Warriors report: W’s don’t come in too shellshocked after LeBron buzzer beater to end first half; ready themselves for Linsanity & the Rockets

by David Zizmor

SACRAMENTO–The Warriors realize that the Miami Heat’s LeBron James three point step back shot that won it for Miami on a buzzer beater to end Golden State’s first half was not a whole lot they could have done about it. The only thing they could have done was maybe keeping the ball away from LeBron in the first place. The Warriors would have liked to have had anybody else to have had the ball instead of LeBron.

The fact of the matter is he really made a really difficult shot and if your going to have LeBron taking a difficult shot in that situation it’s probably the one you want him to take nine times out of ten. Most of the times he’s not going to hit that shot and that was a really difficult shot and the Warriors Andre Iguodala was on him and the Warriors had good defense.

LeBron made a great shot, you just tip your cap to him and go about your business and the Warriors look at that and say “hey we were in that game with the world champs and we beat them the other time we were in Miami” and you move on and you go about your business. The Warriors have to say ” we hang with the best that’s how good we are.”

The Warriors problems haven’t been with the good teams, the Warriors problems have been with the bad teams and the mediocre teams. They’re kind of known to play to the level of their competition. So you worry about a team like Sacramento where the Warriors played on Wednesday night. They may not take the night off but they played a poor game because that’s the trend this year when a bad team hosts the Warriors, the Warriors are known to play to that level of competition.

This is a very young team and their still learning, they have to learn and they have to learn they can’t coast on their reputation that they kind of earned that in the playoffs last year and the Warriors have to earn their way into the post season. Your not guaranteed anything in this league and while games they’ve won against Miami, Oklahoma City, and the Clippers and such proved that their just as good as anybody they need to get up for the bad teams too.

They have to look at the Spurs and say “hey San Antonio comes to play every single night no matter who the other team is on the other side of the floor, the Spurs are in there night in and night out. Even if Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are taking the night off to get some rest, the other guys step up their game and play as hard as they possibly can.

This is the reason why the Spurs are always at the top of the standings and the Warriors have to learn from that hopefully as the season gets down to the home stretch. The Warriors have to start taking that to heart. The Warriors are hoping that this is the part of the season where they really get into it. They have a favorable schedule going forward so hopefully that plays to their benefit.

David Zizmor covers the NBA for Sportstalk radio

49ers one giant step away from another Super Bowl birth

By Gabe Schapiro

For the San Francisco 49ers, the road to their second straight Super Bowl appearance fittingly runs through Seattle. This Sunday at 3:30 pm, the 49ers and Seahawks face off in the NFC championship game. The two heated rivals finished first and second in the NFC West this season, and split their two regular season matchups.

Last weekend San Francisco suffocated the Carolina Panthers in the divisional round, winning 23-10. Colin Kaepernick’s stat line won’t blow anyone away, but he did what he had to, and didn’t make any costly mistakes. He completed 15-of-28 throws, for 196 yards and a touchdown, to go along with a rushing score. Anquan Boldin had a stellar game, with eight grabs for 136 yards. Ultimately though, it was the defense that dominated and won it for the 49ers. They sacked Cam Newton five times, and had two interceptions. The Panthers scored 10 points in the second quarter, but were shut out for the second half.

This week features two very similar teams. Both have young and athletic quarterbacks, run-heavy offenses, and fearsome defenses. For the 49ers, the Seahawks may well be their toughest opponent. Russell Wilson is wise beyond his years, and rarely makes a mistake. Marshawn Lynch is a bruiser, and despite a lot of mileage on his legs is still one of the leagues best running backs. They don’t have a real stand out number one receiver, but they get production from a lot of different sources. Six targets have multiple touchdown grabs this season, and four of those have four or more. In the regular season they scored the eighth most points per game.

However, their defense is their real calling card, boasting the leagues best. They allowed the fewest points and fewest yards in the NFL. They easily have the league’s best pass defense, with their only very slight weakness coming against the run, where they finished seventh. Similarly to their offense, they get production from a lot of different sources, with 10 different players recording more than one sack, and 10 more recording at least one interception in the regular season. Richard Sherman headlines the group as the teams best corner.

The good news for San Francisco is that they won their last matchup with the Seahawks, and they are a team you can run against. The bad news, is that this time they are playing in Seattle, where they may have the leagues biggest home field advantage. Including the playoffs they are 8-1 at home this season.

