49ers review: Defensive player-by-player

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49ers review: Defensive player-by-player

The 49ers' best defensive player was on the field for only the first five snaps of the game. But the 49ers still turned in a thoroughly dominating performance Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.The 49ers won the field-position battle, as the Rams' average drive began at their own 19-yard line. The Rams had 12 drives, and only three times got past midfield. Their deepest march into 49ers' territory ended at the San Francisco 38.Here is the entire defensive player-by-player review from the 49ers' 26-0 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday:
Defensive linemen
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Started at nose tackle and played about 25 snaps as part of the 49ers' base defense. He was matched up with former 49ers lineman Tony Wragge, the starting Rams center, for most of the game. The Rams averaged just 1.3 yards per rushing attempt on 23 carries, and Sopoaga's work at the point of attack was a big part of that. . . Credited with three tackles.
91-Ray McDonald: Started at left defensive end, and had an outstanding game in run defense and forced a turnover as a pass-rusher, too. . . Got good push against right guard Jason Brown and got his right hand on the football to force fumble of quarterback A.J. Feeley in the second quarter. Aldon Smith recovered at the Rams 6-yard line . . . While he was tied up with right tackle Harvey Dahl, McDonald managed still bring down Jackson for a loss of 1 yard. . . Got quick penetration against Dahl to stop fullback Brit Miller for a 1-yard loss on a third-and-1 play in the fourth quarter.
93-Ian Williams: Inactive (coaches' decision). (Follow on Twitter @IWilliams95
94-Justin Smith: Started at right defensive end and played most of the game. . . Very active against the run, as he recorded three tackles. . . Got inside of left tackle Adam Goldberg to track down Jerious Norwood for a 1-yard loss.
95-Ricky Jean Francois: He saw limited action at nose tackle in the 49ers' base defense. He was credited with one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @Freakyjean95)
96-Demarcus Dobbs: Played a half-dozen snaps of defense late in the game as the 49ers' fifth defensive lineman.Linebackers
51-Blake Costanzo: Played on all the special teams. (Follow on Twitter @BlakeCostanzo51)
52-Patrick Willis: Started at middle linebacker and played just five snaps before sustaining a right hamstring strain while missing a tackle that allowed Miller to pick up 18 yards. . . Willis underwent an MRI on Monday. A source told CSNBayArea.com that Willis will not require surgery. He'll miss practice time and probably at least one game. (Follow on Twitter @PatrickWillis52)
53-NaVorro Bowman: Started and played most of the game, as he became the main man in the middle with Willis sidelined. . . . He was credited with six solo tackles to lead the team. . . He had two tackles for losses. . . Tracked down Pettis for 6-yard loss on end-around pitch in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @NBowman53)
54-Larry Grant: Entered the game after Willis' injury and played very aggressively with six tackles, a couple tackles for losses and a sack. . . Timed blitz well to drop Feeley for a 8-yard sack at the end of the second quarter. . . . Stopped Steven Jackson with a big hit that knocked his own helmet off in the third quarter. . . Called for unnecessary roughness in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @LarryGrant54)
55-Ahmad Brooks: Started at left outside linebacker, and was credited with one tackle. . . . Got pressure on Feeley to force incomplete pass on a second-and-13 play in the first quarter. . . . Stood up tight end Stephen Spach and to set the edge and drop Jerious Norwood for no gain on a sweep to his side. . . . Called for roughing the passer in the fourth quarter. . .
56-Tavares Gooden: Took over at inside linebacker late in the game to give Bowman a rest. He made one tackle on defense and another on special teams.
98-Parys Haralson: Started at right outside linebacker, and was credited with one tackle. . . . Wide receiver Danario Alexander provided block that enabled Austin Pettis to get to the sideline for a 12-yard gain in the first quarter. . . . Beat block attempt of tight end Lance Kendricks to hit Feeley as he was throwing, forcing ball to come up short, allowing Dashon Goldson to intercept pass in third quarter.
99-Aldon Smith: Played fewer than 20 snaps as part of the 49ers' nickel defense, but he made a huge impact on the game with two sacks and a fumble recovery. . . .On a third-and-13 in the first quarter, he dropped into coverage, avoided block attempt of left guard Jacob Bell and dropped receiver Nick Miller for an 8-yard loss to force a punt. . . . Recovered fumble at the Rams 6-yard line in the second quarter. . . . Bull-rushed left tackle Adam Goldberg to drop Feeley for a 7-yard loss on a third-quarter sack. . . Beat backup right tackle Thomas Welch for sack on a fourth-and-12 in the fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @AldonSmithJETS)Defensive backs
20-Madieu Williams: Played exclusively on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @MadieuWilliams)
22-Carlos Rogers: Started at left cornerback, and had a good game with three tackles and two passes defensed. . . . Good coverage deep on Pettis on play in which Goldson intercepted pass. . . Joined Goldson in celebration, which drew a penalty. . . .Broke up third-down pass for Pettis in third quarter. . . .Came up in run support to upend Norwood in fourth quarter.
25-Tarell Brown: Started at right cornerback and recorded three tackles. . . . He had tight coverage down the field on Brandon Lloyd. Lloyd made terrific catch for a 34-yard gain, and Brown was called for pass interference, anyway. . . Made shoestring tackle of Jackson for 3-yard gain, preventing big play.
26-Tramaine Brock: Played sparingly on defense, and also saw action on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @T26Brock)
27-C.J. Spillman: Saw action on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @CJSPILLMAN27)
29-Chris Culliver: Played as the 49ers third cornerback, and was credited with one tackle. (Follow on Twitter @Cullyinthehouse)
30-Reggie Smith: Saw limited action as part of the 49ers dime package. He was not credited with any tackles. (Follow on Twitter @superreg30)
31-Donte Whitner: Started at strong safety and made three tackles. . . Broke up the Rams' best chance at a touchdown when he dislodged ball from Danario Alexander on deep pass near goal line in fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @DonteWhitner)
36-Shawntae Spencer: Inactive (coaches decision).
38-Dashon Goldson: Started at free safety and recorded three tackles and an interception. . . . He came up from safety spot to drop Jackson for 1-yard loss in third quarter. . . Ranged over from opposite side of field to intercept Feeley's pass deep down field in third quarter. (Follow on Twitter @thehawk38)
43-Colin Jones: Played exclusively on special teams, and did very well on the coverage unit with two solo tackles.Specialists
2-David Akers: Made field-goal attempts of 36, 19, 28 and 34 yards to set the 49ers' single-season record of 32 field goals. His seven kickoffs were also outstanding, as the Rams' average starting point was the 20-yard line. (Follow on Twitter @DavidAkers2)
4-Andy Lee: He averaged 45.2 yards on his five punts with a net 37.2. Lee had two punts go into the end zone for touchbacks, and he landed three inside the 20. (Follow on Twitter @Andy4lee)
86-Brian Jennings: The only remaining player from the last 49ers NFC West title handled his long-snapping chores flawlessly. (Follow on Twitter @Jennings141)

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