if ck7 gets injured and they don’t have a good #2 otherwise they will be saying “alex who??” Is this wrong? NO, WELCOME TO THE NFL……….IT’S ALL ABOUT GETTING THE RING!!!!

  33. By ben hernandez on Dec 17, 2012 | Reply

    Kap is the qb for the rest of the season.So get a life all you people !!

  34. By Hermie on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Like I said..8yrs, 2 games over 40pts, never in his career had a 4TD game….you tell me…what the Kaep led 9ers offense has done in 5 games. Already bested him I would say…Same team as Alex has!!

  35. By Hermie on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    During “one week”…over 8yrs!!! That is a pretty good stat cherry picking over that many years!! Swift!!! At least Kaep only needed 5 games!!

  36. By Hermie on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    That being said, if Alex gets back in there I will support him just as much…this is a “Team” that is destined to win!! Frank is still the best, may not get the yards of a Peterson, but he does “everything” else. Glad to see Crabs finally coming into his own, can’t wait to get Manningham back and would like to see Vernon get more involved…again. Don’t have to say much about the “D” except “Special”!!

  37. By phatalerror on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    What’s “cherry picking” about discounting stats from an era where the coaches wouldn’t have been able to put Kaepernick in a situation where he could win? Why should it be held against Alex Smith that his early head coaches were fundamentally incompetent?

    If you’re going to compare apples to apples, compare Kaepernick under Harbaugh’s system to Smith under Harbaugh’s system. It’s understood among the NFL’s coaches and players that Alex Smith the Quarterback needed to be ‘deconstructed’ upon Jim Harbaugh’s arrival because the former coaches had done so much damage to his game. Smith did an excellent job overcoming that. His first season under Harbaugh in terms of what he was asked to do was most comparable to the rookie season of most NFL quarterbacks. The second season of course started out differently.

    But don’t for a moment try to elevate your basis above mine by suggesting that if Alex is playing again, you will “support him just as much.” Your criticism of Smith relative to Kaepernick hasn’t been objective, and that’s not going to change if Smith rightfully gets another start.

  38. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    fake punt was awesome call….playcall of the year

  39. By Hermie on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Whaa, Whaa, Whaa…I am sure I was supporting the 9ers long before you were even born, unless you know who Blue, Vanderbundt or Bosley were!! I am still supporting them through Spurrier, Bull and Smith!! You probably don’t know who they are either!!

  40. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    yea but different play calling when ck is in, not that crazy about pistol offense, sometimes he fakes out everyone, sometimes he fumbles the ball, wtf, kinda takes away p a s s i n g , with only 2 wide outs, ck can f u ck i n g sling the ball out of shotgun formation, more wr/s in formation, more targets for ck, im just saying, wooot gooooo niners !!!!

  41. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    and im worried that the pistol doesnt work well with gore, i mean it does but, gore will get a lot more yards in in power or i or any formation not the pistol, i would blitz that and make him throw,like that roman opened up the offense,or was that ck that opened up the offense not sure ?

  42. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    still super happy about this win we are in the playoffs for sure, im gonna request to be off for the sb cuz i believe, we will be there, woooooot , goooooo niners !!!!

  43. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    poof 3

  44. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    all i want for cristm a s s is a playoff win

  45. By ace on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    cant say c r i s t m a s s cuz the a s s part

  46. By temper11 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


  47. By temper11 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply


  48. By temper11 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Phatalerror, that was a brilliant couple of posts of breaking down the numbers but it is in vain I’m afraid. People have been blaming Smith for so long that they don’t want to see the truth. If you change nothing in that game against the Pats, absolutely nothing except the number of the QB, the same people, be it media or fans would be saying today that Smith nearly gave that game away.

  49. By temper11 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    They’d say that he couldn’t sustain drives in the second half to give his defense a rest and that is why the Patriots were able to score so quickly and nearly complete the comeback. They’d say that he was merely the recipient of good defense that gifted him awesome field position early, allowing him to score easy touchdowns and pad his stats.

  50. By temper11 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    poof… f this blog.

  51. By tanglung on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    I’m a Alex Smith supporter, But enough already. Kaep is doing just fine. He fixed the play clock issue, Now he’l l fix the fumble snap issue. 49ers coming together as a team D-fence, Special teams and now offence. 49ers looking pretty gooooooood.

  52. By tanglung on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    A couple of games ago Randy Moss came off the field holding his hand after a throw from Kaep. Moss didn’t catch it, But had a look like ,man, he’s got a rocket arm.
    During the Pats game, the anouncer commented on how a good quarterback throws about 54/55 mph. Kaep threw one just over 60 mph. That’s going to be hard to defend. kinda reminds me of Elway’s rocket arm. Just saying.

  53. By tanglung on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    That throw was to Crabtree splitting defenders for a touchdown. NICE

  54. By mfkram64 on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    phatalerra r u kidding me? colin threw for 4 td’s alex would have kicked fg’s ok that’s the differance colin has the arm and ability to throw it 30-40 yards no problem never mind he did it in the rain in new england…that dime to moss,the one to crabs thru two denfenders on the run threaded like a needle.which alex would have never threw that ball and the sweet rain bow to walker.plus reading the blitze and hitting crabs again who made a nice move to score…tell me r u kidding me? alex would have kicked fg’s.. when will u wake up! of coarse in second half the pats adjusted they r an elite team with belichick and brady…they adjusted and scored..the pats d stepped it up so did their offense the big thing was colin didn’t turn the ball over and they counter punched with that td like a good team has to do to win! they beat the patriots at home were no one wins in dec…never mind it’s hard to beat the pats period! they r a great team..so give me a break with alex this and alex that..it’s colins team PERIOD!

  55. By Hermie on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Tanglung…I remember that throw to Moss! I had to kind of laugh to myself…he should have caught it. I think it was Staley (maybe Willis) that said this week that Kaep was special and definitely heading to the Hall of Fame…that is what the players are thinking!!

  56. By Hermie on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Wouldn’t that be nice!!

  57. By so.cal49ERSfan on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Great team win all around GO NINERS!!!!!!!!!!!

  58. By tanglung on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    Hermie, Let’s get some more SUPERBOWLS. Then the Hall of Fame.
    I really miss the Glory Days LOL.

  59. By Michael Mosher on Dec 18, 2012 | Reply

    first …. i would like to say that heath evans is an idiot,,, not a good commentater…. the only reason the patriots came back is because (def. coord or jim harbaugh)…went to a softer defense in the third quarter…. why? i have no clue… but that was a big mistake….. you can not give tom brady a zone defense and think you can coast…… all they did was give him confidence and we paid for it….we should have stayed puttin it to them..man coverage,because they could not handle us…..it was the coaches fault we almost lost…. luckily we have some talented guys and we are gonna have a great year…because we are definetely going to the superbowl this year…

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