By: Phillip Torres
OAKLAND- The Oakland Raiders (0-6) are now the lone win less team in the NFL. With the Jacksonville Jaguars upsetting the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Oakland remains as the only team with a zero in the win column. The Raiders have now lost 13 consecutive games dating back to last season.
Quarterback Derrick Carr has been playing extremely well thus far in his short six game career, but has not played well enough towards the end of a game to pull out a victory. The Raiders defense is what needs to step it up if they want to be competitive. Acquisitions such as Justin Tuck, Lamar Woodley, Carlos Rodgers, and Terrell Brown have not played to their expectations.
The Raiders are having a hard time finishing drives. Sebastian Janikowski is still providing the majority of the points that go up on the bored. When the defense gives up touchdowns, the field goals are not going to add up and get the Raiders a win. Running back Darren McFadden has been healthy for the first time in his career but is not playing his best football, This is mainly because the offensive line has not played all that great.
Oakland has been waiting for a healthy McFadden since arrived as a rookie from Arkansas. If the former Razorback can stay healthy and find some holes in the opposing defenses, that will only benefit Carr. A healthy running game will help the rookie signal caller open up the offense a little bit more and help him pad his stats through the air.
The Raiders will head to Cleveland in hopes to avoid a 0-7 start to the season. This might be the last chance for the Oakland to come away with a victory in the next month as they have a tough schedule ahead until they face the St. Louis Rams in week 13. That is not even a guarantee as the Rams just beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
Oakland remaining schedule consists of nine games against seven teams that made the playoffs last year. They play Seattle once, the Denver Broncos twice, the San Diego Chargers, Kansas City twice, and cross town rive San Francisco 49ers. The Browns and the Buffalo Bills are the only two teams left for the Raiders that did not have a winning record in 2013.
Even with interim head coach Tony Sparano stepping in, it looks like the Raiders finishing 0-16 is not out of the question.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers (4-2) are set to face the AFC Champion Denver Broncos (4-1) in Denver on Sunday Night Football. In a matchup that has two of the powerhouse teams in the NFL, the game is more than deserving to be on National Television.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is coming off of perhaps his best game of the season as he threw for 343 yards and three touchdowns against the St. Louis Rams. San Francisco beat the Rams 31-17 in a dominant victory on Monday Night Football. After a slow start on offense the 49ers stepped on the gas peddle and never looked back. It started with an 80 yard touchdown pass from Kap to Brandon Lloyd. The score came right before the end of the second quarter.
The Broncos are coming off of a 31-17 road victory over the New York Jets as well. The victory for Denver improved their record to 4-1 and keeps them just one game back of the San Diego Chargers. Peyton Manning remains a top quarterback in this league as he is still playing extremely well for a man his age.
San Francisco will enter the game on a three game winning streak. An impressive streak that holds victories against the 5-1 Philadelphia Eagles, Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs, and a dominant victory in ST. Louis. the winning streak has the 49ers at 4-2 and in a great position to be sitting at 5-2 going into their bye week after a victory in the Mile High City.
The task will not be easy, as Denver is still trying to prove that they are the team to beat in the AFC. The Broncos would hold a wild card spot of the season ended today, and they feel like they are a better team that that. Denver’s receiving core will be a tough task to handle for the 49ers secondary, but Perish Cox, the NFL’s interception leader will not back down from the challenge. Cox has played exceptional since taking over for the injured Tramaine Brock as the number one starting corner. Cox currently leads the NFL with three interceptions.
A victory in Denver is crucial for a few reasons. One being that the Arizona Cardinals and Seattle Seahawks have easy opponents. The Seahawks will be at St. Louis and the Cardinals will be hosted by the 0-5 Oakland Raiders. If things works out the way they should, the Cardnials will be 5-1 and Seattle will be 4-2. So, a victory to put San Francisco at 5-2 is very important.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers (3-2) are set to face the ST. Louis Rams (1-3) on Monday Night Football in ST. Louis. San Francisco is coming off of a big 22-17 victory against Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon in Santa Clara. The St. Louis Rams on the other hand are coming off of a 34-28 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Philly.
San Francisco is looking to get their first division victory of the season against the woeful Rams. The 49ers have only played one game in the division so far this season and they were defeated by the Arizona Cardinals 23-14 in the desert. The game on Sunday is a huge game as they will look to go 4-2 before traveling to Denver to face the AFC Champion Denver Broncos.
After the week seven showdown between two Superbowl favorites the 49ers will head into their bye week. But before these two weeks comes the Rams who are without their number one overall pick from a few years ago, Sam Bradford. The Rams are clearly not the same team without their franchise quarterback, who was lost for the season due to a torn ACL in game three of the preseason.
The 49ers will look to keep pace with the Seattle Seahawks and Cardinals for first place in the division. San Francisco is winners of two in a row and will look to keep that going as their next two games are on National Television. The defense will look to stay hot as they have played extremely well these past two games. One of the key contributors has been cornerback Parish Cox.
