49ers-Giants rewind

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49ers-Giants rewind

After making my debut on The Weather Channel on Friday at 6:20 a.m., I had some time to spare before my kids got up to go to school. So I re-watched the 49ers' 27-20 victory over the New York Giants, which took place Nov. 13 at Candlestick Park.

BOX SCORE: 49ers 27, Giants 20
--The Giants' opening drive was a lot like the Saints' opening drive last week. New York drove 75 yards on 13 plays. At the end of the drive, safety Donte Whitner stripped receiver Victor Cruz of the ball after a third-down completion. The only reason it wasn't a turnover is because it was ruled that Cruz's forward progress had been stopped before the ball came out. Kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead. Eli Manning was 7-of-7 for 54 yards on the opening drive. Manning began the game with 10 consecutive completions for 102 yards -- the best start of his NFL career.

--Back then, Braylon Edwards was starting at wide receiver for the 49ers. He caught a 21-yard pass on the opening drive of the game, and added another 9-yard reception on the same drive. The opening drive went for 11 plays, 62 yards, and ended with David Akers' 36-yard field goal.--On that same drive, Delanie Walker caught an 11-yard pass, and Ted Ginn picked up a first down with a 14-yard catch on third-and-8.--Akers made a 52-yard field goal in the second quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, Walker recovered Akers' surprise onside kick. Akers made a 39-yard field goal to give the 49ers a 9-6 lead late in the first half.--Running Frank Gore was limited to no yards on six carries before leaving with a knee injury. Kendall Hunter had the same number of rushing attempts (six) for 40 yards.--Cruz got wide open against 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers and dropped a pass. The Giants went back to the same route on the next play, and Rogers was there for the interception.--The next drive ended when Alex Smith's well-thrown pass hit Ginn in the hands and deflected to cornerback Corey Webster at the New York 16-yard line for an interception.--On first drive of second half, Walker delivered a stiff arm that knocked down linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka en route to a 19-yard completion. That led to another Akers field goal and a 12-6 lead. Michael Crabtree let a chance for a touchdown slip through his hands as Smith made a great throw along the left side against Webster's coverage. And on the next play, Smith and Edwards were not on the same page on a slant route at the goal line.--The Giants went after rookie cornerback Chris Culliver for the first TD of the game, which came late in the third quarter. Manning hit Mario Manningham, who got a step behind Culliver, with a 13-yard fade route in the back of the end zone.--On a third-and-2 early in the fourth quarter, Walker shifted abruptly off the line of scrimmage and drew the Giants offside for a big first down. Giants coach Tom Coughlin's face turned fire-engine red.--Two plays later, Smith found tight end Vernon Davis on a crossing pattern. The Giants blew an assignment to leave Davis wide open. Davis made a jump at the goal line over safety Kenny Phillips for a 31-yard touchdown. Smith hit Crabtree, who motioned out of the backfield, for the two-point conversion.--Rogers intercepted his second pass of the game, as Manningham stopped his pattern and Manning essentially threw it to Rogers, who returned it 17 yards.--On the next play, the 49ers cashed in on Hunter's 17-yard TD run. The 49ers scored their touchdowns within 61 seconds of each other.--Receiver Hakeem Nicks, returning from a hamstring injury, beat the tight coverage of cornerback Tarell Brown for a 32-yard touchdown pass, as Manning got rid of the ball to beat Dashon Goldson's safety blitz.--Down by 7 on the final drive, Manningham could not hold onto Manning's pass that could've been a 42-yard touchdown. Manningham got a couple steps behind Culliver with 2:50 to play. The 49ers gave safety help on Nicks' side throughout the game, leaving Culliver in man coverage against Manningham.--The Giants went back to Manningham against Culliver later in the drive, but the pass was out the back of the end zone.--On fourth-and-2 from the 49ers' 8-yard line, Willis blew up the play when he put his right shoulder into tight end Jake Ballard, who was designed to run a route into the end zone to clear the way underneath for Cruz. But Ballard couldn't shake free. Manning really had nobody open. But it didn't matter because Justin Smith batted down the pass with his right hand at the line of scrimmage, anyway.

