San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: 49ers look ahead to Browns on Monday Night Football

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 The 49ers are coming off a big win over the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 at Levi’s Stadium after having a bye last Sunday. How convincing was the win to say that this team can go out and win most of the remainder of their schedule? They have a challenging Cleveland Browns team on Monday Night Football.

#2 San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw 23-32 for 277 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions of those numbers. What sticks out most for Jimmy G?

David Zizmor does the 49ers podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Niners Improve to 3-0 with 24-20 Victory, Despite Five Turnovers

photo from sfgate.com: Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi’s Stadium on September 22, 2019 in Santa Clara, California

By Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA — For the first time since 1998, the San Francisco 49ers have started a season 3-0. In a wild home opener Sunday, the Niners outlasted the Big Ben-less Steelers in a 24-20 win.

Despite turning the ball over five times, including three times in the red zone, the Niners were able to hold off Pittsburgh thanks to a last-minute touchdown throw from Jimmy Garoppolo to Dante Pettis.

It would be Garoppolo’s only TD pass of the game, but it came at the perfect time to overcome the sloppy first half and secure the victory. Garoppolo finished the game 22 of 32 for 277 yards, the touchdown, and two interceptions.

Garoppolo threw picks to TJ Watt and newly acquired Minkah Fitzpatrick in 49ers territory in the first half. The Steelers starting positions were the 33 and 24-yard lines, but San Francisco’s defense showed the bend, don’t break style we’ve seen through the first two weeks to force field goals, holding Pittsburgh to just six points.

Despite going into intermission with a -4 turnover differential, the Niners only trailed 6-3 at halftime, giving the offense new life and confidence.

The Niners came out to score the game’s first touchdown on their opening drive on the second half. Jeff Wilson Jr. ran in his first of two scores from one-yard out, bringing his season total to four since coming off the practice squad.

The Steelers offense was held to 239 total yards, with 76 of them coming on one play in the third quarter. Mason Rudolph, making his first career start, connected with JuJu Smith-Schuster for the Steeler’s first TD of the day. Smith-Schuster beat Ahkello Witherspoon over the top and on a crossing route and carried it the rest of the way to make it 13-10 at the time.

The Niners answered right back on their next drive, going 75 yards in ten plays setting up Wilson Jr.’s second rushing score of the game to re-take the lead 17-10.

The Steelers didn’t go down quietly. After Witherspoon went down with a foot injury in the fourth quarter, Rudolph attacked his replacement Jason Verrett on consecutive plays. Verrett first took a pass interference penalty that cost the Niners 32 yards and then was beat on a 39-yard pass to Diontae Johnson for the rookie’s first career touchdown.

Rudolph played decent in his first start, passing 14 of 27 for 174 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception from K’Waun Williams. The Niners front seven did a great job slowing down the Steelers’ run, holding James Conner to just 43 yards on 13 carries.

The Steelers held the 20-17 late into the fourth quarter when the 49ers were driving. With the ball at the PIT 11-yard line, San Francisco’s turnover bug hit again, and a wonky snap went off the motion man for the Niner’s fifth turnover.

But once again, the defense didn’t let that bother them, buckling down for a huge forced turnover. Just a minute later, Arik Armstead forced James Conner fumble that was recovered by DeForest Buckner. The turnover allowed the 49ers to set up at the Steelers’ 24-yard line, setting up the game-winning score.

San Francisco’s defense has been the revelation in this young season. The newly acquired defensive line is doing precisely what Robert Saleh’s scheme is meant to do. Creating havoc and causing turnovers, the Niners have already matched 2018’s turnover total of seven in just the first three games.

Side Notes:

Justin Skule played excellent, protecting Garoppolo’s blind side in his rookie debut. The Vandy sixth-round product did take three bad penalties late in the third that luckily didn’t cost San Francisco. “Those were costly penalties at pretty bad times. I had a couple of good things, but I am going to learn from it all from the tape and move on,” Skule said.

Skule and company have a couple of weeks before their next action. Heading into the early week four bye, the Niners return to action October 7th on Monday night at home against the Browns.

