49ers key matchup No. 1: Staley vs. Allen

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49ers key matchup No. 1: Staley vs. Allen

This is the third part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Vikings matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (FOX-TV), at Mall of American Field.

Matchup No. 3: Sopuaga vs. Sullivan
Matchup No. 2: Akers vs. Harvin

49ers LT Joe Staley vs. Packers DE Jared AllenTale of the tape
Staley (74): 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, sixth season, Central Michigan
Allen (69): 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, ninth season, IdahoPro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley played well for a good portion of the 49ers' season-opener against the Green Bay Packers. But three plays in which he surrendered 2.5 sacks to outside linebacker Clay Matthews ruined his day.Staley rebounded strong against the Detroit Lions, nearly pitching a perfect game against Detroit Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who had one tackle and no sacks in the 49ers' 27-19 victory Sunday night.Now, Staley faces perhaps the biggest challenge of his season. He'll be going against Minnesota Vikings right defensive end Jared Allen, a four-tie Pro Bowl selection who led the NFL last season with 22 sacks.Staley will likely contend with crowd noise inside the dome that could force the 49ers to go with a silent count. He'll also be facing one of the more well-polished pass-rushers in the game."It's going to be a great challenge going against him," Staley said. "He presents something a little bit different than Clay and the guys last week. He's a little bit more slippery and longer. He's more of a savvy guy. He's really not going to run straight down your throat."Allen, who finished his prep career at Los Gatos High, begins his fifth season with the Vikings after playing four years with the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen had 105 sacks in his eight NFL seasons. One of those came against Staley on the first head-to-head play they faced one another.Allen blasted around the outside on the Metrodome turf and swiped the ball away from quarterback Shaun Hill to begin the third game of the 2009 season. Staley recovered the fumble. He also recovered in the game to prevent any more sacks or quarterback hits against Allen.A strong Vikings pass rush coupled with a noisy environment inside the dome could pose the biggest threat to quarterback Alex Smith and the 49ers' offense on Sunday.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

A post shared by Shaun Draughn (@shaun_draughn) on