Patrick Willis’ potential role against the Green Bay Packers has already been discussed at great length this week. But to his credit, the six-time Pro Bowl linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers said he’s eager to carry out whatever responsibilities are asked of him from defensive coordinator Vic Fangio.
If the Packers elect to use four wide receivers at a time in Saturday night’s Divisional Playoff matchup, Willis could very well be on the sideline in the 49ers dime defense in favor of fellow Pro Bowl linebacker, NaVorro Bowman. San Francisco’s “Mike” linebacker, played by Bowman, covers the middle of the field in the 49ers dime defense.
However, the likelihood of the Packers throwing even more against the 49ers isn’t a guarantee. After all, Green Bay has evolved into more of a balanced offense ever since San Francisco opened up the 2012 regular season with a solid, 30-22 road victory at Lambeau Field. Furthermore, wide receiver Jordy Nelson was reportedly missing at Tuesday’s open portion of Green Bay’s practice. Nelson suffered a leg injury in Week 17 and later limped off the field late in Green Bay’s Wild Card win over Minnesota. Both teams will release the first injury reports of the week later today.
It’ll be interesting to see if the Packers test their improved running attack against the 49ers or utilize their numerous playmakers at the wide receiver position. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com and Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee both examined the possibility of Willis being on the sideline in situational packages against Green Bay.
Regardless of the personnel Green Bay utilizes on Saturday, Willis will surely find ways to impact the game.
Tags: Anthony Dixon, Colin Kaepernick, Joe Staley, Navorro Bowman, Patrick Willis, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 94 Comments »
It’s been nearly four months since the 49ers kicked off the 2012 season with a 30-22 victory against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. By virtue of their 24-10 victory over Minnesota on Saturday, the Packers are headed to Candlestick for the 5 p.m. PT Saturday kickoff against the 49ers in the NFC Divisional Round.
Aaron Rodgers led Green Bay to an 11-5 record and the NFC North title in the regular season, earning the No. 3 seed in the postseason. The 49ers and Packers and no strangers to each other in the playoffs. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com took a look back at the rich postseason history between the two proud franchises over the years.
“When the third-seeded Green Bay Packers visit Candlestick Park on Saturday to face the No. 2 seed 49ers, it’ll be their sixth postseason meeting,” Maiocco wrote. “But it’ll be the first time Chico native Aaron Rodgers has played in San Francisco in his career. And it’ll be the first playoff appearance for Colin Kaepernick.”
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks ahead to the playoff matchup with the Pack as the 49ers open their Quest for Six.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Greg Roman, LaMichael James, Parys Haralson, Vernon Davis
Posted in Announcements | 61 Comments »
As the regular season winds down, the 49ers are starting to fill up 2012 award lists and the NFC Pro Bowl roster. Mike Sando of ESPN.com offered his all-NFC West team and listed 11 49ers among the best players in the division.
Among San Francisco’s players on Sando’s list included wideout Michael Crabtree, who is having a career year in his fourth NFL season. 49ers Public Relations director Bob Lange shared this cool photo spread of Crabtree explaining his ability to make sideline catches to ESPN the Magazine reporter Anna Katherine Clemons.
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at Justin Smith’s injury, Vernon Davis’ return to practice and more.
Tags: Aldon Smith, Greg Roman, Justin Smith, Mario Manningham, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Vic Fangio
Posted in Announcements | 149 Comments »
The 49ers suffered a humbling 42-13 defeat in Seattle on Sunday night, but still woke up on Christmas Eve with a half-game lead in the NFC West over the Seahawks. With a victory on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals at Candlestick Park, San Francisco will capture their second straight division crown.
Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group examined the lopsided loss and what it means for the 49ers. “Both the 49ers and Seahawks are assured playoff berths,” Inman wrote. “The 49ers clinched at least a wild-card spot a week ago after outlasting the New England Patriots 41-34. The Seahawks earned their playoff ticket with Sunday’s prime-time win.”
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate looks at the defeat and possible playoff scenarios for the 49ers.
Tags: Colin Kaepernick, Jim Harbaugh, Justin Smith, LaMichael James, Vernon Davis
Posted in Announcements | 39 Comments »
The play call was simple, but it will forever be remembered by the 49ers Faithful.
It hasn’t been a year since Alex Smith and Vernon Davis connected on their 14-yard, game-winning touchdown in the closing seconds of a 36-32 victory against the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Divisional Playoff round, but Davis’ catch is already up there with some of the greatest moments in 49ers history.
But is it better than The Catch?
The Catch (No. 1) and Vernon Post (No. 2) are currently the top two vote-getters in the Faithful fan polling of Candlestick Park’s greatest moments on FarewellCandlestick.com presented by SAP.
Want to make your voice heard? Friday marks the final day for the 49ers Faithful to rank their top 10 plays in Candlestick lore.
Tags: Jonathan Goodwin, Vernon Davis
Posted in Announcements | 18 Comments »
Before Sunday’s epic regular season battle between the 49ers and Patriots, co-chairman Dr. John York presented members of the military with 49ers pins in a continuing gameday tradition. If you still can’t get enough of the thrilling 41-34 victory in Foxborough, tune into NFL Network tonight at 6:30 p.m. PT for a condensed look at the game on NFL Replay.