The last time the 49ers traveled to Seattle they were blown out, 29-3. With San Francisco playing their best football of the year, and the addition of Michael Crabtree to the lineup this time around, things should certainly be more competitive. However the mountain to climb remains steep. Kaepernick will have his hands full, and they’ll need to get Frank Gore going to be successful.

They’re just one step away from another Super Bowl appearance, but that step is an awfully big one.

49ers looking to make it five straight wins

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 10:00am the San Francisco 49ers (9-4) will be taking on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-9), at Raymond James Stadium. The 49ers are in second place in the NFC West, two games back of the Seattle Seahawks. The Buccaneers are in third place in the NFC South, and are out of playoff contention.

Last weekend San Francisco won their fourth consecutive game, beating the Seahawks 19-17, in possibly their biggest victory of the season. The 49ers came back three different times, ultimately putting the game away on a Phil Dawson field goal with 26 seconds left in the game. Dawson had four field goals on the evening, including kicks from 48 and 52 yards out. Colin Kaepernick wasn’t great, but he did just enough. He completed 15-of-29 passes for 175 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. Anquan Boldin led all receivers with six receptions for 93 yards. After losing badly to Seattle earlier this season, San Francisco made the necessary adjustments, and leaned more on their running game. Frank Gore rumbled for 110 yards on 17 carries. As a team they ran for 163 yards.

The 49ers are unlikely to catch the Seahawks for the division crown, but it was still a huge win. It allows San Francisco to build some confidence and continue to build their momentum as they look to clinch a playoff spot.

This week the task at hand should be considerably easier. Tampa Bay has some talent, but are a team in turmoil looking to rebuild their identity. Coach Greg Schiano is likely on the hot seat, as he leads them through another disappointing season. Rookie QB Mike Glennon was handed the keys to the offense part way through the year, and for the most part has been solid. As is to be expected from a rookie, however, he is still going through some growing pains. At running back there are down to their third stringer after a rash of injuries to Doug Martin and Mike James. Bobby Rainey, the new starter, isn’t a world-beater but has some explosiveness. Vincent Jackson is the only reliable receiver on the squad, but is a legitimate deep threat. As a unit they are ranked 30th in the NFL in points per game, and 31st in yards.

It is their defense, which while not great, has been good enough to keep them in striking distance. Linebacker David Lavonte has been phenomenal, and leads the team in tackles (117) and interceptions (5), and is second on the team in sacks (6). And of course the imposing cornerback Darrelle Revis will be blanketing the 49er receivers. Statistically he isn’t have a great year, and in general hasn’t been the same recently, but is still always a threat. Their defense has allowed the 11th fewest points, and 12th fewest yards. Their primary weakness is against the pass, where they are only ranked 17th.

The 49ers are at their best when they are utilizing a run-heavy offense, regardless of the opponent. That shouldn’t change against the Bucs, but Kaepernick should have a slightly easier time making plays without the stout Seattle defense barring down on him. Particularly with Michael Crabtree back, who should only shake more and more of the rust off with each game he plays, their passing attack could get more explosive moving forward.

Crabtree has been limited in practices this week with a minor ankle injury, but it is not believed to be related to his Achilles tear. He is expected to be fine for Sunday’s matchup.

49ers seeking revenge against Seahawks

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 1:25pm the San Francisco 49ers (8-4) face off against their division rival Seattle Seahawks (11-1), at Candlestick Park. The 49ers are in second place in the NFC West and currently sit in the sixth and final playoff spot out of the NFC. The Seahawks are in first place in the NFC West, three games up on San Francisco.

Last weekend the 49ers won their second consecutive game, a 23-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The 10 point win makes the game look closer than it was, as the game was largely dominated by San Francisco. The Rams didn’t score a touchdown until garbage time, with 18 seconds left in the game. In an outing that was a little out of character, it was the 49ers passing attack that did most of the damage. Colin Kaepernick completed 19 of 28 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown. Michael Crabtree made his 2013-14 debut, catching two passes for 68 yards. Anquan Boldin led the team with nine receptions for 98 yards, and Vernon Davis hauled in his 10th touchdown catch of the season. Frank Gore had a relatively quiet afternoon, rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries.

Kaepernick’s play has seen an uptick in recent weeks. The 275 yards through the air are the most he has compiled since Week 1. With Crabtree still working his way back into the fold, their pass offense should only get better from here.

Gore, on the other hand, has struggled a bit to get things going. He hasn’t rushed for more than 48 yards over the past three weeks, with just one touchdown over that stretch.

