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New Year’s Eve Tailgate: Dec. 31

Posted by Taylor Price on December 31, 2012 – 11:06 AM

From all of us with the San Francisco 49ers we’d like to wish you a very safe and happy New Year. Fresh off Sunday’s 27-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers have clinched consecutive NFC West titles and NFC No. 2 seeds.

It was a solid team effort against the Cardinals, followed by some anxious television watching as the Minnesota Vikings narrowly defeated the Green Bay Packers to give San Francisco a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Re-live Sunday’s season finale in today’s roundup of the top 49ers headlines from the Week 17 victory.

Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle detailed the growing on-field relationship between Michael Crabtree and Colin Kaepernick.

Branch also covered Ricky Jean Francois’ solid showing in place of Justin Smith at defensive tackle.

Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News offered a notebook on Frank Gore’s latest franchise record and Crabtree’s biggest game of his four-year career.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee described the anxious moments of 49ers players watching the Vikings-Packers game be decided.

CSNBayArea.com’s Matt Maiocco wrote about Justin Smith benefiting from the playoff bye as well as a game recap from the NFC West win and Crabtree doing something no 49ers player had done since Terrell Owens.

49ers.com reviewed the game in detail, looked at the team’s postseason chances the second time around under Jim Harbaugh, discussed Crabtree’s career day and also shared game photos, the Gameday cover story and a Cover 2 recap presented by AAA.




Get ‘em while they last.

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Posted in Morning Tailgate | 50 Comments »

50 Responses to “New Year’s Eve Tailgate: Dec. 31”

  1. By Bruce on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    We wish you a.three game wining streak to start the new year

  2. By big Mel in VA. on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    The Big Dance is on the Way .. Lets Go 49er’s

  3. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    OK,after staying up all night and re-watching the game on the dvr after getting home from the game,,which I always do much to the dismay of my wife,I saw rickey-jean turn it up, I saw special k and the crabs,,sounds like a punk rock band dont it?,,really saw how much they are in tune with each other. gore dont get as many yards as he used to but he is more refreshed during the game and how about lamichael james? the kid looks like the real deal. we started out slow which was a concern at first but you knew arizons defense was going to start out the game trying to kill everyone. and we saw our defense line up in some formations that we had not seen yet this year. I mean I saw them play a style of zone that they had not shown before. we were in a 4-3 playing a tampa 2 type of coverage,,weird,,but I think it was coach fangios way of telling the rest of the league,,look,, something new to have to prepare for,,,hehehehe,,our linebackers allow coach vic to really come up with some elaborate schemes. what I dont understand is why coach vic switched carlos rodgers to slot coverage and put culliver on the outside exclusively,, I mean I know it was to help get culliver up to speed but when they drafted culliver I thought it was to prepare him to be a full time slot coverage corner, well the kid is doing very well on the outside leaving coach vic to have to play carlos all over the place, either way, there is enough game film on any of the teams we could possibly face to start putting together a game formula and begin the preperation for another super bowl run,,,its time,,
    4 lombardi’s in the 80’s, 1 in 94, its time,,we can beat any team left in the nfc playoffs, all we have to do is flawlessly execute the game plan given us from harbaugh and his coaching staff,,,IN HARBAUGH WE TRUST,,,49ERS 2012

  4. By bow53 on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply


  5. By dave g. on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply


  6. By 49erdefense2012 on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    just heard on the nfl network that the 49ers are trying out kickers this week to prepare in case akers struggles continue. I wonder if they are working out the kid from the pre-season, the kid from cal un-drafted rookie free agent giorggio tavecchio,,I just got done watching the 1st pre-season of the year against the vikings and the kid was booming the kick-offs and all his field goal attempts

  7. By Ladybug on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    Happy New Year to all….May our 49ers be healthy all through the playoffs, and win the Big Dance. ! !
    As for Akers…I really feel that his pelvic injury is still causing him problems. He is probably pulling back his leg too soon to avoid further pulling the muscles in that area. I’ve had a similar injury (and I’m a lady…got it mis-stepping coming down a set of steep steps)…and it took me almost a year to fully recover. God know how it must hurt when over-extending it kicking the ball.. and pulling back will make that ball curve right or left. The follow-through has to be completed. Don’t think he’s doing that.
    That being said….God Bless our boys, may they continue to be successful and prosper in 2013…..