When asked about heading into a bye with a 3-0 record, everyone had the same generic answer. They aren’t thrilled having a bye week this early and with the potential of having it kill momentum but see the value in getting healthy and more bodies back before the second quarter of the season.

Headline Sports podcast with London Marq: Roethlisberger heartbroken over season-ending injury; Brees seeks second opinion on torn thumb; plus more

Photo credit: cbssports.com

On Headline Sports podcast with London:

#1 Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right elbow and will need surgery and said after last Sunday’s game that it was heartbreaking to be out on an injury. The injury knocked Roethlisberger out for the rest of the season and Roethlisberger said he looks forward to coming back next season.

#2 New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees torn thumb will need surgery. Brees sought a second opinion in Houston, and after being looked at in Los Angeles, Brees will miss six to eight weeks of the football season, which would put him at Week 10 at the latest that he can return.

#3 The Oakland A’s continue to believe in miracles. They got a huge win past the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night. The A’s, who lost the first game of the series Monday night to the Royals 6-5, who came back on them, came back on the Royals on Tuesday night after being down 1-0 scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning for the 2-1 win. The A’s lead second place Tampa Bay by two games.

#4 What happen to the Raiders after having a 10-0 lead on Sunday? The visiting Kansas City Chiefs took over in the second quarter scoring four touchdowns and won it 28-10 and the Raiders couldn’t score in the second half.

#5 The San Jose Earthquakes, who have lost three of their last five games battled against one of the MLS’ best NYC FC, on Saturday losing 2-1. The Quakes’ Chris Wondolowski continues to find the back of the net with the Quakes’ only goal — his 14th of the season.

Join London for Headline Sports each Wednesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Niners look to stay unbeaten vs. shorthanded Steelers

Photo credit: ninersnation.com

By Jeremy Harness

The 49ers are in a position that they have not been in since their Super Bowl year of 2012, as they are 2-0 and have a great chance to extend that win streak as they get ready to take on their rivals in the NFC West.

And they’ll have a reeling, hurting Pittsburgh Steelers team traveling across the country to face them at Levi’s Stadium Sunday.

However, just a note here: Pittsburgh has ended a 49ers winning streak before. The Niners won their first six games of the 1984 season until the Steelers pulled off a 20-17 upset win at Candlestick Park.

The 49ers did not lose another game that year, which culminated with the second Super Bowl victory in franchise history, a 38-16 win over the Miami Dolphins.

However, they do have some injury concerns going into Sunday.

Defensive end Dee Ford is listed as day-to-day with a quad injury, and he did not practice Wednesday. Among the others who were sidelined for Wednesday’s practice were receivers Trent Taylor (foot) and Jalen Hurd (back), starting back Tevin Coleman and safety Jaquiski Tartt (toe), who is listed as day-to-day but is expected to play against the Steelers.

Tackle Joe Staley suffered a broken tibia during Sunday’s game, and he is expected to be out for several weeks.

However serious the 49ers’ injury situation currently is, it pales in comparison to what’s going on in Pittsburgh. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his elbow in Sunday’s loss to the Seattle Seahawks and has been forced to have season-ending surgery on his throwing elbow.

Mason Rudolph took over for Roethlisberger following the injury, and he is expected to be under center Sunday. The Steelers selected Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft and was the third quarterback that season before being elevated to the backup job before the start of this season.

Meanwhile, cornerback Joe Haden, whom the Steelers recently signed to a multi-year extension, did not practice Wednesday as he recovers from a shoulder ailment. Meanwhile, former 49ers tight end Vance McDonald was limited in practice Wednesday with a back injury.

Starting running back James Conner was held out of practice Wednesday while nursing a knee injury, but the team fully expects him, as well as Haden, to start against the 49ers.

49ers Win Huge 41-17; Start Season with Perfect Road Trip

photo from sfgate.com: Marquise Goodwin #11 of the San Francisco 49ers runs for a touchdown during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

By Joe Lami

After not winning a single road game last year, the 49ers are off to a perfect start to their 2019 season. On Sunday, they impressively manhandled the Cincinnati Bengals 41-17 in their largest offensive road output since 2014 marking a complete 2-0 road trip.