Both will need to be on their A games this week, as the extremely tough Seahawks come into town. On Monday Night Seattle made one of the better teams in the league, the New Orleans Saints, look like a JV squad. Thankfully for the 49ers, the Seahawks don’t play quite as well on the road, but they are none-the-less one of the best teams in football. Back in Week 2 when these teams played in Seattle, San Francisco was overwhelmed, losing 29-3.

The Seahawks offense is led by impressive sophomore QB Russell Wilson. Like Kaepernick, he is just as likely to hurt you with his arm as he is with his legs. He has been on a hot streak, throwing for two or more touchdowns in six consecutive games. He spreads the ball around, but his favorite targets this season have been Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin. They are a run-first team, however, with most of the work going to powerhouse Marshawn Lynch. As a unit they have scored the second most points per game in the league this season.

It is their defense that really makes them such a daunting task, however. Seven different players have recorded two or more sacks this season, and eight have at least one interception. Richard Shermon is the stalwart in the secondary, and Cliff Avril and Michael Bennet are the big pass rushers. They have allowed the fewest total yards in the NFL, and allow the second least points per game.

Their defense does have an Achilles heel, and that is their run defense. They are a very pedestrian 16th in the league, which is going to be an area the 49ers need to key in on in order to revenge their Week 2 loss. In Week 2 they ran the ball just 20 times, compared to 28 pass attempts. Nine of those 20 came from Kaepernick scrambles. For a team who thrives the most when playing a ground and pound game, and features Gore, that can’t be the same ratio this time around.

Look for Crabtree to try and open up some things through the air, but the Seahawks are so elite at defending the pass, that San Francisco’s success hinges on their ability to run the ball.

The injury report hasn’t change much since last week, but one of the few changes is a big one. Tackle Joe Staley left last weekends game in the first quarter, and has since been diagnosed with a sprained MCL in his right knee. He will miss the showdown with the Seahawks, and his timetable for recovery beyond that is uncertain. Kaepernick, Gore, and company will certainly miss him up against the leagues best defense.

Crabtree quickly makes Kaepernick’s life easier

By Gabe Schapiro

On Sunday wide receiver Michael Crabtree made his long-awaited 2013-14 debut. Back on May 21 he tore his Achilles, dealing a big blow to an already thin receiving corps. Colin Kaepernick and the San Francisco pass offense felt the adverse effects, and have struggled for much of the season. This has raised questions about whether Kaepernick could live up to the hyped expectations built up through last seasons Super Bowl run. On the stat sheet Crabtree didn’t have a huge first game back, but his impact could go far beyond that.

In the 23-13 win over the St. Louis Rams, Crabtree finished the day with two receptions for 68 yards on four targets. However, he is such a threat that his presence alone can open up the field for his teammates. Anquan Boldin had nine catches for 98 yards, and Vernon Davis had four receptions for 82 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps most importantly, Kaepernick had one of his best games of the season, completing 19 of 28 passes for 275 yards, a touchdown, and no turnovers. The 275 yards through the air are the most he’s had since Week 1, and is just the fourth time he’s eclipsed the 200-yard mark.

To put things into perspective, only two players on the entire 49ers roster this season have caught a touchdown pass: Boldin and Davis. Crabtree’s 68 receiving yards already puts him third among San Francisco’s active wideouts. With 16 more yards he will move into second. For an offense who essentially has three options on each play; hand it to Frank Gore, pass it to Boldin, or pass it to Davis, the addition of Crabtree back into the mix could pay big dividends.

With all of that said the Rams aren’t exactly a stiff test. They generally play the 49ers well, but their defense has been very middle-of-the-road this season. As a whole they are ranked 14th in the league in points allowed, and 19th in pass defense.

Crabtree’s game-changing ability so soon after returning will be tested significantly more next week against the league’s best pass defense, the Seattle Seahawks. However, his first game back was a good start. It already lets Kaepernick breathe just a little easier, as the 49ers push for a playoff spot.

Crabtree’s return sparks the 49ers with the NFC West showdown up next


By Morris Phillips

Six months and one week after surgery to repair his Achilles, Michael Crabtree made his season debut for the 49ers on Sunday.

Never has rusty looked so lovely… or been so needed.

Crabtree’s return and performance—he made two catches, one for 60 yards after eluding tacklers along the sideline for nearly 40 of those—inspired the 49ers to post a 23-13 win over the Rams in a physical, chippy contest at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers improved to 8-4 on the season, and strengthened their hold on a playoff spot—albeit the No. 6 seed—when the Arizona Cardinals lost in Philadelphia and fell behind San Francisco’s pace.   The 49ers now find out if the new look with Crabtree in concert with Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Frank Gore is a winning one with the NFC-leading Seahawks visiting this week.