  8. By Jerry Melrose on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks cOach,

    for giving Alex the Opportunity
    to receive the Overdue standing “O” !
    We, the Olde-timey fans “O”wed it to him…

    supposing it’s nearing his last days with this O-line.

  9. By Sitiveni Young on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    Been a fan since 84′ faithfully, congratz to the whole organization as well as the coaches and players! Stay hungry and focused and have perfect practices, because perfect practices sets you up for perfection. It’s time to bring the Lombardi trophy back where it belongs! Go Niners!!! Only team in NFL history that has made it to the SuperBowl and NEVER LOSE!

  10. By Sitiveni Young on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    Yadaladigg….. BANG BANG NINER GANG!!!

  11. By Buzz Clifford on Dec 31, 2012 | Reply

    Happy new Year to the whole team and the coaching staff.!!! Next game td by Anthony Dixon, Crabtree, LaMichael and Jenkins and Walker. Come out the gates fast. That’s 35 points and one for Gore 42 should suffice. Spread it around.

    I am 66 and am a 4.5 tennis player. The Australian Open is on. Kaep “you said the ball in your court. How apprapo. Fumbles and interceptions from smash mouth football by Goldson and Whitner cause the ball in Kaep’s court more often.

    So listen to all your coaches and let’s bring home the Lombardi to nice weather Santa Clara.

  12. By 9erdog on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Sorry for Akers: BUT we can’t win games without a FG kicker that we can depend on, we’re into a one game season now, its win or go home!

  13. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    a quiet day at the facility, wednesday will bring everyone back to work and get ready for our playoff game, I hope a.j. jenkins will develop some confidence and hang on to the ball when it is thrown his way. and I believe coach harbaugh will straighten out our kicking issues.I personally dont care who we play, I think we can beat anybody now in the playoffs. no penalties, execute the game plan, AND MAKE ALL FIELD GOALS !!!!!,,,do that, and we will bring home lombardi #6,,IN HARBAUGH WE TRUST,,,,

  14. By ninerfanfromtonga on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    I have my new years gifts from the Niners going to the playoffs and having a wild-card week bye. That is more than I can ask for. That being said, I hope all the injured, dinged, bruised, tired and whatever else is ailing our players get properly attended to, and lets go out next week and have us some fun with our first opponent in the playoffs.

    Good luck to you Justin Smith, I hope you make it back for the playoffs. But, do take care of yourself first and foremost. Make sure you are well, and that your family is well as well, than football comes way after those utmost important things. If we see you in the playoffs, it will be a blessing no doubt, but man take care of yourself, we the fans love you either way. You’ve given this team leadership that was much needed. You can do that on or off the field with inspiration.

    Goooooooooooooooooooooooo Niners!!!!

    Beeat Everyone in the Playoffs……………let no one stand!!!!\

    Siitveni Young…..nice name….I see you bro….lol

  15. By Larry Lawson on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Watch for Moss to step it up in the playoffs. He’s been there and done that. The one thing he has never mastered during his career is the unique method of throwing the ball to himself. If Colin looks for him and makes him a target he will make it happen.

  16. By 9erdog on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Moss: oh-yes he can be the deferents maker, throw the ball deep and high, just the way Moss likes ‘em!

  17. By phatalerror on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    What does anyone here think about the signing of Billy Cundiff while keeping David Akers on the roster? I like the move.

  18. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    I think cundiff can choke just as easiliy as akers, that being said, I dont think we have completely solved our kicking issues

  19. By dave g. on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    I am not thrilled with signing Cundiff. We might as well stay with Akers and hope he snaps out of it. Cundiff cost the Ravens a trip to the SB missing a 32 yarder last year. Cundiff joins his sixth team in 10 NFL seasons. Sorry that I am not excited about the move. I hope its just to light a fire under Akers!