The onslaught started early, as the defense quickly forced a three-and-out, giving the offense great starting field position on the first drive. The Niners easily capitalized as Jimmy Garoppolo found Marquise Goodwin wide open for a 38-yard score.

Garoppolo flashed what excited the faithful in late 2017 in a dominant performance, throwing three touchdowns on 17 of 25 passing for 297 yards. The Bengals challenged Jimmy G by trying to shut down his top target, George Kittle, but he spread the ball around incredibly well, finding three different receivers for scores and eight different pass catchers for receptions.

Rookie Debo Samuel led the way with five catches for 87 yards and his first career touchdown. Goodwin finished with three catches for 77 yards and a score, while Mostert got four balls out of the backfield for 68 yards and a score. Kittled finished with three catches on three targets for 54 yards.

Garoppolo had one throw he’d like back, throwing a terrible interception while targeting Richie James Jr. in triple coverage.

The passing attack was set up all by the rush, as the 49ers had their best rushing game under Kyle Shanahan, totaling 259 yards. Matt Breida was a monster, rushing for 121 yards on 12 carries, including one rush that reminisced Barry Sanders. Raheem Mostert carried 13 times for 83 yards, while Jeff Wilson Jr. came off the practice squad for ten carries, 34 yards, and two touchdowns.

On defense, the front seven was all over Andy Dalton, sacking him four times, while Kwon Alexander picked up his first interception as a Niner. They held Dalton to 311 yards, on 26 of 42 passes for two touchdowns. Dalton depended upon Tyler Boyd and John Ross as his two main targets, as both combined for 14 catches, 234 yards, and a score.

However, the Niners did lose Joe Staley with a broken left fibula in the win. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks, and it remains to be seen on whether or not he’ll be placed on the IR. After losing swing tackle Shon Coleman in the pre-season, the Niners may seek free agency or a trade to replace their all-pro left tackle.

At 2-0, the Niners now return home to host the 0-2 Steelers in their home opener. The Steelers lost 28-26 to Seattle on Sunday, very similar to Seattle’s 21-20 win over the Bengals in week one.

Join Joe for 49ers coverage each week and podcast commentary each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

AB Commentary: Old Wounds That Never Heal

Photo credit: cbssports.com

By London Marq

The Antonio Brown saga is far from over. Brown’s off the field shenanigans and his progress will be marked through every week of the 2019 season. It will only be magnified by the fact that he signed with the most hated team in the National Football League, the New England Patriots. Brown adds to a wide receiver core that already includes Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman and Demaryius Thomas, who won a championship with Denver in Super Bowl 50, and is sure to be a nightmare for defenses all season long. That’s without mentioning Tom Brady, or the abundance of talent New England possesses on both sides of the ball. New England was already one of the favorites to represent the AFC in the Superbowl before acquiring the Brown. Now, they look like primed to repeat as champions.

Brown is just the most recent of a long line of disgruntled players to leave their team and sign with New England. From the moment of his release from Oakland it seemed like it was only a matter of time before Antonio Brown became a Patriot. No two fanbases have more hatred and vitriol for the New England Patriots than Oakland and Pittsburgh fans and the Brown signing has ripped open old wounds.

For the Raiders, it is story of stolen glory. It all goes back to the January of 2002 and the tuck rule that turned Tom Brady’s fumble into an incompletion, propelling New England to their first Super Bowl. It was an officiating call that will live in infamy and one that Raider fans will never forget. The raiders would make it to the Super Bowl the following year, losing to Tampa Bay and haven’t won a playoff game since. Meanwhile, the Patriots have been to eight more Super Bowls and winning five of them. In 2005, Hall of Famer Randy Moss was traded to the Raiders bringing hope to the franchise. But after posting only 553 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2006 the Raiders traded Moss to New England where his career was immediately revived. In his first season as a Patriot, Moss had over 1,500 yards and 23 touchdowns, setting the all-time record to receiving touchdowns in a season. Moss’s effort in New England was a slap in the face to the Raiders who couldn’t get Moss to display any work ethic. In short, much like Antonio Brown, he didn’t want to play for Oakland.