“No question about it.  That was a tough opponent, and all the pressure of the high stakes of this time of the year,” Coach Jim Harbaugh said.  “I thought our guys answered the bell on that, and played really well.”

“We all know that December is about winning,” Davis added.

The Rams came in on a roll, sandwiching blowout wins over the Colts and Bears around a bye week, but seemed distracted from the start.  First there was the pre-game dust up at midfield that would have to be termed out of character for the business-like 49ers, but seemed to fit the jumpy visitors to a tee.  Then the Rams committed seven of their 11 penalties before they scored a point, falling behind 13-0 until their initial points on a field goal in the final minute of the half.

Meanwhile, the 49ers’ offense gained momentum courtesy of Boldin, who produced one of his best games, with nine catches for 98 yards.  All the pushing and shoving during and after plays seemed to go hand-in-hand with the 49ers moving the ball down the field.  Three lengthy drives, 13 first downs and a couple of Phil Dawson field goals prior to Frank Gore storming in with the game’s first touchdown put the Rams on their heels.    Boldin stood out through it all, with six catches in the half, and giving as good as he took in the various skirmishes.

“Yeah they were talking,” Boldin said.  “A lot of teams try to build themselves up, and they were one of them.  But, you do all your talking on the field.”

“We just needed to get off the field,” Rams defensive tackle Chris Long lamented.  “If you don’t (force a) punt in the first half, that’s not good.”

With the comfortable lead, the 49ers were able to pick their spots after halftime, and survive the occasional misstep—including Frank Gore’s fumble—in cruising to the finish.   Rams’ quarterback Kellen Clemens—plenty rehearsed and comfortable now that he’s started four times in the absence of injured starter Sam Bradford—never settled in trying to beat the 49ers’ secondary while avoiding the pass rush.  Clemens completed just three passes in the first half while getting sacked twice. With time and scoreboard situation taking away Clemens veil of a run game after halftime, he wasn’t much better, rushing a few throws and finishing 19 for 37 without a truly impactful, big play in the bunch.

Meanwhile, Colin Kaepernick figured to benefit from the presence of Crabtree, and while that was clearly the result, the second-year starter also threw the ball beautifully, and looked as settled as he has all season.  The Rams sold out to stop the run and Gore, and Kap responded with a 19 for 28 performance for 275 yards, numbers that dwarf his production in recent games.

“They did a good job containing the run.  And we made plays in the passing game,” Harbaugh explained.  “Colin moving… We had a lot of big plays off the scramble.  Either him running it or moving to create space, and I thought he did a great job throwing the ball in those scramble situations.  And a terrific play that he made to Vernon, on the naked bootleg.”

The lone negative of the afternoon was a first quarter injury suffered by All-Pro tackle Joe Staley.  Crabtree’s protector went down in a heap, but preliminary exams reveal no structural damage to his knee.  The team will know more Monday, but it’s unlikely that Staley would be ready to go on Sunday against the Seahawks, which undoubtedly will enliven an already lively Seattle pass rush.  Mike Iupati is slated to return after missing a couple of games, but the upheaval won’t help against the 49ers’ chief rival, made even more so by the last two beating the team suffered in Seattle.

After back-to-back losses in November all but ended the race in the NFC West for San Francisco, Sunday’s showdown lost some of its’ luster, but the 49ers’ improved play of late leaves the game on a lofty platform.  The 49ers appear to be built for a lengthy playoff run even without the benefit of a home game.  Sunday’s big test will be an further indicator of that.  But Davis says the team can’t get ahead of its self.

“As much as we want to beat Seattle, we have to keep our composure,” Davis warned.  “We can’t get overwhelmed.”

Crabtree is key to the Niners playoff push


by Kahlil Najar

The 10-point victory against the Rams on Sunday wasn’t as much of a surprise as was the return of the Niners star wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Over six months ago, Crabtree was sidelined when he tore his Achilles and had the Niner nation in a scare. There were talks of how he wouldn’t be able to come back this year and that the Niners will need to find another standout receiver to give them a chance to get back to the Superbowl. With two loses on the year against teams with great secondaries (Saints, Seattle) and surprise loses to the Colts and the Panthers – Niner fans were wondering how it might be if they had a healthy Crabtree on the field.