Cox has stepped up and has been starting in place of the injured Tramaine Brock. Brock, who has only played in the week one victory over the Dallas Cowboys was supposed to be the number one corner for San Francisco. But, Cox has been playing well enough to take over that role for the 49ers defense. Cox had the game clinching interception of former 49ers quarterback Alex Smith in the fourth quarter during the game on Sunday.
San Francisco will look to keep the offense going as they put up over 360 yards of total offense against Kansas City. One thing they will try to improve on is punching the ball into the end zone. Kicker Phil Dawson kicked five field goals for the Red and Gold in Sunday’s victory.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers (2-2) will host Alex Smith and the Kansas City Chiefs (2-2) on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. Both teams are coming off of big wins against big name teams in week four of the NFL season.
The 49ers handed the Philadelphia Eagles their first of the season with a come from behind, 26-21 victory for the first regular season win at Levi’s Stadium. The defense played spectacular against a high powered Eagles offense. 2013 rushing king Lesean McCoy was held in check as the running game was close to nothing for Philly.
The Chiefs are coming off a major upset victory over Tom Brady and the New England Patriots. Kansas City blew out the Pats 41-14 in a game where Tom Brady was eventually benched.
The biggest storyline for the game on Sunday afternoon is the return of for 49ers number one overall pick Alex Smith. Although Smith took six years to finally turn things around, the quarterback out of the University of Utah helped turn the 49ers into the powerhouse team that they are today.
Smith lead San Francisco to the NFC Championship game in 2011 and was off to a fantastic start in 2012 before suffering a concussion that opened the door for Colin Kaepernick to take over as the starting quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers.
A lot of critics say that Alex Smith was unfairly taken from his job, but Kaepernick’s play spoke for its self. The dual threat quarterback from the University of Nevada took the 49ers to within one completes pass of winning the franchise’s sixth Lombardi trophy.
Coach Jim Harbaugh continuously stated, “We’re going with the quarterback with the hot hand right now.”
Kaepernick stayed hot all season after his dominance of the Chicago Bears on Monday football in his first career start in 2012. He has started evrr game for the Red and Gold ever since.
Expect to see a lot of questions about Alex Smith to Colin Kaepernick, and vice versa on Sunday night after the ball game. The two quarterbacks will forever be compared to one another.
By: Phillip Torres
Barry Bonds, the All-Time homerun king and former San Francisco Giants left fielder still has hope to be unducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The slugger is also looking to clear his name of the felony conviction.
Bonds is perhaps the most criticized player from the steroid era. The homerun king is trying to overturn his obstruction of justice conviction from 2011. Bonds is trying to clear his slate as he attempts to get into the homerun king.
On Thursday, a federal appeals court will reconsider Bonds bid for the obstruction case. Bonds’ testimony was more than a decade ago to a federal grand jury probing the notorious BALCO steriods scandle.
Thursday’s hearing is the latest page in the legal situation that involves the BALCO case. This case is going down as one of the biggest scandles in sports history.
Bonds was indicted on charges of lying to a grand jury in December of 2003. The accusations are that Bonds lied about using steroids while was chasing the homerun record.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA-The San Francisco 49ers (1-2) have lost two straight games for only the second time under the tenure of head coach Jim Harbaugh. Two tough losses have the 49ers in third place in the NFC West, when they could easily be 3-0 atop the toughest division in all of football.
The Philadelphia Eagles (3-0) are coming off of three great victories as they sit atop the NFC East. The high powered Eagles are soaring under head coach Chip Kelly. Quarterback Nick Foles is playing extremely well and the one-two punch of Lesean McCoy and Darren Sproles are a tough combination to stop.
The 49ers must find a way to score points in the second half of football games if they want to make it back to the postseason and ultimately the Super Bowl. San Francisco has been a first half football team in the first three games of the season and they have not been able to close out two of those games. The 49ers have lead in all three games. They have scored just three second half points all season long.
Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers have been outstanding in the first half as they are the only team in the NFL that has scored a touchdown on all three of their opening possession. San Francisco has not trailed in the first half all season long, but they seem to fall off after halftime.
The main concern for the 49ers has to be the second half play of Colin Kaepernick. Normally a standout player that comes through in the clutch, Kaepernick has played terribly in the second half of football games this season. Another concern is the secondary. Without Tramaine Brock for a second straught game, the 49ers secondary was exposed once again.
Rookie first round pick Jimmie Ward has been picked on this season giving up four touchdown catches in the past two games alone. He has to step up his play if San Francisco will have any hope in bouncing back in the NFC West.
Other than the personal concerns, the penalties is what is really hurting the Red and Gold. San Francisco committed over 100 yards of penalties in back to back games. It is easy to see why both of those games have resulted in losses.
San Francisco will look to clean up their play as they will host the Eagles at home in Levi’s Stadium in Week four of the NFL season.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The SAN Francisco 49ers (1-1) will face the Arizona Cardinals (2-0) on Sunday afternoon in Arizona.