  20. By dave g. on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    It’s crazy how one of our strongest areas last year has suddenly become our shakiest!

  21. By dave g. on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Check out the difference last year to this year. If we are even close in our field goals last year year we may be #1 seed with a 13-3 record. All the things people have been questioning have been off the mark. Look how kicking has been the issue:

    2011 STATS: field goals 44/52 & touch downs 35

    2012 STATS: field goals 29/42 & touch downs 44

    To ALL the idiots critizing coaching and the quarterback (Smith or Kap). THINK ABOUT HOW MANY MISSED FG’s THIS HAS BEEN!

  22. By dave g. on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    We went from 84% to 69%. Dear Lord..please don’t make kicking cost us a Championship. Playing good teams in the playoffs will mean maximizing our opportunities! WE NEED YOU AKERS TO DO WHAT YOU DID LAST YEAR!

  23. By phatalerror on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    “To ALL the idiots critizing coaching and the quarterback (Smith or Kap). THINK ABOUT HOW MANY MISSED FG’s THIS HAS BEEN!”

    I’m not one to bifurcate two separate issues, especially not when one issue has been made to be slightly bigger than it is. How many games did the 49ers lose because of missed field goals? I am apt to say only one, the game against the Vikings, and it wasn’t even a miss, but a block (the 49ers would likely have gone into the second half down 6-14 and receiving the opening kickoff, instead of being down 14 points). In fact, the 49ers are tied at worst in the league with the Jets and the Bears for blocked field goals allowed (3). The entire squad is to blame for leaving Akers wondering about his safety each time he goes onto the field.

    Akers is not free from blame, but there’s plenty to go around. Neither of the Rams games should have come down to a field goal. If you disallow the blocked kicks from Akers’ kicking statistics this year, he was 29/39, which is a hair under 75% and still sub-standard for the NFL, but a more fair measure of Akers’ actual performance.

  24. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    i AGREE 100% DAVE,,,cundiff has sucked in the little playing time he has had this season,,,lets hope akers can figure it out,,,I DO NOT WANT KICKING TO COST US A CHAMPIONSHIP OR A PLAYOFF GAME

  25. By dave g. on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Phatalerror: I think you missing that the 2 Rams game would have been won if not for Akers misses. Thats 2 games won instead of a loss and a tie. The Vikings loss was a complete team loss as was the Giants & 2nd Seahawks game. Thats why I say we should be 13-3. The two Rams losses were lost because of kicks Akers normally makes. The 3 other games we lost as a team but it would have been tied for best record in the league which goes back to my point COACH AND QB is not an issue. Lets get it done Akers!

  26. By phatalerror on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    I understand that the margin of the Rams games was such that a field goal would have made the difference, but the 49ers could have won those games long before a field goal became necessary.

    Brief recent history lesson:

    The defense played badly to open the first Rams game, and Kaepernick’s sudden insertion as necessitated by Smith’s concussion didn’t make things smoother. Then the 49ers special teams fell asleep on two fourth down fake punts (“Fool me twice, shame on me.”) long before a kick would have made a difference.

    The second Rams game was won by the 49ers’ team, and Kaepernick’s panic dash into his endzone as well as the pitch over Ginn’s head undid everything the team accomplished with 60 minutes of perfect defense and special teams. That game was Kaepernick’s floor.

    In fact, the 49ers’ special teams unit as a whole has lost more games than David Akers alone did. So please stop trying to lynch David Akers, because he was saving this team when it had half an offense last year. I was reasonable about my complaints against Kaepernick, never placing all blame on him when blame was due his teammates. Now it’s time for you to do the same.

    By the way, wasn’t everyone complaining last year about how Smith couldn’t seal the deal and Akers always had to do the scoring for him? So what gives now? If Kaepernick could finish drives that don’t score from outside the red zone, Akers wouldn’t need to be attempting the kicks in the first place. Everyone would win. I’m just saying.

  27. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    Christian Ponder beat us by leving the pocket and moving to his right. Make that typo leaving.

