Headline Sports podcast with Barbara Mason: The advantage Cal had playing in Santa Clara for the Red Box Bowl; Have Sharks snapped out of it?; plus more

photo from sfgate.com: California quarterback Chase Garbers (7) scrabbles away from Illinois defensive lineman Ayo Shogbonyo (52) during the first half of the Redbox Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Dec. 30, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif

On Headline Sports with Barbara:

#1 How important, how big was it for Cal to get to the Red Box Bowl and get to stay in the Bay Area and play the game against the Illinois Illini as the Bears defeated the Illini 35-20.

#2 It has to be a relief for the San Jose Sharks to win a game after losing ten of their last 11 on Saturday they got to break the glass ceiling or ice below with a five goal 6-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers

#3 Talk about the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in a game that was built and called “The NFC West Championship” played on Sunday afternoon

#4 The Oakland Raiders on Sunday had to beat the Broncos, then the Texans needed to beat the Titans and the Ravens needed to beat the Steelers, and the Colts needed to beat the Jaguars, and a victory by at least one of these teams Bears, Lions, Chiefs or Patriots in order to make the AFC Wild Card Playoffs it was quite a bit to ask for wasn’t of the Raiders?

#5 The Sacramento Kings last two loses were narrow in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves they lost by just one in overtime but coughed up a lead in the 105-104 loss, then on Saturday they dropped another game at home by two 112-110 to the Phoenix Suns. The Kings have lost six straight games.

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

 

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Taking a look at number one seed 49ers with home field

photo from sfgate.com: The San Francisco 49ers Nick Bosa (54) silences the Seattle Seahawks crowd on Sunday at Century Link Field

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 The 49ers Dan Greenlaw and Fred Warner made a crucial stop on the Seattle Seahawks Jacob Hollister within inches of scoring a touchdown that would have taken the 49ers in a whole different direction.

#2 What the 49ers NFC title means for a home field advantage and how close the game in Seattle really was.

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

Niners Win NFC West, Secure Home-Field defeat Seahawks 26-21

sfgate.com photo: Tight end Jacob Hollister #48 of the Seattle Seahawks is stopped just short of the goal line by linebacker Dre Greenlaw #57 and linebacker Fred Warner #54 of the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter at CenturyLink Field on December 29, 2019 in Seattle,

By Joe Lami

The Niners won the NFC West by inches on Sunday night when Dre Greenlaw stopped Jacob Hollister on the goal line to defeat the Seattle Seahawks 26-21. For the fifth straight game, the game was decided on the final play, and for the third time, the Niners came out victorious.

More importantly, with the win, the Niners clinch the top seed in the NFC, clearing a path towards the Super Bowl with a first-round bye and home-field advantage.

The Niners controlled most of the heavy-weight primetime prize fight, racing out to an early 13-0 lead. Robbie Gould connected from 47 and 30 yards, while Deebo Samuel raced for 30 yards on an end-around.

Samuel finished with 100 yards for the fourth time this season, rushing for 33 on two carries and catching five balls for 102 yards, including a couple of clutch third-down conversions.

Seattle didn’t score until late in the third quarter, thanks to an 11-play 62-yard drive. Wilson capped it off, finding Tyler Lockett on a 14-yard touchdown pass.

Seattle began to roll a bit late in the third quarter, when Travis Homer became the featured back. Homer finished with ten carries for 62 yards. He was particularly successful attacking the outside left on zone rushes, averaging 6.7 yards per carry running left.

The Niners then traded blows with the Seahawks, with each team getting two touchdowns. The Seahawks made the stop and had the opportunity to win it until Greenlaw won the game with the goal-line stand.

Raheem Mostert scored both TDs for the Niners, including the eventual game-winner. He became the featured back in the second half, finishing with ten carries for 57 yards. He primarily found success attacking the interrior left-side, scoring a touchdown and finishing with 30 yards on four attempts.

Seattle fans erupted when they cut into the game, making it 19-14 on a Marshawn Lynch one-yard touchdown. The beloved Lynch finished with eight carries for 29 yards. Before Greenlaw stuff Hollister, the Seahawks were set-up on the one-yard line when a mistake led to a delay of game penalty.

Lynch was set up to score again until the Seahawks had to back up five yards, forcing them to throw, thus losing them the game.

Rookie, DK Metcalf also caught a 14-yard touchdown from Wilson with 3:36 to go, making it a one-score game. Metcalf finishes his rookie year with seven touchdowns, tied for third among first-year players.

