49ers 14, Lions 6 -- halftime report


49ers 14, Lions 6 -- halftime report

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers committed their first turnover in 26 regular-season quarters, but the defense made sure the Detroit Lions did not fully cash in.The 49ers led 14-6 at halftime, as the defense managed to hold the Lions to just three field-goal attempts. Detroit kicker Jason Hanson made his tries from 38 and 41 but doinked a 40-yard attempt late in the quarter off the uprights.The 49ers mostly played their nickel defense against the Lions' high-powered offense. Matthew Stafford complted just 7 of 16 passes for 67 yards. The 49ers played their nickel defense for 27 snaps in the first half, while putting their base on the field for just six snaps. In the nickel defense, third cornerback Chris Culliver replaces nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga.Safety Dashon Goldson intercepted a poorly thrown Stafford pass late in the first quarter to set up a 49ers touchdown. Receiver Calvin Johnson had three catches for 36 yards in the first half.The 49ers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard after holding the 49ers to a three-and-out on the opening drive. Mario Manningham gained 29 yards on an end-around. Alex Smith hit Michael Crabtree for 17 yardsAnd Smith found Vernon Davis against the coverage of safety John Wendling for a 21-yard touchdown. Wendling started in place of injured Louis Delmas.The 49ers scored another touchdown on the first play of the second quarter when running back Frank Gore had a 1-yard run behind the blocks of Joe Staley, Alex Boone, Delanie Walker and Will Tukuafu.The 49ers elected to take points off the board after the Lions were guilty of running into 49ers kicker David Akers on a 35-yard field goal.Alex Smith completed 7 of 14 pass attempts for 82 yards. The 49ers had four catchable passes slip through their hands.The 49ers' turnover-less streak ended at 26 consecutive regular-season quarters when Kendall Hunter fumbled a kickoff in the first quarter.
Vernon Davis missed some time in the first half when he was poked in the eye. Here's how the play time broke down among the 49ers' eligible receivers in the first half:RB: Frank Gore 23, Kendall Hunter 5.
WR: Michael Crabtree 21, Mario Manningham 19, Kyle Williams 13, Randy Moss 7.
TE: Vernon Davis 20, Delanie Walker 14, Demarcus Dobbs 1.
Extra blockers: Will Tukuafu 3, Daniel Kilgore 2, Leonard Davis 2.

Report: 49ers free agent ILB signing with rival Seahawks

Report: 49ers free agent ILB signing with rival Seahawks

Michael Wilhoite has spent his whole five-year NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers.

But now the free agent inside linebacker is reportedly switching sides in the NFC West rivalry. Wilhoite is set to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, according to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network. 

Terms of the deal are unknown at this time. 

Wilhoite, 30, played in all 16 games last season for the 49ers, starting in only six. In 2016 he recorded 55 tackles, 30 less than 2015 in four less games, and forced one fumble. 

After earning a promotion from the 49ers' practice squad in 2012, Wilhoite's career in the Bay Area comes to an end with 268 tackles and three interceptions in 65 games. 

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NEW YORK -- NFL owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials.

In what promises to be a busy annual meeting next week in Phoenix that will include discussing the Raiders' potential relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the 32 owners also will vote on changing the mechanics on replay reviews and other items intended to reduce downtime during games.

The Eagles proposed four rules changes, including abolishing the leaping techniques that league football operations director Troy Vincent said Thursday "don't belong in the game."

Seattle and Buffalo co-authored a proposal allowing a coach to challenge any officiating decision, whether a foul is called or not.

"That is a significant change to our current replay rule and it is something that will be on the floor and will be debated next week," NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said.

Another major change would be the reduction of overtime in-season; the extra period in the playoffs would remain at 15 minutes. The powerful competition committee, of which Vincent and Blandino are members, believed it's a player safety issue, noting that number of snaps for games going to OT - especially deep into the overtime - is excessive. Especially if a team has a quick turnaround.

"We don't know where a team is going to be playing the next week, it could be four days later," said committee chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. "We felt we should put an end to it. We don't think it will lead to more ties. Could it? It could, but we are not concerned with that."

As for changing the format of overtime to ensure both teams always get a possession - a popular topic after how the Super Bowl ended - Blandino said the league's wants to keep the element of sudden death in the extra period.

The "leaper rule" has taken some priority among competition committee members, the players' union and coaches. Vincent said coaches have begun scheming how to defense it, which can "create a real safety issue."

"It is really in the best interest of the game" to outlaw leaping on kicks," Vincent added.

McKay noted that the NCAA is in the process of passing a similar ban on the technique.

During the meetings that run from Sunday to Wednesday, the teams will be shown plays the competition committee believes should result in suspensions or ejections. Game officials already have had the leeway to eject players, but it rarely has happened; there were three in 2016.

"They don't happen very often, let's give the players credit," McKay said. "We have 40,000 plays in a year. We'll show a tape that will have four or five plays that would warrant suspension. This is not a widespread situation."

Added Vincent, a former NFL defensive back: "When you see the plays, they are catastrophic. We had two players who did not return for the season. They are high-impact plays that belong out of the game. It will be a real point of emphasis this season."