49ers defeat Giants to improve to 8-1


49ers defeat Giants to improve to 8-1


SAN FRANCISCO -- Running back Frank Gore was held without a rushing yard for the first time in 70 games. He did not touch the ball in the second half due to a knee injury.So, instead, the 49ers turned to their passing game Sunday in a 27-20 victory over the New York Giants at Candlestick Park. The 49ers improve to 8-1 on the season, while the NFC East-leading Giants fall to 6-3.Gore carried six times for zero yards in the first half, and his franchise-record streak of 100-yard games stopped at a franchise record of five games.Davis' leap: The 49ers took the lead early in the fourth quarter when Vernon Davis capped a 31-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith with a leap into the end zone while safety Kenny Phillips tried to keep him out at the goal line. The 49ers converted the two-point conversion with a Smith pass to Michael Crabtree for a 20-13 lead.Good hands man: Cornerback Carlos Rogers intercepted two Eli Manning passes for his team-leading fourth and fifth picks of the season. The second interception came in the fourth quarter. Rogers had never before recorded two interceptions in the same game. On the 49ers' first offensive play after the turnover, Kendall Hunter picked up a good block from Adam Snyder and took it 17 yards for a touchdown that gave the 49ers a 27-13 lead.Come out throwin': The 49ers came out passing, as Alex Smith attempted nine passes, compared to just two Frank Gore runs, on the first series of the game. Smith completed 6 of 9 passes for 67 yards on the opening drive, and the 49ers settled for David Akers' 36-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3 with :25 left in the first quarter.Surprise, surprise: After the 49ers pulled even at 6-6 in the second quarter, special-teams coordinator Brad Seely sprung a surprise onside kick on the Giants. Delanie Walker caught the perfectly placed Akers kick and held on after a hit from Giants special-teamer Ramses Barden. The 49ers cashed in with Akers' 39-yard field goal for a 9-6 lead late in the first half.Well-thrown interception: Smith has been difficult to interception, but the Giants got some help from Ted Ginn. Smith's perfectly thrown pass late in the first half slipped through Ginn's hands, allowing cornerback Corey Webster to record the pick. It was Smith's third interception in nine games.Run stuffers: The 49ers run defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher in the last 31 games, which marks the longest active streak in the NFL. Since the start of the 2000 season, the 49ers streak without allowing a 100-yard rusher ranks fourth in the NFL.

Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL


Still unconvinced there is a place for Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL

I hadn’t considered the notion of Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles bombing quite so badly Thursday night, so I hadn’t considered the notion advanced by Pro Football Talk Friday morning that Jacksonville might be a great place for Colin Kaepernick.

That’s because I long ago stopped considering the idea that Kaepernick’s exile from football was, or is, about football. It isn’t. He is the example for future player/miscreants, and trotting his name out every time a quarterback in the new NFL vomits up a practice game on national television is simply perpetuating a lie.

Until someone gets so desperate that it isn’t any more.

That’s the problem with being so definitive about Kaepernick’s perpetual ban. It only takes one owner with a willingness to stick a middle finger up to the objections and say, “I own a football team, not some branch of the USO” to end this national spitfest once and for all. And yes, I say owner because this is an owner’s decision, solely and completely. In the hypothetical of Kaepernick the Jaguar, it will be made not by Doug Marrone, who is merely a coach, or by Tom Coughlin, who is only the general manager, but Shahid Khad, one of the brightest and quietly more powerful owners in the league.

But the odds still scream No Kaep For You, because it would mean that exhibition games matter for judgmental purposes (which they don’t), that Bortles is somehow worse than half the quarterbacks in the NFL (he is part of an amorphous blob of non-producers whose numbers are growing as the differences between college and pro football offenses expand), and that owners easily break away from the herd once the herd has decided on something (Khan is not a rebel in the Jerry Jones mold by any means).

In other words, I remain unconvinced that there is a place for Colin Kaepernick in a new and nastier NFL. And he’s probably better off.

Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers


Zuttah ends up back with Ravens after release from 49ers

One week after center Jeremy Zuttah played his way off the 49ers’ roster in short order, he ended up back with the team that got rid of him to open the offseason.

The Baltimore Ravens on Friday announced the signing of Zuttah, whom the 49ers released on Aug. 9 after acquiring him from the Ravens in a March trade.

The 49ers determined center Daniel Kilgore was clearly better than Zuttah. Moreover, Zuttah he did not demonstrate any promise of being an asset at either of the guard positions.

Zuttah, 31, played the past three seasons with the Ravens after six seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Zuttah was named to his first Pro Bowl after last season.

The 49ers originally acquired Zuttah in a swap of sixth-round draft picks. The Ravens received the 49ers’ pick at No. 186 and selected Virginia Tech safety Chuck Clark. The 49ers took over Baltimore’s selection at No. 198 and chose Mississippi defensive tackle D.J. Jones.

The 49ers are confident in Kilgore and offensive tackles Joe Staley and Trent Brown. However, there is concern at the guard positions.

Brandon Fusco appears to be earning the confidence of the coaching staff at right guard. But left guard remains a concern. Zane Beadles is currently the starter while Joshua Garnett rehabs from arthroscopic knee surgery to repair cartilage. The 49ers are hopeful Garnett will be available for the opening of the regular season.