Russ Wilson was incredible tonight for Seattle. He’s the engine that drives a mediocre team that makes them excellent. Tonight, he tallied 233 yards and two touchdowns on 25 of 40 passing. If there were an MVP at the conference level, Wilson would be the front runner to take the NFC award.

His excellence drives the Seahawks and why they’ve finished on the positive side of so many one-score games. On Sunday, he fell just short of taking the division. It also marks the first time in his career San Francisco’s beaten Wilson in Seattle; the last time they won in Washington was 2011.

The Seahawks settle for the fifth-seed and will have to travel to Philadelphia next week to kick off the playoffs. With a win, they set-up a potential rubber match in the Divisional round.

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: 49ers can go through Seahawks O-Line like butter on Sunday Night Football

sfgate.com photo: Seattle Seahawks work out this week included Marshawn Lynch (left) who will be playing with quarterback Russell Wilson (right) this Sunday at Century Link Field against the San Francisco 49ers

On the 49ers podcast with Joe Lami:

#1 The 49ers have a pretty good shot at getting to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson on Sunday at Century Link Field due to the Seahawks questionable offensive line.

#2 The Seahawks have been hampered with allowing sacks being the seventh most in the NFL.

#3 In spite of the Seahawks acquiring Marshawn Lynch the Hawks head coach Pete Carroll is concerned about the Seattle front five and said “I hope we can make it”

#4 For the 49ers another great outing for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo last Saturday against the Los Angeles Rams going 16-27 for 248 yards, one interception and two touchdowns.

#5 Joe 49ers will be assured home field through the playoffs their first step is to take out the Seahawks in a very noisy hostile Century Link Field better known as the 12th man

Join Joe each Friday for the 49ers podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

NFC West Championship Preview: Niners-Seahawks go for the gold at Century Link Sunday

nbcsports.com file photo: The Seattle Seahawks Jadeveon Clowney (90) leaps to block San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) pass on Nov 11th at Levis Stadium. Jadeveon will be in the lineup on Sunday after suffering a core muscle injury.

By Joe Lami

SANTA CLARA–The biggest game of the year is here for the San Francisco 49ers and quite possibly since the Niners last made the playoffs in 2013 when they play the Seattle Seahawks. Sunday’s NFC West Championship game will also decide whether or not the Niners take the one seed and make the Super Bowl go through Levi’s Stadium.

Both the Niners and Seahawks are 2-2 in the last month. When they both appeared like unstoppable forces, they lost their mojo and have slumped. The Niners may have regained it last week when they came from two touchdowns behind to kicking a game-winning buzzer-beater.

While the Niners were celebrating their victory, they reclaimed the top-seed heading into the final weekend of the regular season. All thanks to Seattle’s 27-13 loss to Arizona. After racing out to a 7-0 lead, Seattle’s offense fell flat on their face after Chris Carson went down with a hip injury.

The Seahawks are decimated at running back and might prove to be their kryptonite. Carson went down just weeks after Rashaad Penny went down with a season-ending knee injury. They also lost third-stringer C.J. Prosise. With all of the injuries, they’ll see if Marshawn Lynch will be their superman, signing him to an emergency contract.

Lynch was suited up for the Oakland Raiders in 2018, playing in only six games but rushing for 376 yards and averaging 4.2 yards per carry. Without playing a single snap this season, who knows what Beastmode can bring to Seattle. But early reports could be positive.

“He looks great,” Wilson said. “He looks explosive. He looks fast. He looks strong. Quick as ever. He always has this infamous one-leg cut that he can do where he hops on one foot twice. He’s got some special things that he can do. He runs the ball hard, obviously.”

Regardless how fast or explosive Lynch looks, they’re likely bringing him back for extra pass protection for Wilson. He knows the offense and the terminology of Pete Carroll. It’s a natural fit for an emergency. The Seahawks will likely roll out Wilson after the Niners continue to look susceptible to quarterback speed outside the tackles.

Sunday’s game will also be a rematch of week 10’s Monday Night thriller. Russell Wilson threw for 232 yards and gashed the Niners for 53 yards in the overtime victory. When push came to shove, the MVP nominee showed up, and the Niners couldn’t stop him.

San Francisco’s defense continues to be one of the best defenses in the league, but they’ve have struggled of late. Over the last month, the Niners have only sacked the quarterback twice. The lack of a pass rush has allowed teams to torch the Niners. After not allowing 30 points all season, San Francisco has allowed 49, 29, and 31 points the last three games.

