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49ers Fan

The 2014 San Francisco 49ers posted by 49ers Fan

The 49ers are among the favorites to win the Super Bowl after falling short last year. It all begins with quarterback Colin Kaepernick who struggled in the first half of the season but torched opposing teams in December 2014. He even totaled 130 rushing yards versus the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC Championship, but was one tipped pass away from leading the 49ers to the Super Bowl.

The first order of business for the front office was to upgrade Kaepernick’s supporting cast. So they acquired Stevie Johnson from Buffalo for their 2015 draft pick. While Johnson is injury prone, he should perform well as the tertiary receiver this time around. The team also signed Brandon Lloyd and drafted Bruce Ellington.

The franchise also boosted the running back corps by drafting Ohio State standout Carlos Hyde. The team will still rely on Frank Gore but he’s slowing down at 31 and will become a free agent next offseason.

The 49ers will still have one of the best offensive lines in the league. Four of their starters are back on the roster, with center Jonathan Goodwin the only exception. They did draft center Marcus Martin who’ll probably replace Goodwin or compete against Daniel Kilgore.

Defense will not be a problem for the 49ers as they have one of the best  defensive units in the league.  Although the team lost Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers who both left for Oakland, the team did draft rookie Jimmie Ward. He could back-up sophomore Eric Reid and new acquisition Antone Betha. Going forward, expect Ward to start alongside Reid perhaps as early as next season.

Continue reading "The 2014 San Francisco 49ers"


Joe Anello

2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap posted by Joe Anello

It was an eventful and unpredictable NFL Draft, even after the craziness that ensued in round one Thursday night. Friday night showcased rounds two and three, while Sunday wrapped up the draft with rounds four through seven. Let’s run through the major storylines that came out of the 2013 NFL Draft!

*Pardon for the delay. This is what happens when life throws the draft, C2E2, and the impetus to change jobs all in one weekend.

 

-After slipping through the first round despite several reported landing spots, Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o became a San Diego Charger. The Chargers traded picks 45 and 110 to the Cardinals for pick number 38, allowing them to move up for Te’o. At that point in the draft, the drama-laden linebacker had great value. The Chargers run a 3-4 scheme, but he can still be a valuable inside presence for them.

 

-On the very next pick after Te’o was selected, the New York Jets saw a “franchise” quarterback fall right into their laps at number 39 overall with Geno Smith. Smith increases the QB count on the Jets roster all the way up to six, which includes Mark Sanchez, Tim Tebow, Greg McElroy, and David Garrard. Yeah… someone’s gonna get cut. The obvious cut is Tebow. But then who? Do you cut the veteran Garrard, whom you just brought in? Or do you take the massive cap hit and release Sanchez? Or are you giving up on the idea that McElroy can be anything? The drama is ratcheted up in New York, and I’m gonna love every minute of it.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Draft: Rounds Two - Seven Recap"


Joe Anello

2013 NFL Offseason: Quarterback Craze! posted by Joe Anello

Aside from a few relatively noteworthy transactions in NFL free agency, the past few days have been all about the quarterbacks. There’s been news aplenty regarding some premiere and not-so-premiere signal-callers across the league and the ramifications of their movements. Let’s get through all the news!

Dallas Cowboys extend QB Tony Romo with a six-year, $108 million deal ($55M gtd.)

So we’ve all heard about the basic numbers here, but there’s definitely some “fine print” to this contract. The extension does give Romo $55 million in guaranteed money, but that includes the $11.5M he was scheduled to make next season. He did get a $25M signing bonus, which is pro-rated over the life of the deal (which technically ends after the 2019 season).

This is the contract the Cowboys needed to get done. Through an odd contract loophole, Romo could have become a free agent after the 2013 season… but also after the franchising period ended. So he would have been able to simply walk out on Dallas and get into the free agent market directly, without fear of being franchised. So without a better plan in place or being in any sort of position to draft a quarterback, Dallas made the right, sensible move here. They locked up their franchise quarterback for the long-term.

QB Kevin Kolb signs a 2-year, $13 million deal with the Buffalo Bills

WHOAH. Did NOT see this coming. Can I still get partial credit for saying he’d land in the AFC East? Kolb somehow skirts the sideshow that is the Jets quarterback competition and lands in Buffalo, where he currently only has to beat out Tarvaris Jackson, who isn’t exactly Jim Kelly. Don’t expect this move to stop the Bills from taking a quarterback somewhere in the first two rounds. Kolb might be better than Ryan Fitzpatrick. But at least he’s not making a ludicrous amount of cash.