    Kaep a good QB throws it out of bounds when in trouble.! A.K.A. Montana

    Peyton Manning when in trouble leaves the pocket and rolls to right toward the sidelines. He is very slow on his feet and Aldon can catch him. His decision to play with C-6 problems was aa poor one. With the likes of Ahmad Brooks, Patrick Willis,Navarro Bowman, Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner they will tear his head clean off figuratively and possibly litterally .
    Peyton is a great guy and champion with coaching abilities and a quick release on the field but he’s no match for Justin and Aldon.

    We need to come out of the gated fast foot on accelerator till fat lady sings.We need to cause interceptions and fmbles and practice catching interceptions at the Santa Clara Practice field.

    One game at a time but I think u only need 2 games to be in the super Bowl.

  28. By phatalerror on Jan 1, 2013 | Reply

    “Kaep a good QB throws it out of bounds when in trouble.! A.K.A. Montana”


    Alex Smith threw the ball away when no one was open because he was a “game manager”. But when Colin Kaepernick throws the ball away when he can’t find the open receiver, he’s like Joe Montana?

    Really, he’s got a long ways to go to be considered a top ten quarterback. Maybe we could wait a little on comparisons to Greatest of All Time Quarterbacks? Especially since people were skewering the last starting quarterback for doing all of the things Kaepernick is doing (except pitching a ball over a runningback’s head; I don’t remember seeing that one).

  29. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply


  30. By mfkram64 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    ssssssssssssssssssss msmsmssm

  31. By mfkram64 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    it’s time for some else to run this site….

  32. By mfkram64 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    what u don’t like my long post?

  33. By Randy K. on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    If I was a head coach, I wouldn’t want to come having to rely on a kicker to decide my games for me. I would agressively play call to establish a lead and expand it so the kicker would be the last consideration to decide a game. By the way, is there a medical professional who could tell me if Justin Smith’s injury has even a remote chance to heal by the first playoff game or if they last that long, the Super Bowl?

  34. By bow53 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    ‘IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!! deal w/ it…or support it at least…..

  35. By Humble Gold on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Unfortunately, I believe it’s too late for good changes in the Kicking game.
    I mentioned this several months ago, and now it’s a serious issue for Winning.
    Coach Harbaugh has done everything very well, and allowing Alex to come in on the last game of the season was a welcome surprise. Alex deserved that.
    Born in Europe, I was a soccer-style kicker/punter myself, and I know that the 49ers as a Team can overcome and help Akers, if he is healthy. Go Niners.

  36. By mfkram64 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    dave g. is right on…phalatablahblahblah…u don’t see it? i know if alex played they whould have won those ram games right? we get u love alex…as said before move on it’s old now.. kap is the qb….this off. is going to get better with coach and kap working together…getting moss more touch’s and crabs how much does he love this new off.? c’mon phalablahblah…gore is fresh and not all beat up…as far as fg’s quote “should have won game before them” r u kidding me…REALLY! what team couldn’t say that….but it came down to akers hitting a 41 yd at home for the win he missed not blocked…50 yd in a dome again for win missed not BLOCKED! he gets paid to hit fg’s he has missed alot this year..last year he bailed alex out alot…alex stalled the off. alot last year without akers the 9ers would have been 8-8…so to your stupid quote if alex ran the offense better agsinst the giants in the champ. game with your thinking williams never would have fumbled right? cuz alex would have made some plays instead of 3 an outs..and 1-2 to wr’s for the day..see how your thinking is bullsh$$! your a monday morning qb….

  37. By bow53 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    o.k.now that we are in the post season and got the bye week which is very, very, welcome to our team, plenty of time to prepare and heal what needs to be healed, so, come jan. 12, will be good & fresh to kic azz whom ever will be facing, my main concern here is the field goal kicker, cuz’ during the playoffs its suppose to be zero mistake, now billy cundiff is a house hold name when it comes to field goals, i rather use this guy , than akers, cuz’ this guy is messed up some where, in the head or leg i don’t wanna know, but those field goals score are very important in a playoff games,offense wise will be alright w/ ck7 in the center, defense i hope everybody will be back , specially the cowboy (justin) i’m confident they be solid thru out the game…my point here is lets change the kicker before he does some damage..