San Francisco is coming off of a heart breaking loss in Week two as they were defeated by the Chicago Bears on Sunday night at the Levi’s Stadium inaugural season opener.
The 49ers will look to have a healthy secondary as they will go up against another potent offense in Arizona. Arizona has a solid defense that really kept them in their two games this season.
Tramaine Brock will hipefully be able to go as he sat out against Chicago on Sunday night. Parish Cox filled in for the injured Brick against the Bears, starting alongside Chris Culliver.
San Francisco played extremely well in tbe first half against the Bears as they lead 17-0 at one point. The 49ers could nit find any offensive rhythm in the second half, that is something that they will look to change on Sunday in Arizona.
A victory for the Niners will put them in a tie with the Cardinals for first place in the NFC West. Its early in the year but every game will count in the tough division. The Seattle Seahawks, Cardinals and 49ers will all be fighting for the division title in 2014.
By: Phillip Torres
CHICAGO- The Oakland Athletics lost another heartbreaking game on Wednesday night in Chicago against the White Sox. Starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija tossed 7 strong innings before Luke Gregerson and the Oakland defense cost the right hander a win.
The loss to the White Sox and the Los Angeles Angels win over the Texas Rangers cost the A’s another game in tbe standings, leaving them nine games back of first place in the American League West. Fortunately for the Athletics the loss did not cost them a game in the Wild Card and the remain as the top team in the two spot race for the Wild Card.
Gregerson surrendered a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to blow the lead, and ultimately the game for Oakland as they could not find the offense to overcome the one run deficit in the ninth inning.
First baseman Nate Frieman committed the error that changed the game as he threw wildly to second base on a ball that was a potential double play ball. The wild throw allowed the go ahead run to reach base. The base runner eventually scored on the two out hit by Avisail Garcia after an intentional walk to Connor Gilaspie
The A’s still own a 1 1/2 game lead over Seattle and Detroit in the AL Wild Card race.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Dallas Cowboys by a final score of 28-17 in the season opener on Sunday afternoon in Dallas. They will look to stay undefeated in the early going of the season as they will host the Chicago Bears in week two of the season.
The game against the Bears will be at Levi’s Stadium, the first regular season game in the history of the new billion dollar stadium. The 49ers will host Chicago on Sunday Night Football as the inaugural home opener will be nationally televised.
San Francisco will have to wait and see if they will be fully loaded in the secondary as three of their defensive backs went down with injuries. Chris Culliver, Tramaine Brock, and first-round pick Jimmie Ward all suffered injuries where they did not return to action in Dallas.
With the 28-17 victory in Dallas, the 49ers are extremely confident with how the offense played. 201 yards and two touchdown passes from quarterback Colin Kaepernick to Vernon Davis lead the way on offense. Rookie running back Carlos Hyde added his first career touchdown to the offensive explosion.
The defense played phenomenal without their two All-Pro linebackers Aldon Smith and NaVarro Bowman. The defense forced four turnovers, including a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Culliver to start the scoring on the afternoon.
The 49ers will be facing the 0-1 Bears, who lost a heartbreaker to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. The defense will have a tough task with a small secondary trying to cover the two top Chicago receivers. San Francisco will most likely need to find outside help if any of the defensive backs cannot play on Sunday.
By: Phillip Torres
SANTA CLARA- The San Francisco 49ers are set to open up the 2014 regular season against the Dallas Cowboys on September 7th. Already without All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith for the first nine regular season games, San Francisco might have to be without another key piece on their defense. Defensive tackle Ray McDonald’s status with the team remains uncertain following his arrest on Sunday on suspicion of felony domestic violence at his home in San Jose.
According to police-dispatch audio, obtained by ABC 7 News, the unnamed victim, that is involved in the incident, claimed McDonald was “hitting her” and “was trying to pull her out of the house. She’s 10 weeks pregnant and refusing medical.”
If the case prevents McDonald from playing on Sunday in Dallas, it is likely that Tony Jerod-Eddie will start in his place. Jerod-Eddie started all four preseason games in place of McDonald as he was recovering from a hamstring strain.
The 49ers appear to be the deepest at every position then they have been a while, so the absence of McDonald for a few games should not hurt the team to much. But, whenever you lose your starting DT, it does effect the defense in some way. San Francisco is looking to start the season off with a victory before coming back to Levi’s Stadium to play their first ever regular season home opener against the Chicago Bears September 14th.
San Francisco will be going up against a pretty good Dallas offense in week one. Tony Romo and company will look to start off the season 1-0 as they try to take the NFC east and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Cowboys will be a tough task as Dez Bryant and the Dallas offense will look to go after the 49ers new secondary.
San Francisco will have some help back on the offensive line as offensive guard Alex Boone ended his holdout after agreeing to a two year extension. The new deal basically just makes his incentive money a guarantee over the next two seasons. Boone is a very versatile lineman that can play multiple positions on the offensive line. This is great news for the 49ers as they just recently cut Adam Snyder to make room on the 53-man roster.