Continue reading "2013 NFL Offseason: Quarterback Craze!"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: Super Bowl XLVII posted by Joe Anello

So you watched the game, right? I don’t need to talk about it at all, right?

Ugh. Fine. Here’s The Final Drive of Super Bowl 47. You owe me.

(14-6) Baltimore Ravens 34
(13-5-1) San Francisco 49ers 31

After an illegal formation penalty killed a 20 yard pass play on the Niners’ first drive, the Ravens came out and took advantage of a short field. A 20-yarder to Torrey Smith and an offsides penalty on Aldon Smith put the ball at the ‘Frisco 13, where Flacco threw a dart to Anquan Boldin, who made a leaping grab to come down with it in the endzone. All of a sudden the Niner defense was on their heels and Phil Simms was already calling the game over at 7-0.

Kaepernick had a few exciting scrambles on San Francisco’s ensuing drive. A 24 yard pass to Vernon Davis found Dannell Ellerbee way out of position and gave my prediction of Davis for MVP with an early surge. But a poor scramble on a misfire to Crabtree and a 10 yard loss on a sack by Paul Kruger led to a David Akers field goal. Hey, he MADE one! That’s a good sign, right?

San Francisco finally got the read option going on their next drive, feeding Frank Gore and LaMichael James. But then James went and coughed up the ball, draining any and all momentum garnered from the few plays they managed to run. Kaepernick never really got into a groove, seeing more pressure than he had in recent weeks. The Ravens were obviously sending a rusher his way if he handed it off to the running back or not. So many times Terrell Suggs would finish a play by contacting Kaepernick in an attempt to get physical with the QB. They were sending a message early and often.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: Super Bowl XLVII"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVII posted by Joe Anello

The time for talk is over. (Well, almost.) The time for football is now. (Well, a bit later.) The time for beet and food is now? (Yes. That is accurate.) After taking apart the San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens earlier in the week, we are now ready for The Opening Drive of Super Bowl 47!

 

Super Bowl XLVII

(13-6) Baltimore Ravens at
(15-4-1) San Francisco 49ers
6:30 PM ET, CBS 

San Francisco’s Offense vs. Baltimore’s Defense

After seeing Colin Kaepernick tear apart a hapless Green Bay front seven for 181 rushing yards, the Atlanta Falcons overcompensated and kept the QB in the pocket the entire game. Unfortunately, that left Frank Gore in the clear on read-option plays, on which he scored two touchdowns. Kaepernick picked the Atlanta secondary apart in the second half of that contest, proving he has accuracy to go with the arm strength and mobility. The Raven defense excels at maintaining their edges, meaning they don’t let the ball-carrier get outside of them to the sidelines. They like funneling the ball back inside so Ray Lewis can get inflated tackle numbers. (Which he does.) But what do they do against the read-option? Crash the corners and use the safeties to cover? Assign a defensive end to lay out the QB while a linebacker fills in against the running back? The Ravens have had two weeks to prepare for this mobile QB, so I’d be surprised if he busted too many long runs against them. Instead, we’re probably going to see a lot of Frank Gore and LaMichael James used to test Lewis as the game wears on.

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: Super Bowl XLVII"


Joe Anello

Super Bowl 47 Preview: San Francisco 49ers posted by Joe Anello

In my first preview of the teams facing off in the Super Bowl, I’m going to take an in-depth look at the team representing the National Football Conference, the San Francisco 49ers. Having barely won the NFC West with a regular season record of 11-4-1 over the Seattle Seahawks (11-5), the Niners had their issues and drama during the regular season. Injuries to key contributors and a swap at quarterback highlight a season of significance for Jim Harbaugh’s squad. Let’s break them down as they head for their sixth Super Bowl title!

 

NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers

The Offense

Had this game been taking place ten weeks ago, I would have been describing to you how the Niners were going to be held back by Alex Smith’s inability to consistently find targets down the field. Instead, Smith was concussed during the season, giving way to former second round pick Colin Kaepernick. The second year pro came into the league with lofty expectations, fronting a team that was dealing with expectations of its own. Colin quickly demonstrated his athletic prowess, becoming one of the most dynamic players in the league. He can run as quick and as effective as any other QB as he showed in their playoff win against Green Bay, but his accuracy isn’t to be laughed at, as he showed when the Niners took down the Falcons. Behind Kaepernick, the Niners won five of their last seven regular season games and stormed through the playoffs.

