Steelers might eschew run game vs. 49ers

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Steelers might eschew run game vs. 49ers

The 49ers are in position to set an NFL record for fewest rushing touchdowns allowed in a season. It's a topic the players would rather avoid."We don't like talking about records and stats and stuff like that," 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald said. "We just like go out there on Sunday and play hard."The 49ers will have the same approach on Monday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, as they look to put the clamps on running back Rashard Mendenhall. He enters the game with 710 yards and eight touchdowns on the ground.Pittsburgh might find it easier to try to beat the 49ers over the top. After all, the 49ers have not given up a rushing touchdown in 13 games -- the first team since the 1920 Decatur Staleys to accomplish that feat. The NFL record for fewest TDs allowed rushing in a season is two. It's been done four times, most recently by Minnesota in 1971 during a 14-game regular season.
While the 49ers rank first in the NFL in run defense, the club is 19th in total passing yards allowed (234.5 per game). But they are tied for seventh-best in the league with an opponent passer rating of 76.8, thanks largely to their 18 interceptions. (In comparison, quarterback Alex Smith's passer rating is 91.5.)Last week, Arizona Cardinals quarterback John Skelton had success while beating the 49ers, 21-19. Skelton completed 19 of 28 passes for 282 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions.If Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (left ankle) plays Monday night, he will likely try to exploit the 49ers' pass defense with speedy receivers Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown. The 49ers expect Roethlisberger to play.
After all, it seems unlikely Mendenhall will be able to succeed where so many others have failed this season:Game 1 vs. Seattle: Marshawn Lynch carried 13 times for 33 yards and did not touch the ball in the fourth quarter.Game 2 vs. Dallas: Felix Jones sustained a shoulder injury on linebacker Patrick Willis' tackle in the first quarter. He rushed nine times for 25 yards.Game 3 at Cincinnati: Cedric Benson gained 64 yards on 17 carries and did not touch the ball for the final 10 minutes of the game.Game 4 at Philadelphia: LeSean McCoy was shaken up while trying to pick up Ray McDonald on a blitz. He returned and finished with 18 yards on nine carries, but he did not touch the ball for the final 9:30 of the game.Game 5 vs. Tampa Bay: LaGarrette Blount gained 34 yards on 10 rushing attempts and did not return after sustaining a hamstring injury when safety Dashon Goldson upended him with a third-quarter tackle.Game 6 at Detroit: Jahvid Best gained 37 yards on 12 rushing attempts and did not play in the final 10 minutes of the game after sustaining a concussion.Game 7 vs. Cleveland: Montario Hardesty started and had two carries for 6 yards before leaving the game with a non-contact calf injury.Game 8 at Washington: Rookie Roy Helu carried 10 times for 41 yards in his first career start. He also lost a fumble.Game 9 vs. N.Y. Giants: Brandon Jacobs started and carried 18 times for 55 yards (3.1 average).Game 10 vs. Arizona:: Beanie Wells gained just 33 yards on eight carries. A week later, Wells gained 228 yards on 27 carries against the St. Louis Rams.Game 11 at Baltimore: Ray Rice had 59 yards on 21 rushing attempts.Game 12 vs. St. Louis: Steven Jackson gained 19 yards on 10 carries.Game 13 at Arizona: Although the Cardinals won the game, Wells had even less success against the 49ers than he had three weeks earlier. He gained 27 yards on 15 carries. The starting backs against the 49ers this season have rushed 154 times for 451 yards (2.9 average) and, obviously, no touchdowns. Those same backs in all their other games have carried 1,899 yards for 8,439 yards (4.4 average) and 69 touchdowns.

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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