  38. By dave g. on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Phatalerror: It appears to me that you are biased so your history lesson means nothing to me. Every team has good and bad plays in the course of the game BUT are you trying to convince us that Akers has not missed a lot of field goals he typically made last year????? If you have been following these blogs enough you would know I was never down on Alex Smith and was never one of those guys. Please take your biased lessons and comments and stick it. I am not saying the team was perfect against the Rams BUT the fact remains that Akers has missed shots he should have made. HOW ARE YOU EVEN GOING TO TRY TO ARGUE THAT? For Gods Sake Harbaugh signed Cundiff!!!!!! Cundiff?!

  39. By dave g. on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Phatalerror: Its very apparent you want Alex and thats where you trying to guide your arguments. History lesson for you: I have always been sticking up for Alex and did not want the change to happen when it did. I knew Kap would be the future but I thought we should wait. I was being conservative and was happy and felt good that we can win it all with him BUT and this is a BIG BUT…now that its been done and he looks explosive we might as well let it roll because Kap is getting better everyday! There is no point with “fans” throwing their biased “IT SHOULD BE THIS GUY AND THAT GUY” & “PRO ALEX & PRO KAP”. Will you get over it! We can win with either. Please shut up with that. Our biggest weakness now is kicking. You mean to tell me you don’t hold your breath on 30 yarders this year when last year you knew it was a sure thing??? Seriously. Please stop trying to twist this into a Smith vs Kap. You just sound retarted.

  40. By bow53 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    well said, dave…u hit it between the eye…….some guys can’t move on and face reality what happenning…..

  41. By dave g. on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Randy K.: Really…like every coach in the league is not trying to have it not come down to a field goal. Oh yeah…thats exactly what we aim for! Man we have some real geeks on here. I feel like knocking on your head like a door and say “is anybody home”? Dude..here is some reality for you. Look around the league…look at the Falcons and look at how many inter division games come down to a field goal or are extremely close. Its a very competitive league. Wake up man! Sometime it will come down to a kicker, especially when the competition gets tougher. And yes we don’t want it to BUT guess what? It may actually happen and wouldnt you rather be ready if it does? Thats the point?

  42. By dave g. on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    mfkram64: You right! What world do these guys (Phatalerror & Randy) live in that they expect a team not to need to kick field goals? How can you just not laugh at that rediculous statement! While we at it we should be blowing out every team in the league by 40 points, our RB should be running for 3000 yards, our WR’s should be making 20 TDS a game, Aldon should have hit 30 sacks this year and I should be sleeping with Katy Perry. Ok…now stop playing with Peter Pan and let us slap you!

  43. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    great points dave g. …ok phatal,,,WHY DOES A TEAM HAVE A FIELD GOAL KICKER????/??? TO SCORE POINTS WHEN THE OFFENSE BOGS DOWN,,,that is his job,,to make kicks,,,nothing more,,,nothing less,,,to come through when all the chips are on the table. I have said it many times already, but I will say it again just for a re-fresher,,,2011 was akers prove the eagles wrong season,,he OVER-ACHIEVED,,,this year, with not having to prove someone wrong, hence he doesnt have that same motivation, he is showing why the eagles let him go.

  44. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    peter fan,,,,that was hella funny

  45. By Buzz Clifford on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Minnnesota, Seattle or Greenbay. I”lltake Minnesota. And when Ponder goes to right near right sideline Whitner will light him up.

  46. By dave g. on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Its nice to know there are some people on here like 49erdefense2012, Bow53, & mfkram64 who actually use logic and common sense on here.

  47. By 9erdog on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Billy Cundiff, Akers Motivation?

  48. By 9erdog on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    BTW: phatalerror, I enjoy reading your post, point counter point

  49. By 49erdefense2012 on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply


  50. By Humble Gold on Jan 2, 2013 | Reply

    Wow – Is Billy Cundiff really better than David Akers ? Why not ask a Kicker?

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