In his season debut yesterday he had two catches for 68 yards including a character defining 60 yard dash that had him battling off Rams defenders and streaking down the sideline. The play sparked the offense and instantly opened up the offense. Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin ended up with a combined 180 yards receiving and one touchdown.

The Niners are currently ranked second to last in passing offense and average a little over 180 yards per game in the air. The only team below them is the lowly New York Jets who are having a whirlwind of a year trying to figure out if they have the right quarterback or not. Also no other receiver on the Niners has caught a touch down this year other than Boldin and Davis.

With Kaepernick  having his number one receiver back, a formidable receiver in Boldin and the always dependable Davis – there will now be three targets that are on the field that are legitimate big play makers. This will open the field much more for some screen plays, delays and even just the running game in general which Frank Gore has been championing with over 800 yards rushing and 8 TDS.

Crabtree has to stay healthy and active and the Niners offense can come alive and give them the push into the Superbowl again.

Kaepernick rebounds in 49ers’ easy win in D.C.


By Morris Phillips

The most non-descript Monday night win in 49ers history?  It felt like it.

Colin Kaepernick bounced back with a three touchdown passes and a career best quarterback rating while the Redskins had their poorest performance in Coach Mike Shanahan’s estimation since he came to Washington in 2010 in a cross country snoozer that went to the 49ers, 27-6.

“Going into this one, it was by any means necessary and our guys rose up to the challenge and got it done,” Coach Jim Harbaugh said.

San Francisco reclaimed the final spot in the NFC playoff picture with five games remaining and enjoyed a relatively stress-free night in Landover, Maryland ahead of  pivotal games that will likely be a lot more dramatic than this one.

After a competitive first half, the 49ers ran away as the Redskins went limp, totaling only 30 yards of offense after halftime.  Robert Griffin III’s miserable sophomore season continued and the 49ers’ defensive front seven closed down Alfred Morris’ running lanes.  Griffin 17 pass attempts totaled just 127 yards and one interception, and Morris had 52 yards on 14 carries.

“We haven’t been dominated like that since I’ve been here,” Shanahan said.

“We’re all frustrated,” Griffin III said.  “Everybody is tired of losing.”

Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin–aided by Kaepernick and his 235 yards passing—provided all the fireworks, combining for nine catches, 164 yards and all three touchdowns.  Davis and Boldin have all of the 49ers’ receiving scores this season, which means they welcomed the news that Michael Crabtree will make his season debut on Sunday against the Rams in a late announcement made after the game.

The 49ers’ response to a two-game losing streak was workman-like and rooted in San Francisco’s collection of Pro Bowl-level talent on both lines compared to Barry Cofield, a 8th year defensive lineman with an above modest 6-year, $12 million deal signed in 2011, listing as the most notable, starting offensive or defensive lineman in the Redskins’ current starting lineup.

Washington lost a third consecutive game and fell to 3-8 one season after the Redskins won the NFC East.  The 49ers improved to 7-4 and remained tied with the Cardinals behind the 10-1 Seahawks in the NFC West.  The 49ers see all three divisional opponents in the final five weeks with the final game at Scottsdale against the Cardinals looming largest.  And their play on Monday suggested that the team may be closer to playing its best football in the season’s final quarter.

LaMichael James provided a 32-yard kickoff return and a 40-yard punt return as the 49ers enjoyed a healthy edge on special teams.  James’ big punt return set up Davis’ 1-yard touchdown reception five plays later that put the 49ers up 24-6 with 3:35 remaining in the third quarter.

49ers looking to rebound against Redskins

By Gabe Schapiro

This Sunday at 5:40pm the San Francisco 49ers (6-4) face off against the Washington Redskins (3-7), at FedExField. The 49ers are tied with the Arizona Cardinals for second in the NFC West, three games back of the first place Seattle Seahawks. The Redskins are in last place in the NFC East, one game back of the third place New York Giants.

Last weekend San Francisco lost to the tough New Orleans Saints, 23-20. It was a close game throughout, and saw five lead changes. The 49ers were up 20-14 with eight minutes left to play. Saints kicker Garrett Hartley rattled off three consecutive field goals, the last coming with no time left on the clock, to complete the come-from-behind win for New Orleans.

Despite leading for stretches of the game, San Francisco was largely outplayed. Colin Kaepernick struggled again, completing just over 50% of his passes, 17-of-31 attempts. He threw for 127 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis had touchdown catches. Due in part to focusing more on the pass, Frank Gore never really got much going. He rushed for 48 yards, half of which came on a single run, on 13 carries. As a team they totaled just 196 yards. It was their defense that kept them in the game, forcing three turnovers (two forced fumbles, one interception).

