The 49ers will do a lot more scoreboard watching this weekend, just like Pro Bowl safety Donte Whitner was doing after the regular season finale in the photo atop this post.
The game San Francisco is most focused on features the two teams they anxiously watched at the conclusion of a Week 17 win over Arizona. On Saturday night, if the Green Bay Packers are victorious at home over the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers on Jan. 12 in the Divisional Playoff round.
For what it’s worth, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Peter King is predicting a Packers win.
If the Vikings win, however, the winner of the Seattle Seahawks-Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon tilt will travel to Candlestick Park for a primetime postseason clash.
Tickets for the Jan. 12 Divisional matchup presented by State Farm will be made available on Monday, Jan. 7 at 10 a.m. PT via Ticketmaster. Quantities will be limited, so fans will be encouraged to visit NFL Ticket Exchange for additional seats.
But before the 49ers can find out who they’ll play next week, the team will hold one last workout this week that figures to impact San Francisco’s decision at kicker for the postseason.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Andy Lee, Billy Cundiff, David Akers, Donte Whitner, Eric Davis, Justin Smith, Patrick Willis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 156 Comments »
Health questions continued to surround the San Francisco 49ers as they prepare for the Chicago Bears on “Monday Night Football.” Days after monitoring the health of quarterback Alex Smith who’s coming off a concussion suffered against the St. Louis Rams, it was announced by the team that head coach Jim Harbaugh had undergone a minor procedure to correct an irregular heartbeat.
In his place, assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely led the 49ers through practices and meetings on Thursday. Many players said they expected Harbaugh to return to the team’s training facility as early as Friday. However, a report from ESPN’s Ed Werder said San Francisco’s coach had been back to work as soon as the second half of Thursday’s practice.
It’s not known if Harbaugh has returned to 49ers headquarters officially. The team is scheduled for practice and media availability today, stay tuned for more updates on 49ers.com and @49ers on Twitter.
9:20 A.M. UPDATE
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com reports Harbaugh has returned to the 49ers facility and will address the media at noon.
Tags: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, David Akers, Eric Davis, Jim Harbaugh, Patrick Willis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 25 Comments »
Fresh off a bye week, the San Francisco 49ers remain in first place of the NFC West with a 1.5 game lead over the Seattle Seahawks, who defeated the Minnesota Vikings 30-20 at home on Sunday.
The 49ers, themselves, will play a third consecutive division game in Week 10 when the St. Louis Rams visit Candlestick Park.
While the Rams are alone in last place in the NFC West at 3-5, Sunday’s game remains pivotal for both teams. Since 2000, 29 teams have reached the halfway point of their season with a .500 or below winning percentage and proceeded to the playoffs, including at least one in each season.
The 49ers aim to make sure the Rams aren’t the 30th team to make the group.
San Francisco is coming off a strong showing in Week 8, a 24-3 win over Arizona that featured impressive quarterback play from Alex Smith.
The NFC’s Week 8 Offensive Player of the Week’s performance was reviewed in greater detail by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King, who believes the 49ers remain Super Bowl contenders heading into the second half of 2012.
“I really like what I’ve seen out of him this year, mostly,” King wrote about Smith, who is second in the NFL with a 69.4 completion percentage. “He’s as accurate an intermediate passer as I’ve seen this season. I think he’s going to be asset, not a question mark, as the 49ers make a Super Bowl push.”
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Carlos Rogers, Chris Culliver, Eric Davis, Randy Moss, Tarell Brown, Ted Robinson
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 46 Comments »
The voice of the San Francisco 49ers Ted Robinson was profiled in a 49ers.com feature story earlier today along with his broadcasting partner Eric Davis. Robinson, however, played double-duty for 49ers.com on Friday, also joining us for our latest Niner Talk podcast.
The respected broadcaster discussed his bright spots of the first half of the season, naming third-year guard Mike Iupati and second-year cornerback Chris Culliver as his two most unsung players of the first half for the 49ers.
Tags: Chris Culliver, Colin Kaepernick, Eric Davis, Isaac Sopoaga, Michael Crabtree, Mike Iupati, Ted Ginn Jr., Ted Robinson, Will Tukuafu
Posted in Niner Talk | 4 Comments »
Two days before the San Francisco 49ers start the 2012 regular season in Green Bay, it’s safe to say the coaching staff is still using their preparation time wisely.
Coordinators Greg Roman and Vic Fangio said they’ve been preparing for the Packers since mid-April when the 2012 schedule was released. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com shares the ways in which the Packers have been on the coordinator’s minds for some time.
“When the 49ers reported for training camp in late-July,” Maiocco wrote, “the focus was on installing the entire defensive package. But late in the exhibition season, the 49ers spent more time zeroing in on the Packers.”