While the victory moved San Francisco’s record to 10-3-1 and and clinched the second straight playoff berth for the 49ers, there’s still work to be done heading into the Week 16 road matchup at Seattle. The 49ers will play on Sunday Night Football for the second consecutive week, as the NFL flexed the game to primetime due to its big-time playoff implications.
Here is the latest playoff picture for the 49ers:
San Francisco clinches NFC West division with:
1) SF win or tie
San Francisco clinches a first-round bye with:
1) SF win + GB loss or tie OR
2) SF tie + GB loss
The rest of today’s Morning Tailgate features nationwide recognition for the 49ers, the latest comments from Jim Harbaugh and more.
Tags: Jim Harbaugh, Justin Smith, Vernon Davis
Posted in Announcements | 58 Comments »
Earlier this week, we discussed Aldon Smith’s chances of winning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. Sports lllustrated’s Peter King believes the 49ers outside linebacker and league’s sack-leader (19.5) has a serious chance of taking home the honor if he’s able to break the NFL’s single-season sack record of 22.5 set by Michael Strahan.
If able to break the record, Smith might pick up even more hardware according to ESPN.com’s Mike Sando, who lists Smith at No. 10 on his latest MVP Watch post.
“Smith has 10 sacks in his last four games,” Sando wrote in his explanation for Smith’s inclusion in the Top-10. “He has 15 sacks in his last seven games. For perspective, consider that Hall of Famer Bruce Smith finished two of his 19 seasons with 15-plus sacks.”
Tags: Aldon Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, LaMichael James, Michael Crabtree, Ray McDonald, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 16 Comments »
A Week 15 road win over New England and a Seattle road loss to Buffalo (in Toronto)… and the San Francisco 49ers are in, the playoffs that is, as NFC West Champs. If that scenario happens this week, the team would be happier than Anthony Dixon after a 1-yard touchdown run.
A win over the Patriots and a Seattle win over the Bills… and the 49ers can make their way into the dance with a postseason bid, just not a division title.
The 49ers can make the playoffs if the following scenarios take place:
San Francisco clinches NFC West division with:
1) SF win + SEA loss
San Francisco clinches a playoff spot with:
1) SF win OR
2) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + MIN loss or tie OR
3) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + WAS loss or tie + GB-CHI does not end in tie OR
4) SF tie + DAL loss or tie + MIN loss or tie + CHI loss OR
5) SF tie + NYG loss + MIN loss or tie + CHI loss OR
6) MIN loss + DAL loss + WAS loss + SEA loss or tie
Tags: Anthony Dixon, Chris Culliver, Colin Kaepernick, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 39 Comments »
Time and time again the San Francisco 49ers have proven to be a united front. Two recent examples shed a bright light on the team-oriented locker room.
According to CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco, teamwork was involved in the recent five-year contract extension for All-Pro linebacker NaVorro Bowman. Three players, Vernon Davis, Carlos Rogers and Ray McDonald, all restructured their contracts to give the 49ers enough cap flexibility to sign the talented linebacker long-term.
The other example would be the professionalism shown by Alex Smith in the wake of Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start Colin Kaepernick Sunday in St. Louis. In order to understand the potential reasoning for the move, Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports caught up with a cast of Harbaugh’s former teammates to learn more about the 49ers coach’s playing career as it relates to his coaching decisions.
Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk told Silver, “I’m pretty sure about the fact that this is not a game-playing thing for him. It’s for the greater good of the team. There is no personal gain for him. Everything he does is for the greater good of that team, and he’s not going to deviate from that.”
Tags: Aldon Smith, Alex Smith, Carlos Rogers, Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore, Jim Harbaugh, Michael Crabtree, Navorro Bowman, Ray McDonald, Vernon Davis
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 55 Comments »
Contrary to reports, no decision has been made on who will start at quarterback for the 49ers this Sunday in New Orleans. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman reiterated the team’s stance on Thanksgiving Day that the team is confident in both of the team’s top quarterbacks and that Alex Smith has to be cleared for contact.
Colin Kaepernick has taken the same amount of practice reps this week leading defensive players to believe he will make his first road start this weekend in New Orleans. That’s according to safety Donte Whitner who told The Dan Patrick Show via ProFootballTalk.com this morning that he and his teammates are under the impression Kaepernick will get the nod.
Jim Harbaugh will address the media at 1:45 p.m. and tight end Vernon Davis expects his coach to name a starter according to Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com. Maiocco also notes that Smith’s final contact test could take place any time before kick-off. Team Medical Director Dr. Dan Garza could administer the test when the team lands in New Orleans to see how Smith responds to the altitude change.
Harbaugh’s press conference will be covered promptly on http://www.49ers.com/live.
Tags: Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, Donte Whitner, Greg Roman, Jim Harbaugh, Vernon Davis, Vic Fangio
Posted in Morning Tailgate | 86 Comments »