49ers defeat Giants to improve to 8-1

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49ers defeat Giants to improve to 8-1

BOX SCORE

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.

49ers trade up, select QB C.J. Beathard in third round of 2017 NFL Draft

49ers trade up, select QB C.J. Beathard in third round of 2017 NFL Draft

C.J. BEATHARD
Position: Quarterback
College: Iowa
Height: 6-2
Weight: 219
Selection: Third round, No. 104 overall

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers traded back into the end of the third round to select a quarterback to join Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley on the 49ers' roster.

General manager John Lynch's fourth trade of the draft netted the team the grandson of legendary NFL personnel man Bobby Beathard. His grandson, C.J., joins the 49ers after a four-year career at Iowa. Beathard completed 58.6 percent of his passes last season with 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Beathard was not generally expected to be chosen within the first two days of the draft. He was the sixth quarterback selected, falling behind Mitch Trubisky, Patrick Mahomes, Deshaun Watson, Deshone Kizer and Davis Webb.

"They won't regret it," Beathard said on a conference call with the Bay Area media.

The 49ers traded up with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings had the No. 104 pick, and called the 49ers to see if they were interested in a trade. After some consideration, the 49ers decided to move up from No. 109 while also giving the Vikings a seventh-round pick at No. 219.

"Might he have been there at 109? That’s what we had to weigh," 49ers John Lynch said. "But at the end of the day, we felt like it was worth it to be able to go to bed knowing that we had a player that we liked and want the opportunity develop at the quarterback position."

And that's what coach Kyle Shanahan plans on doing. He said Beathard is not coming to the team this season to compete with Hoyer for the starting job.

"We’re bringing him in here to develop him and give him a chance, but just like any other position, everyone competes," Shanahan said. "Brian is our starting quarterback and, right now, Matt Barkley is our second. And I look at him to come in and be our third with us only having three on the roster.

"By no means did we come into this draft thinking we’re going to get a guy to compete with Brian."

Shanahan said Beathard and Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman were the two quarterbacks in the draft who ran offenses in college most similar to the offense he will install with the 49ers.

"One thing that helps is being able to see guys play the way you’re going to ask them to play," Shanahan said. "It helps being at Iowa and watching the system he’s in. It’s easier to see to watch him over the years. He’s a three-year starter. He’s led his team to a bunch of wins, especially in 2015 when they had a better team and he played unbelievable."

As a junior at Iowa, Beathard completed 61.6 percent of his pass attempts for 2,809 yards with 17 touchdowns and five interceptions. 

"He’s a leader. He’s tough. He processes very well," Shanahan said. "He's extremely accurate and he lives and dies football."

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

49ers select CB Ahkello Witherspoon in third round of the 2017 NFL Draft

AHKELLO WITHERSPOON
Position: Cornerback
College: Colorado
Height: 6-2 3/4
Weight: 193
Selection: Third round, No. 66 overall

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers selected Colorado cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a Sacramento native, in the third round of the NFL draft with the No. 66 overall pick.

“Being close to home is an incredible opportunity, as well as the type of defense they play -- press man, up in your face,” Witherspoon said. “When I came in for a visit, they were asking me if I’ve adopted that role and if I’d be willing to continue that. And I said, ‘Absolutely.’

“It’s an opportunity to play for such a great organization, close to home, with such a savvy defensive mentality. I think it’s going to be a great place for me.”

The 49ers were also scheduled to have the next pick, but traded the selection at No. 67 for the New Orleans Saints’ second-round pick in next year’s draft, as well as a seventh-round selection (No. 229 overall) this year. The 49ers now have 10 picks in next year’s draft.

The Saints used that pick at No. 67 to select Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara.

Witherspoon began his college career at Sacramento City. He played his final three college seasons at Colorado. He started 12 games last season and earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors.

Witherspoon led the nation with 22 pass breakups. He recorded one interception -- a game-saving pick in the end zone to preserve a 41-38 victory over Oregon. A pre-med student majoring in ecology and evolutionary biology, he said he aspires to be a doctor after his football career.

But Witherspoon said he is committed to football and promised the 49ers during his visit to Santa Clara that he will make huge strides over the next few years as he continues to develop as a player.