Tags: Donte Whitner, Eric Davis, Greg Roman, Justin Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Vic Fangio
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 70 Comments »
San Francisco 49ers Training Camp presented by HP got officially underway on Friday, but the physicality of camp will truly begin today when pads will be worn for the first time of camp.
Even without pads, Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers coaching staff made the most of the early training sessions. “You can’t waste any time, not a single minute,” Harbaugh said on Friday.
Saturday’s practice session saw several standout plays, and the continued role reversal of select backup players. Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee noted the position changes from several players on the roster: “Michael Wilhoite and Demarcus Dobbs were back to defense today; Will Tukuafu, however, played fullback … Cory Nelms has been playing safety the last two days. He also can play cornerback.”
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted it was a busy day for first-round pick A.J. Jenkins who saw more action due to Michael Crabtree’s absence from practice. “During the 11-on-11 session, Jenkins made three catches, including a nice grab to end practice,” Maiocco wrote. “On a previous play, Jenkins failed to hang onto a Scott Tolzien throw that was behind him. But Jenkins made the catch in traffic a short time later on a dart from second-string quarterback Colin Kaepernick.”
Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News offered this classic observation of 49ers All-Pro, All-World, defensive tackle Justin Smith: “Remember in the playoff win over the Saints how Justin Smith bulldozed left tackle Jerrod Bushrod and reached over him to grab the back of Drew Brees back near the goal? Smith did almost the same thing today, pushing his way into the pocket past rookie tackle Al Netter.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jumnp.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Cory Nelms, David Akers, Demarcus Dobbs, Eric Davis, Jim Harbaugh, Justin Smith, Kyle Williams, LaMiichael James, Michael Wilhoite, Patrick Willis, Perrish Cox, Ted Ginn Jr., Vic Fangio
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 22 Comments »
The closer we get to training camp, the more we come across last-minute predictions for the 2012 season. Not to worry, 49ers Faithful would approve of these opinions.
The latest offering, NFL Network’s season preview of the San Francisco 49ers as part of their “32 Teams in 32 Days” series, touches on the 49ers chances of improving on last year’s NFC title game appearance.
NFLN analysts Jamie Dukes and Daryl Johnston spoke positively about the team’s chances of reaching a sixth Super Bowl in franchise history. In fact, Dukes has gone on the record as predicting the 49ers being the NFC’s representative in this year’s Super Bowl.
More analysis on the 49ers heading into camp and the latest team headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: Dashon Goldson, Eric Davis, Jerry Rice, Randy Moss
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 29 Comments »
Report dates for San Francisco 49ers Training Camp presented by HP have been announced. Rookies will report on July 21st; veterans will report five days later on the 26th.
In order to get fans caught up with the team, 49ers.com continues to preview each position group as we get closer to camp. Already, we’ve looked at the quarterbacks, wide receivers and linebackers. Stay tuned for more camp previews all through July.
Chris Burke of SI.com recently wrote a team-wide breakdown of the 49ers as the team approaches camp. According to Burke, improvements in the passing game, Aldon Smith’s development as an every-down linebacker and the defensive unit’s sustained health are the team’s biggest storylines to track.
“Both (Jim) Harbaugh and (Alex) Smith should have more confidence in the receivers this year, if nothing else,” Burke wrote. “Michael Crabtree and tight end Vernon Davis caught 72 and 67 passes in 2011, respectively, but the next highest total was (Kyle) Williams’ 20. To help there, the 49ers added free agents (Mario) Manningham and (Randy) Moss, then drafted (A.J.) Jenkins.”
Burke concludes his preview with a strong belief that the team can repeat its 2011 success.
“With (Frank) Gore and newcomer (Brandon) Jacobs carrying the load behind Smith, and with that spectacular defense stuffing opponents on the other side of the ball, the foundation has been laid for another solid season.”
More 49ers headlines can be found after the jump.
Tags: A.J. Jenkins, Aldon Smith, Alex Boone, Alex Smith, Eric Davis, Frank Gore, Jed York, Jim Harbaugh, Kyle Williams, Randy Moss
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 15 Comments »
The San Francisco 49ers announced a partnership with 95.7 The GAME (KGMZ-FM), the Bay Area’s only FM sports station, to create “49ers Monday”, a unique, exclusive program airing every Monday in morning, mid-day, and afternoon drive during football season starting Monday, September 12. The agreement is for four years.
“This partnership and exclusive content will enhance the overall coverage of the 49ers during the 2011 season,” said Chief Operating Officer Paraag Marathe. “Our fans will hear from more members of the team and organization than ever before.”
Tags: 49ers Monday, Eric Davis, Jim Harbaugh, Trent Baalke
Posted in Announcements | 2 Comments »