49ers move to 5-1 with comeback win in Detroit

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49ers move to 5-1 with comeback win in Detroit

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DETROIT (AP) -- Jim Harbaugh charged across the field, lifting his shirt to expose his belly to attempt a chest bump. He extended his right hand to Jim Schwartz for a shake and slapped him on the back with his left hand.Schwartz didn't like what was done or said - claiming he heard an expletive - and went charging after Harbaugh. What an emotion-filled scene following a meeting of turnaround teams that matched pregame hype in San Francisco's 25-19 victory over Detroit on Sunday.The NFC might have a nasty new rivalry no one saw coming.After the 49ers knocked the Lions from the unbeaten ranks on Alex Smith's touchdown pass with 1:51 left, both coaches added some highlights - or lowlights - of their own.Harbaugh took the blame in one breath - and a shot in the next."That's totally on me," Harbaugh said. "I shook his hand too hard."Harbaugh, a first-year NFL coach who played at Michigan, had to be separated from Schwartz more than once after Schwartz came running and lunging toward him as both teams were going to the tunnel."I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way," Schwartz said. "I didn't expect an obscenity at that point. Obviously, when you win a game like that, you are excited, but there is a protocol that goes with this league."Players from the 49ers (5-1) and Lions (5-1) gathered and appeared to restore order - probably because they were worn out from a hard-hitting, penalty-filled game with four lead changes after halftime."Ironically, I was playing peacemaker," Detroit defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch said. "But this is an emotional sport."Smith's fourth-down, 6-yard pass to Delanie Walker gave San Francisco the go-ahead touchdown with 1:51 left. The play stood after video review didn't show definitely whether Walker's right knee was down before the ball reached the goal line.David Akers gave San Francisco a six-point lead with 1:02 to go with a 37-yard field goal.Detroit had a chance to drive for a tying field goal or a go-ahead TD, but couldn't get a first down against a swarming defense that hit and confused quarterback Matthew Stafford from the start.That last drive started with San Francisco's fifth sack and ended with a catch and lateral - 69 yards short of the end zone - to trigger Harbaugh's exuberant celebration."It fires me up a lot," Harbaugh said. "If that offends you or anybody else, then so be it."San Francisco lost its first five games last season and the five-time championship franchise failed to finish with a winning record for the eighth straight year. Harbaugh has made an instant impact, quickly changing culture with many of the same players. The NFC West-leading 49ers have won five of their first six games for the first time since 1998."He loves football," Smith said. "He's an emotional guy, and it's showing up on this team."Smith lost a fumble on his first snap and threw an interception late in the third quarter, matching his turnover totals from the first five games in both categories.But the No. 1 pick overall from the 2005 draft made a clutch pass to Walker for the win when Michael Crabtree drew away the defense."They kind of jumped Crab and left me open in the middle," Walker said. "Alex made a great read and made a perfect throw."Smith was 17 of 32 for 125 yards, going early and often to Crabtree, who matched a career high with nine receptions for 77 yards. Frank Gore ran 15 times for 141 yards, including a season-long 55-yard gain, and scored a TD that pulled the 49ers within three after they were outscored 10-0 in the first quarter.Stafford looked shaky for the first time this season and San Francisco had a lot to do with that."It's a good defense," he acknowledged.Stafford was 28 of 50 for 293 yards with two TDs.Detroit had won nine straight regular-season games, dating to last season, in what was the league's longest active streak."We had trouble getting guys free, and when we did, we didn't always make the throws," Schwartz said. "We need to get the running game going so that we don't look quite so one-dimensional."The Lions couldn't move the ball on the ground with either Jahvid Best or Maurice Morris against a sturdy front and perhaps the league's best linebacking corps, allowing the 49ers to hit and harass Stafford.He was sacked once in the end zone, giving the 49ers a safety that cut their deficit to one point midway through the second quarter.Jason Hanson missed a 52-yard field goal that would've given Detroit a four-point lead late in the first half. Akers made a 55-yard kick to match a season high, putting the 49ers ahead 12-10 as time expired in the half.Brandon Pettigrew had eight catches for 42 yards and a score. Calvin Johnson added seven receptions for 113 yards, but didn't score after being the NFL's first player with nine TD receptions in the first five games of a season.Stafford connected with Nate Burleson on a 5-yard pass into the end zone ruled incomplete on the field. It was overturned after video review, giving Detroit a four-point lead early in the fourth quarter. Burleson caught the ball and got both feet down, then lost the ball after tumbling beyond the end zone - a play similar to Johnson's well-documented catch that was ruled incomplete last year at Chicago.The 49ers overcame 15 penalties, including five false starts at raucous Ford Field, and Detroit drew six flags."Once you get a couple false starts, it's like throwing gasoline on a fire," Smith said.Notes: San Francisco and Chicago combined for 14 false starts at Detroit, matching Houston's record from 2004 for the most false starts by visiting teams in back-to-back games since 1991, according to STATS LLC. ... The teams met with 9-1 records after being 1-9 at same point last season. ... Harbaugh played for Baltimore in 1998, when Schwartz was a Ravens assistant.

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.

Coach Kyle Shanahan believed Beathard was the best fit for his offense, and Beathard said he was excited about learning the 49ers' offensive scheme.

“I think I’ll fit in very well," Beathard said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "I come from a background, a football background, so I know a lot about coaches and things like that. And I have a lot of, you know my grandpa and uncles have a lot of great things to say about coach Shanahan.

"And having watched his schemes and offensive philosophy and style, I think I’ll fit in very well with that. And I’m just looking forward to getting there and practicing and getting ready to work.”

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.

"I’m just thankful the 49ers and coach Shanahan’s staff you know, saw the potential in me and they believe in me enough to give me this opportunity. And like I told them, they won’t regret it," Beathard said.

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.

Beathard was chosen before any of the draft prognosticators had him being selected.

"I don’t really pay attention to the mock drafts very much," Beathard said. "I had a lot of communication with various teams. I’m confident in my abilities and you know I’m just thankful the 49ers and coach Shanahan’s staff saw the potential in me and they believe in me enough to give me this opportunity. And like I told them, they won’t regret it.”

Shanahan said the 49ers "had an idea" Beathard would be selected in the fourth round. The 49ers were certainly going to pick him in the fourth round, but they moved up to the end of the third round just to be able to have a good night of sleep.

"Might he have been there at 109? That’s what we had to weigh," 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 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 is installing 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.