49ers nearing significant NFL record

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49ers nearing significant NFL record

Alex Smith is not the only player etching his name in record books these days, with his 253 consecutive passes without an interception.

Smith now holds the franchise record for most consecutive completions without an interception, surpassing Steve Young at Green Bay this past Sunday, but the team is closing in on a significant record of their own.

The 49ers have not committed a turnover in six consecutive regular season games, dating back to last season, which is good enough for second in league history behind the 2010 New England Patriots -- a record the 49ers can match on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.

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Smith is a big reason for that with his interception-less streak, but the team itself has not lost a fumble since Vernon Davis coughed up the ball on November 6 against the Washington Redskins.

The 49ers have not committed a turnover in the regular season since the Harbaugh Bowl on Thanksgiving against the Baltimore Ravens.

In the backfield, Frank Gore has not lost a fumble in his last 226 carries, and Kendall Hunter has never fumbled in the two seasons he has played.

"In the history of the NFL, the strongest correlation to winning and losing is the turnover ratio," Smith said. "The turnover battle is the No. 1."

Last season, the 49ers led the NFL with a plus-28 turnover differential on their way to a NFC Championship berth.

Bills sign two former 49ers

Bills sign two former 49ers

The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.

After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.

The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.

Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.

The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.

The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.

Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

Harbaugh takes blame for 'premature celebration' during 2011 incident

It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.

The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.

An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.

Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.

"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.

Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.

"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.

Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.