Continue reading "Super Bowl 47 Preview: San Francisco 49ers"


Joe Anello

The Final Drive: 2013 Conference Championships posted by Joe Anello

Conference Championship Sunday left two teams in sheer jubilation while two other squads will be left at home for the Super Bowl. Let’s take a look at how two road teams pulled out the win in The Final Drive!

(13-4-1) San Francisco 49ers 28

(14-4) Atlanta Falcons 24

The first quarter of this game looked almost exactly the same as the Falcons’ last game, with a 10-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. San Francisco mounted a whopping -2 yards on offense in the opening frame, stifled by a Falcon defense that had a surprisingly decent pass rush in the quarter.

Julio Jones came out ready to play for keeps, racking up over 100 yards in the first quarter. He was held relatively in check for the rest of the game, totaling “only” 182 yards. Matt Ryan seemed to be able to expose the Niner secondary all day, especially safety Dashon Goldson, who was torched by Jones on his first score. A second crazy catch by Jones to start the second quarter made the score 17-0 in favor of Atlanta. Luckily the Niner offense figured it out eventually, getting two touchdowns in the second period to make the game competitive again. But after the Falcons drove right back down in the two minute drill to pull away at 24-14, I was left to wonder: where was that vaunted Niner defense everyone kept telling me about? I think they forgot that this was an elimination game. Someone must have told them at halftime, because San Fran’s defense came out and utterly shut down the dirty birds.

As their Niner defense tightened, recovering a fumbled snap to Ryan, Colin Kaepernick and the offense thrived. Kaep continued to make key passes from inside the pocket. The read-option plays became deadly, especially at the goal line, where Frank Gore scored two rushing touchdowns. The Niners went up 28-24 in the middle of the fourth quarter and never looked back.

Continue reading "The Final Drive: 2013 Conference Championships"


Joe Anello

The Opening Drive: 2013 Conference Championships posted by Joe Anello

Okay everybody, Conference Championship Sunday is here and I could not be any more excited. Aside from the drama that is surrounding each of these fantastic games (you know, because whoever wins plays in that little Super Bowl), I’m also 3-5 on my picks going into the day, meaning the only way I get above .500 for the postseason is if I get everything right from here on out. No pressure. There’s been some movement on these lines (San Fran got a lot of juice and is now a four point favorite. Baltimore saw some action while the line was at 9 points, whittling it down to 7.5), so as an FYI I’m picking against the spread as the odds are currently, not where they began. Let’s stop prattling on and get into The Opening Drive!

*As always, lines pulled from VegasInsider.com. 

 

(12-4-1) San Francisco 49ers at

(14-3) Atlanta Falcons

3:00 PM ET, FOX

You’re going to be hard-pressed to find any unit in this game that favors the Falcons. The Niner offensive line is playing the best of any unit still in the playoffs, as they’ve been utterly dominating defensive fronts at the line of scrimmage. There’s a reason Colin Kaepernick ran utterly untouched against the Packers. Even as he gets a bit older, Frank Gore is the best running back in this game. Michael Crabtree has been stepping up as of late, looking at times like the number one receiver he was always supposed to be. Randy Moss is a somewhat credible threat on the outside, but this team really suffers from the loss of Mario Manningham. But Kaepernick might be able to reproduce a similar performance from last week with the benefit of a dome and faster turf. Without a fully healthy John Abraham (ankle), are the Falcons

Continue reading "The Opening Drive: 2013 Conference Championships"


Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: 49ers 32, Bears 7 posted by Joe Anello

In case your various social media timelines didn’t tell you, the Chicago Bears played the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football. It did not go well. Specifically, it was one of the most embarrassing performances of football I’ve ever seen. With that in mind, it’s time for the Gameday Review.

  

(7-2-1) San Francisco 49ers 32

(7-3) Chicago Bears 7 

The opening drive Monday night gave a small preview of what was to come, as Colin Kaepernick completed four passes en route to a David Akers field goal to gain the lead. A sack of Jason Campbell on third and short led to a punt back to San Fran. Kaepernick took that possession, and found Kyle Williams streaking down the sidelines 57 yards, setting up a 3 yard pass to Vernon Davis for the score. That put the Niners up 10-0. And I was worried. Chicago moved the ball 24 yards following the kickoff, but was forced to punt yet again after a third and long. Then came the continued dominance of the ‘Frisco ground game. It wasn’t overwhelming yardage-wise, but it routinely moved the chains and kept the offense on the field. A 14-yard Kendall Hunter run put the Niners up 17-0. And that was all I needed to know that game was over.