Teams have also discovered San Francisco’s hole in their rush defense. Allowing 111.8 per game, the Niners rank 17th in rush defense, their worst defensive stat.

After the hottest month of his career, Jimmy Garoppolo has cooled off the last two games, throwing 448 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions.

The Niners may be slowing down at the worst stretch of the season and when it matters most. Sunday’s game will determine how their post-season road will look. If they win, they’ll earn a first-round bye, home field advantage, and an extra week to get healthy. If they lose, they’ll face a hellish path through the NFC if they wish for a Super Bowl.

Headline Sports podcast Barbara Mason: Raiders hanging onto playoff hopes by their fingernails; 49ers in mourning over Beathard’s brother’s murder; plus more

sfgate.com photo: Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) is all smiles after throwing a second half touchdown to D’Andre Washington against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sun Dec 22

On Headline Sports with Barbara Mason:

#1 The odds are slim but the Oakland Raiders kept their playoff hopes alive with a victory over the Los Angeles Chargers in the Southland on Sunday afternoon 24-17

#2 The Raiders are in a must win situation as they have to beat the Broncos next Sunday, then the Texans need to beat the Titans and the Ravens need to beat the Steelers, and the Colts need to beat the Jaguars, and a victory by at least one of these teams Bears, Lions, Chiefs or Patriots

#3 The murder of 49er quarterback CJ Beathard’s brother Clayton stunned not only Beathard but the entire team and they had to prepare for a game the morning they found out about Clayton’s murder and pull off a win and dedicated the game ball to CJ.

#4 The San Jose Sharks now have lost nine of their last ten games. Their latest loss on Sunday to the Vegas Golden Knights a two goal lost 3-1 on home ice.

#5 Golden State Warrior head coach Steve Kerr said that Stephen Curry should be back traveling and helping out the younger players with tips as his hand is improving after having surgery. Curry is expected to get back into the line up by February.

Join Barbara for Headlines Sports podcasts each Tuesday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with David Zizmor: Person of interest identified in Beathard murder; Lynch has only worked out 8 days with Seahawks

photo from @MNPDNashville: Nashville Police have identified 23 year old Michael Mosely as a person of interest. Police want to question Mosely regarding the double murders which includes San Francisco 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard’s brother Clayton was a murder victim on Saturday night

On the 49ers podcast with David:

#1 The murder of 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard’s brother weighed heavy on the 49ers before their meeting with the Rams at Levis Stadium on Saturday

#2 The murder of Beathard’s brother could have taken the 49ers out of their game but with heavy hearts they played a razor close game against the Los Angeles Rams and really went all out for Beathard

#3 The 49ers are in Seattle this Sunday against the Seahawks each game is vital David talks about who the 49ers will face in the first playoff game and where they’ll play

Join David each Tuesday for the 49ers podcasts at http://www.sportsradioservice.com

 

Despite tragedy, Niners triumph in shoot-out 31-28

sfgate.com photo: San Francisco 49ers kicker Robbie Gould (9) is congratulated by teammates after kicking the game-winning field goal against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019.

By Jeremy Harness

SANTA CLARA – George Kittle woke up Saturday morning to find out that the brother of his college, and current 49er, teammate C.J Beathard had been fatally stabbed. He said that for this reason, Saturday night’s game against the Rams “the hardest of my career.”

“(The day) sucked all around,” Kittle said. “Overall, it was a brutal day.”

Facing this, as well as a resilient Los Angeles Rams team that was fighting for a playoff spot, Kittle and the rest of the 49ers were able to band together and rally from an early deficit and some late-game struggles to pull out a 31-28 win at the horn, keeping their hopes for the NFC West division title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs alive and sinking the Rams’ postseason aspirations altogether.

With the game tied in the final minutes, they faced a pair of third-and-16’s and converted both of them. Garoppolo found receiver Kendrick Bourne – who has developed a real knack for making big catches when they are most needed – and three plays later, he found a streaking Emmanuel Sanders, who had gotten deep behind corner Jalen Ramsey, with just under a minute to go.

That put the ball at LA’s 23-yard line, and from that point, the 49ers just ran a couple of plays in the middle of the field to set up Robbie Gould’s game-winning 33-yard field goal.

“This week, we made sure we knew what was on the line,” said linebacker Fred Warner, whose interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter gave the 49ers a 24-21 lead at halftime. “We could have been way cleaner, but it’s all about (putting one) in the win column.”

