49ers-Redskins: Matchups to watch

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49ers-Redskins: Matchups to watch

WASHINGTON -- Surely, opponents of the 49ers have emphasized containing running back Frank Gore for quite some time. But no team has gone public with their intent more than the Washington Redskins.The Redskins (3-4) believe they can beat the 49ers (6-1) on Sunday if they can regularly keep the 49ers in third-down passing situations. That means holding Gore to minimum yardage on first and second downs.Gore has taken off the past four games with 125-plus rushing yards in victories over Philadelphia, Tampa Bay, Detroit and Cleveland. He said the success is a result of the 49ers players on offense banding together as one.And to stop Gore, the Redskins must rally to the ball in a collective team effort. But for the purposes of a Matchup to Watch, we'll keep it focused on the central figures of each unit:Tale of the tape
Gore (21): 5-9, 217, Miami (Fla.), seventh season
Fletcher (59): 5-10, 245, John Carroll, 14th season
London Fletcher leads the Redskins with 62 tackles. As the man in the middle of the Redskins' defense, he will get more chances to bring down Gore than any other Washington player.Gore ran the ball a career-high 31 times last week in the 49ers' 20-10 victory over the Browns. And he's likely to see a large share of the action again.Through seven games, the 49ers ran the ball 54.6 percent of the time on first downs and 54.9 percent on second downs.Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo was asked on 95.7 The Game to name the two most important things his team has to do to stop the 49ers."Two most important things I would have to say: No. 1 is Frank Gore, and No. 2 is Frank Gore. That's all we have to -- not all we have to do -- but their main thing is run, run, run the ball," Orakpo said.Said cornerback DeAngelo Hall, "That's something we're definitely going to have to do, stop the run. They've done a great job over the last couple of weeks, and we know that that's something they're going to try to do."Coach Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers' run game will face a stiff challenge in a game that he anticipates will be "old-fashion football.""These guys are strong, physical men that want to two-gap you and see how far up the field they can knock you back," Harbaugh said. "It's the kind of game that should get our guys' blood pumping. It's going to be a real test." Other matchups worth watching
49ers middle linebacker Patrick Willis (52) vs. Redskins tight end Fred Davis (83): Willis and fellow 49ers inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman have mostly been used in interchangeable roles this season. Except, Willis is the player the 49ers trust more in single coverage against good tight ends. Willis was matched man-to-man against Detroit Lions tight end Brandon Pettigrew three weeks ago. And Fred Davis, who is listed as questionable with an ankle injury, is the Redskins' biggest offensive threat. Davis is the Redskins' leading receiver with 36 receptions for 517 yards and two touchdowns.49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) vs. Redskins safety LaRon Landry (30): Davis leads the 49ers in receptions (27) and receiving yards (292), and he is tied with fellow tight end Delanie Walker with three touchdown catches. But it's mostly been a quiet season by Davis' standards. As Davis returns home to the Washington area, he'd like to do something about that. The Redskins struggled against Buffalo Bills tight end Scott Chandler a week ago, as Chandler caught touchdown passes of 15 and 20 yards. LaRon Landry will find himself crossing paths a lot with Davis, as he looks to take away the seam route that the 49ers will look to re-establish.

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

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