Pittsburgh has also lost significant players to New England and those players have helped the New England win championships. Frustrated with his role, running back LeGarrette Blount walked off the field before the end of game versus the Titans in 2014. Two days later he signed with the Patriots and was instrumental in helping them when the championship three months later. Linebacker James Harrison joined New England only a few days after being waived by Pittsburgh. To make matters worse, the Steelers are arguably the Patriots biggest rival over the past two decades and they are constantly battling New England for the top spot in the AFC. It’s devastating from their perspective to see their former players join their biggest and toughest rivals.

But who could blame the Raiders or the Steelers? Antonio Brown has been a constant headache for both organizations and clearly demonstrated that he didn’t want to play for either team. His actions cost Pittsburgh a playoff berth last season and almost certainly tanked Oaklands chances this season. What choice does a team have with a player who doesn’t want to show up to work. It has been said time and time again, teams only want players who want to be there. Now the Raiders and Steelers must watch New England benefit from their decision to do what was best for their team and let Brown go.

New England’s acquisition of Antonio Brown spells terror for 31 other teams. It’s difficult to see them as anything but a Super Bowl favorites, even at this early point in the season. But for the Raiders and Steelers, two teams who have been victimized so many times by New England on and off the field, this is a recurring trauma.

Raiders report: Did Brown act deliberately so he could join Belichick and the Patriots?

sfgate.com file photo: Former Oakland Raider Antonio Brown (84) in this August 20th photo tunes up with the team during practice. Brown was signed to the New England Patriots hours after getting released by the Oakland Raiders on Saturday.

By Jerry Feitelberg

You can only speculate and it’s anyone’s guess, but the timing was awfully quick and you might have saw  Oakland Raiders former running back Antonio Brown on video celebrating by running to the distance of close to 50 yards from his kitchen to his backyard fence when he learned that the Raiders released him.

It didn’t take long after learning that after leaving the Raiders he was sought by the New England Patriots. Could it be possible that Brown had foreknowledge that if he could somehow get out from under the Raiders and that he would be able to play for the New England Patriots?

It also was brought up by conspiracy theorists that the Pats rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers who will be facing the Pats for Week 1 this Sunday would have loved to have Brown in for Sunday’s game. Head coach Bill Belichick is always thinking and if anyone doesn’t think he just might have had knowledge of video gate, deflate gate, or any other gate would be naive. Hence, the playbook to get Brown on the Patriots by hook or crook.

Brown, who was signed by the Pats, didn’t make the roster missing the 4 p.m. deadline on Saturday in order to play in tomorrow’s game against the Steelers. Brown, if you watched the video, was just a little too happy upon learning of his release from Oakland, but be as it may, he joins the Patriots for $15 million on a one-year deal.

There is little doubt that the Patriots could use a guy like Brown and when all the fuss of the helmet, the missed practices and walk throughs, suspensions, fines, arguments with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, photos of his fines from Mayock, recorded conversations with head coach Jon Gruden about wanting to be a Raiders or not, came out it was just a matter of time when Brown would be leaving the Raiders and the Patriots no doubt stood up and took notice.

You could be rest assured Brown will not fuss too much like he did in Oakland once he gets to New England. He won’t fuss about his helmet, going to practice, showing up for meetings, and getting along with Belichick. Let Brown experience just a few Sundays and he’ll be as happy as a clam because he feels like he’s with a real franchise now.

That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast: Fans and players not big fans of the weekend uniforms; When will Brown’s helmet issues get settled?; plus more

Photo credit: foxnews.com

On That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary podcast:

#1 How bad were the weekend uniforms, some said the home whites looked like they were cricket players or they were selling ice cream in the stands like the concession salespeople. MLB said and made sure each player wore the proper uniform.

#2 The helmet issue of Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown has not yet gone away yet. Brown filed a grievance with the Players Union. Brown said the helmet that he used to use in Pittsburgh was a good-fitting helmet that did its job. The league is saying Brown needs to wear the proper helmet to protect himself from concussion and if he collides with another player.