After winning five straight, they have now lost two in a row. The task gets a little easier this week against Washington, however, as they look to get back to their winning ways. The Redskins came into the year full of optimism and promise, but haven’t lived up to that billing. Their offense has some electric weapons but they have been prone to turnovers. Their defense has been one of the worst in the league.

They are led by sophomore star Robert Griffin III. After undergoing major knee surgery in the offseason and not playing in the preseason, it looks as if he is still getting back into the swing of things. Despite struggling at times, he still has a strong arm and the ability to be a playmaker with his legs as well. His favorite weapons are wideout Pierre Garcon and tight end Jordan Reed. They also feature another star sophomore, running back Alfred Morris, who is having another fine season. They have the best rushing attack in football, averaging over 155 yards on the ground per game. As a whole, they rank 13th in points scored.

Their defense is far and away their biggest Achilles heel. They are ranked 30th in the league, giving up over 30 points per game. They are slightly better against the run, but couldn’t be considered good either.

After falling to two tough opponents, San Francisco could be set up nicely for a bounce back this week. Washington’s offense is worth being a little concerned about, but the 49ers defense should be able to get good pressure on RGIII, and force some mistakes. They kept Drew Brees from dominating last week, they should certainly be able to do the same against a lesser opponent.

On the offensive side, San Francisco should have a much easier time moving the ball downfield, both on the ground and through the air. Look for them to get back to their roots and lean much more heavily on Frank Gore. Kaepernick throwing the ball 31 times isn’t a winning formula. With that said, he should also have an easier time this week. As long as he stays away from turnovers, they should be fine.

Mario Manningham, now entering his third week back in action, has had a limited impact so far. He has recorded just four receptions for 38 yards. Michael Crabtree should have a much larger impact once he returns, and that appears to be imminent. There has been no official word yet, but he has been participating and practices, and should make his 2013 debut either this week or next.

49ers report: A Crabtree return can really spark this offense

by David Zizmor
SANTA CLARA–The 49ers had tough back to back games and they had that terrible loss when they played the Saints in New Orleans and as we all know the Superdome is not an easy place to play. Sometimes the lights go out sometimes you have to face a good team and you really never know what your going to face. The 49ers really faced a really good New Orleans team that’s one of the best in the NFC if not the entire NFL.
The Niners lost by a field goal and it’s really rough, there were a couple of key plays in this game the most obvious one of them all Amad Brooks with the sack and the forced fumble of the New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees late in the fourth quarter that could have clinched the game. The referees called a roughing the passer personal foul for a 15 yard penalty that wiped out a sack and fumble that the 49ers recovered.
It was a questionable call taking a look at the replay Brooks really walloped Brees it looked like a legal hit. It was kind of closeline it was high on Brees chest but that’s a legal hit if you hit him in the chest. The official thought it was more in the neck area which wouldn’t be legal but watching the replay it sure look to me like it hit Brees in the chest and maybe after the hit his arm slid up higher towards his neck.
That was a play that turned the entire game around if the 49ers get that fumble recovery that’s probably the gamer which it makes incredibly difficult for the Saints to win. It definitely gives the Niners a better opportunity to win. There are several problems that the 49ers are trying to solve right now. One the receiving core is just not coming through Anquan Boldin had a nice grab and so did Vernon Davis.
The 49ers passing game was really non existent their really working things through and maybe in addition to Mario Manningham it’s helping but the 49ers have not really been active in the passing since Michael Crabtree outside of that first game of the season against Green Bay Crabtree really seemed to make this offense go last year. Once Kaeppernick became the quarterback Crabtree really blossomed and really opened things up for the receiving core and everything else.
So the 49ers could get Crabtree in a couple of weeks I don’t think it’s going to be this week against Washington on Monday night you never know but there was no report to indicate that Crabtree is going to be back. That Saints game was tough and the 49ers really have to move past that game because their going into Washington on a Monday night it’s another road game with a national audience and playoff seeding is not aligned in this one the 49ers have more or less lost the NFC west unless Seattle suffers a big collapse.
The 49ers have to focus on the wild card, they have to focus on seeding and just making the wild card, because technically speaking they’re tied with four other teams for that wild card position. Washington has been playing very poorly this season their coming off another loss this time to Philadelphia. Washington has not looked good their not the team they were last year when they made the playoffs behind Robert Griffin III.
Daivd Zizmor covers the NFL for Sportstalk Radio