Mark Helfrich provides insight into Chip Kelly's line of thinking

Mark Helfrich provides insight into Chip Kelly's line of thinking

Mark Helfrich had a strong indication he would be fired as Oregon’s head coach. And he said he told Chip Kelly recently he would have no hard feelings if Kelly left the 49ers to return to coach the Ducks.

Kelly this week said he is not interested in abandoning his job with the 49ers to coach in the college ranks. Helfrich suggested during a radio interview on Friday that Kelly told him the same thing privately.

When it was suggested that Kelly hated to recruit, Helfrich did not disagree.

"That's a fact," Helfrich said in an interview on ESPN Radio's Russillo and Kanell. "I don't know hated recruiting. . . a dislike. A strong dislike. But I think Chip has that challenge in his mind right now to make it right in the NFL.

"I had some of those conversations with him a couple weeks ago when it looked like this was going south. That was a very awkward converation, but (I) just wanted to let him know that to take our personal relationship out of it in every way, shape or form if he wanted to consider this.

"But, me, reading between the lines, I think he wants to make it right in the NFL. I think he wants to win at that level. He's had a rough go of it this year, but he'll get it right."

Kelly compiled a 46-7 record in four seasons in Eugene, Ore. He left after the 2012 season to accept the head-coaching job with the Philadelphia Eagles. Kelly was fired late last season and took the 49ers job two weeks later.

In Kelly’s first season with the 49ers, the club is 1-10. The 49ers are on a franchise-long 10-game losing streak entering Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Helfrich was 37-16 in his four seasons at Oregon after his promotion from offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Kelly said he spoke with Helfrich the morning after he was fired.

“I just felt bad for Mark. I love him like a brother,” Kelly said. “He’s a tremendous person. He’s a hell of a football coach, but he’s an even better person. Just felt for him and the rest of the guys on that staff. It’s an unfortunate thing that goes on in this profession. We all know about it when we sign up, but when it happens you’re still taken aback by it.”

Kelly said he hoped his denial of any interest in the Oregon job would end all speculation about his future. When asked if intends to remain with the 49ers, Kelly said on Wednesday, “Yep. So we're all done with that, I hope."
 

Injury report: Dial set to return for 49ers; Patton, Lynch questionable

Injury report: Dial set to return for 49ers; Patton, Lynch questionable

Defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who sat out last week’s game with knee and neck issues, will return to action Sunday for the 49ers at Soldier Field against the Chicago Bears.

Dial was not listed on the team’s injury report after going through two limited practices this week. The 49ers had only a walk-through Friday in Orlando, Fla., but Dial was cleared to return to full activity, the team announced.

Wide receiver Quinton Patton (concussion) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) were both listed as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Patton appears to be on pace to be cleared in the NFL’s return-to-play concussion protocol. He has returned to non-contact football activity after sustaining a head injury last week against the Miami Dolphins.

Lynch has already missed four consecutive games with a high-ankle sprain. Lynch has appeared in only three games this season. He sat out the first four games of the year while serving a four-game suspension for violating the leageu’s policy of substances of abuse.

The Bears listed six players as questionable for the game, including outside linebackers Willie Young and rookie Leonard Floyd. Young leads Chicago with 6.5 sacks, while Floyd is second with five sacks.

Quarterback Jay Cutler has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Matt Barkley will make his second career start.

49ERS
Questionable
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
WR Quinton Patton (concussion)

BEARS
Out
QB Jay Cutler (right shoulder)
Questionable
LB Willie Young (knee)
S Adrian Amos (foot)
WR Eddie Royal (toe)
LB Leonard Floyd (concussion)
CB Deiondre' Hall (ankle)
G Josh Sitton (ankle)