If you needed statistical examples of Chicago’s inability to move the ball, let me educate. The Bears garnered 66 passing yards and 85 rushing yards on 28 attempts. That’s 151 total yards, in case you were wondering. They were 3 for 12 on third down and turned the ball over twice (in the form of two interceptions.)

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Review: 49ers 32, Bears 7"

Joe Anello

Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers posted by Joe Anello

After a Sunday without the typical flurry of activity and emotion surrounding a Bears game, Chicago fans get to see their team Monday night on ESPN as they take on the San Francisco 49ers. One of the best teams in the NFC, the Niners are right behind the Bears in the standings in the hunt for a two seed in the NFC playoffs. Adding a different flavor to the night’s contest is that fact that both of these teams will be without their starting quarterback. Let’s get to the break-down!

 

(7-2) Chicago Bears at

(6-2-1) San Francisco 49ers 

The Offense

Let’s get this right out of the way. This offense is not the same without Jay Cutler. Jason Campbell doesn’t have the same mobility or the innate play-making ability that’s made Jay so effective. However, with a week of first-team reps (something he doesn’t get any of during a normal work week), Campbell will be much better-suited to compete than he was coming out of the tunnel at halftime of last week’s loss. Aiding his effort will be a large dose of Matt Forte and Michael Bush. Campbell has a decent deep ball, so if the Niners draw in to stop the run, there could be plays to be made deep.

Off the edge, Chicago must be aware of the Smith’s, linebacker Aldon and end Justin. They’re going to keep the Bear tackles busy all night long. NaVorro Bowman and Patrick Willis are two of the best linebackers in the game, and they both can snag passes over the middle. In the secondary, Carlos Rogers is San Fran’s best corner, so he’ll see Marshall with regularity. Donte Whitner is a reliable ball-hawk, so Campbell has to make sure he bites on the play-action fakes before hurling down the middle of the defense.

Continue reading "Joe's 2012 Gameday Preview: Chicago ..."

San Francisco 49ers News

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No. 6 Oregon looks to extend streak against Cal (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


49ers lose center Daniel Kilgore, needs surgery (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports

Manning passes Favre's TD mark in Broncos' big win (Yahoo Sports)

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From Yahoo Sports


Don't count out Chiefs, who might have saved their season with huge win (Shutdown Corner)

The Kansas City Chiefs stared into the abyss in Week 7. Luckily for them, the abyss didn't stare back. The Chiefs scored a potentially season-saving victory over the San Diego Chargers, who had won five straight coming in, with a late-second victory on the road. A loss would have put them four back of the Chargers in the win column, but now they are 3-3 with two games (home against the St. Louis Rams and New York Jets) that should be quite winnable. The Chiefs now have wins over the Chargers, New England Patriots and Miami Dolphins — combined record: 13-7) and respectable losses to the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos. (Throw out that inexcusable Week 1 loss to the Tennessee Titans for just a moment, will you?) For a team many expected to take a step back, the Chiefs are playing at a pretty high level. Alex Smith continues to make big throws. Jamaal Charles has rallied from an early-season injury. Travis Kelce has turned into a pivotal playmaker. And the much-maligned offensive line is developing more than anyone could have expected. Sunday's victory came in a highly charged atmosphere with big AFC West ramifications. Overcoming a slew of injuries and dropped passes, the Chiefs are in good shape now and would be in terrific shape at 5-3 at the turn if they can get to that point, all things considered. They've run through a gauntlet of a schedule so far and have held up fairly well. There were unexpected contributors all around in this game. Cairo Santos came from nowhere to win the kicking job, beating out incumbent Ryan Succop, and he hit three key field goals in the win, including the 48-yarder in the waning moments.  A shorthanded defense kept Chargers QB Philip Rivers, a league MVP candidate, in check with 205 passing yards on 31 attempts, none going for longer than 27 yards. Fullback Anthony Sherman did his usual dirty-work blocking with aplomb but also added a stunning 11-yard touchdown catch early in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, he made a great tackle in coverage. Castoff safety Kurt Coleman, who has been on three NFL teams since February, had the game-clinching interception.  The Chiefs' three leading tacklers — Jamell Fleming, Husain Abdullah and Josh Mauga — are all role players and ones that other NFL teams didn't want. Andy Reid will take them. Oh sure, he still hasn't figured out how to use timeouts properly. But he has his Chiefs back in the playoff picture and just how he likes it: When the rest of the league doubts a Reid-coached team, that's often when he's at his most dangerous. Don't forget about these Chiefs. - - - - - - - Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Eric_Edholm [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

Manning breaks Favre's TD mark in 42-17 (Yahoo Sports)

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