The 49ers will now have eight days to prepare for a matchup in Seattle for the division title. The Seahawks currently hold the tie-breaker over the 49ers, so a victory is a must if they hope to get home-field advantage and a first-round bye. If they lose next Sunday, they will have a wild-card matchup on the road against the eventual NFC East champion.

“We know it’s going to be loud, we know it’s going to be a hostile environment,” quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo said. “I can’t wait for it. It’s going to be awesome.

“Every week is a big game. This time of year, they all are.”

But first, the 49ers needed to win Saturday night, but the Rams gained the upper hand early, frustrating the defense with bootleg action to get down the field and grab a 21-10 second-quarter lead while the offense struggled to find its footing.

Garoppolo himself was not sharp at all in the first quarter. He found Deebo Samuel for a 9-yard hookup to start his night but did not complete another pass for the rest of the quarter. He was also picked off by Jalen Ramsey to kill the team’s third drive and finished the game with two interceptions.

However, Garoppolo got things together to start the second quarter, using the play-action that LA had used on the 49ers defense to march down the field. Samuel capped off the drive with a 19-yard fly-sweep run to narrow the Rams’ lead to 14-10.

The 49ers defense had major issues in the first half, as the vaunted defensive line was unable to get any pressure on Goff, and the secondary was picked apart as a result.

The 49ers got tired of the screen passes and dump-offs, and Warner did something about it with a minute left in the second quarter by jumping a screen route in the flat and returned it 46 yards for a score, giving his team its first lead of the night, 24-21.

Late in the third quarter, the Rams regained the lead on a seven-play 68-yard scoring march that saw right corner Ahkello Witherspoon get victimized by a pair of significant pass plays, including the 22-yard touchdown by Cooper Kupp.

As Goff used his tight ends to get ahead in the first quarter, Garoppolo utilized his in a lead-taking scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. He found Ross Dwelley deep over the middle to put the 49ers in scoring position while George Kittle, who is widely considered as the best tight end in football, broke free for a pair of big plays, including the 7-yard score that gave the 49ers a 31-28 advantage.

49ers quarterback CJ Beathard’s brother murdered in double stabbing

photo from Nashville Police: Metro Nashvillle Police released this photo and asked the public for any information that would help identify the person of interest. A Rhodes College student and the brother of a San Francisco 49ers quarterback were fatally stabbed outside of a Nashville bar.

By Jeremy Harness

SANTA CLARA–San Francisco 49ers quarterback CJ Beathard’s brother Clayton Beathard, 22, and his friend Paul Trapeni III, 21, were both stabbed in their sides and later died after being rushed to a local Nashville hospital. The stabbing apparently was caused over a woman. Beathard and Trapeni were inside a midtown bar and went outside when the confrontation turned physical.

The suspect was identified as a student at Rhodes College, who is still at large. Clayton comes from a football family Clayton’s grandfather was a former NFL executive and Beathard is a current Niner quarterback.

Police said, “The fatal stabbings appear to have resulted from an argument over a woman that began inside Dogwood Bar and then turned physical when the parties went outside.”

No word from Beathard, the 49ers backup quarterback who is with the team playing the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday. Beathard could be leaving for Nashville right after tonight’s game.

Jeremy Harness is a 49ers analyst for http://www.sportsradioservice.com

San Francisco 49ers podcast with Joe Lami: Will loss to the Falcons be something Niners can shake off?

Photo credit: nbcsports.com

On the 49ers podcast with Joe:

#1 After a close loss to the Atlanta Falcons, will there be much recovery for the 49ers coming off the loss mentally and physically?

#2 Close contest as Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had himself an afternoon throwing against the 49ers defense throwing 25 for 39 for 210 yards but the key play for Ryan was his five-yard pass to Julio Jones for the gamer.

#3 Injuries are insurmountable against the 49ers, but cornerback Richard Sherman (hamstring) and nickle corner K’Waun Williams (concussion) are both scheduled to return to practice after they sat on the sidelines last Sunday.

#4 With defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring) out for the rest of the season, the 49ers were trying to acquire pass rusher Terrell Suggs, a seven-time Pro Bowler. Suggs was snapped up by the Kansas City Chiefs.

#5 The 49ers have four players going to the Pro Bowl in edge rusher Nick Bosa, Sherman, tight end George Kittle, and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Joe Lami does the 49ers podcasts each Friday at http://www.sportsradioservice.com