#3 The Raiders picked up a close win in Winnipeg against the Green Bay Packers 22-21 last Thursday. It took a Daniel Carlson field goal with eight seconds left to get the Raiders the win on a rugged short field that’s normally used for Canadian Football.

#4 The A’s will try and shake off the double loss to the Giants from the weekend series and tango with the Kansas City Royals. The A’s really need this series in order to keep pace with Cleveland and Tampa Bay in the AL wild card.

#5 It’s hard to believe that former San Francisco Giant pitcher Juan Marichal is 81 years old. He’s had a storied career, most notably when he got into that ruckus with John Roseboro and the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1965 in a brawl that Marichal hit Roseboro on the head with a bat. Marichal is also noted for his high leg kick and his multiple 20-win games.

Amaury Pi-Gonzalez is the radio voice for the Oakland A’s Spanish radio on 1010 KIQI, is the vice president of the Major League Baseball Heritage Museum and does News and Commentary each week at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: Giants to hoist Clark’s retired #22; Raiders’ Brown agrees to wearing new helmet; plus more

photo from sfgate.com: Former San Francisco Giants player Will Clark gestures to fans during a ceremony honoring the 1989 World Series team prior to a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in San Francisco.

On Headline Sports with Barbara:

#1 From that 1989 San Francisco Giants reunion on Sunday night at Oracle Park in San Francisco, former Giants first baseman Will Clark’s number 22 is being retired, Clark hit .303, 2,176 hits, 284 home runs, with 1,205 RBIs in his MLB career.

#2 The Oakland Raiders’ Antonio Brown said he will wear the NFL issued helmet losing the grievance wanted to continue wearing the old helmet that he wore when he was with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The NFL is insisting that all players wear the newly designed helmet that help prevent concussions. Brown said that if he is required to wear the new issued helmet he was going to retire. Brown has had limited play with his frostbite feet holding him back.

#3 Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said that the Raiders wide receiving depth is as good as it’s ever been with Hunter Renfrow, Tyrell Williams, JJ Nelson, and Antonio Brown. Raider quarterbacks Mike Glennon and Nathan Peterman in preseason are impressed with the receiving core.

#4 The Oakland A’s keep on rolling. They are now 1.5 back of first place for the American League wild card. On Sunday, the A’s kept up their winning ways with a 2-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. A’s pitcher Chris Bassitt started the game and went seven innings, four hits, two walks and seven strikeouts.

#5 While the San Francisco Giants might be out a whopping 19.5 games in the NL West race, their wild card chance improved a whole lot on Sunday with their comeback win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Oracle Park with a 9-6 win. The Giants are now 3.5 games back and had the day off on Monday night.

Join Barbara for Headline Sports each Tuesday night at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

Headline Sports podcast with Tony Renteria: Elway hopes Flacco can come through at QB for Broncos; Harrison arrested for assault in Arizona; plus more

Photo credit: @9NEWSSports

On the Headline Sports podcast with Tony:

#1 Denver Broncos general manager John Elway says that quarterback Joe Flacco, who joined the Broncos from the Baltimore Ravens in March, is a player that he really looks forward to break the string of quarterbacks that didn’t work out for the Broncos in the past.

#2 Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Desmond Harrison, who was arrested for attempting to strangle a woman, was released by Arizona today. Harrison had joined the Cardinals in June after playing for the Cleveland Browns. Harrison had eight games at left tackle for Cleveland.

#3 Former Oakland Raider wide receiver Mattavias Bryant applied for reinstatement after being suspended for drug abuse. Bryant has missed 36 of 80 games. Bryant is serving his third suspension and the NFL as of now will not reinstate him.

#4 The NFLPA and the NFL are close to an agreement on the collective bargaining agreement. The two sides are trying to iron on some other issues. Both sides report that meetings have been constructive and making progress.

#5 Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he wasn’t there to be understood. One players who didn’t get along with him was Antonio Brown who left for Oakland. Tomlin says he’s fair to everyone, although he might treat others differently.

Tony does Headline Sports each Thursday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com