49ers-Ravens: Matchups to watch


49ers-Ravens: Matchups to watch

BALTIMORE -- The 49ers had demonstrated an all-around team defense. And the Baltimore Ravens have the most offensive playmakers the organization has ever compiled.But the 49ers' best defender and the Ravens' top producer will take center stage Thursday, and they are bound to see a lot of each other throughout the night.
Tale of the tape
49ers LB Patrick Willis (52): 6-1, 240, Mississippi, fifth season
Ravens RB Ray Rice (27): 5-8, 212, Rutgers, fourth seasonRice carried the ball just five times against the Seattle Seahawks a couple weeks ago, and the Ravens lost. On Sunday, he was fed the ball 20 times, gained 104 yards, and the Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals.So the Ravens make it a priority to get the ball in Rice's hands. Rice ranks fifth in the NFL with 1,176 yards from scrimmage. He's a threat as a rusher and as a target in the passing game.Rice has 663 yards rushing with a 4.2 yards, and he also has 51 catches for 513 yards.
He will undoubtedly see a lot of Willis, who leads a 49ers defense that has been difficult on opposing running backs. Willis has also been a force in pass coverage, so he'll likely be asked to pick up Rice out of the backfield on occasion.CSNBaltimore: 49ers-Ravens -- the basics Keys -- pressure Smith, stop Gore predictions
The 49ers have been dominant against the run this season with Willis and NaVorro Bowman racking up most of the tackles. The 49ers have not allowed a 100-yard rusher in 32 games. And the unit has not allowed a rushing touchdown this season."You look at what's going on over there, and it kind of reminds us of our own defense," Rice said on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. "It's going to be a challenge. Every yard matters in this game. It's going to be a slugfest."And Rice said Willis is the closest comparison to Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis.RELATED: Ravens roster depth chart injuries"He's a tenacious player," Rice said. "I have a lot of respect for that guy. Take Ray out, and (Willis) is the second-best linebacker in the NFL." Other matchups worth watching
49ers LOLB Ahmad Brooks (55) vs. Ravens RT Michael Oher (74): Brooks rarely comes off he field, as he plays standing up on base downs and lines up at defensive end in nickel situations. Brooks ranks seventh on the team in tackles, and his duty is to set the edge in the run game. As a pass-rusher, Brooks is second on the team with six sacks, matching his career-high. Oher, the subject of the book and movie, "The Blind Side," nearly was drafted by the 49ers in 2009. Then-general manager Scot McCloughan insisted on receiver Michael Crabtree over Oher, with then-coach Mike Singletary taking up the argument for the offensive lineman.49ers QB Alex Smith (11) vs. Ravens FS Ed Reed (20): If being a "game manager" means making good decisions and avoiding turnovers, Smith is guilty. But it becomes a lot more difficult to make good decisions and avoid interceptions with Reed patrolling the secondary. Reed is a seven-time Pro Bowl player. He produced a league-best eight interceptions in just 10 games last season, and he has three picks this year. Reed has 57 interceptions in his career, which is the league-high since entering the league in 2002. Thirty-three of his interceptions have come at home. Overall, the Ravens are 35-10 in games in which he has caught a pass from an opposing quarterback.

Pederson refutes reports linking Eagles to 49ers WR Smith

Pederson refutes reports linking Eagles to 49ers WR Smith

Torrey SmithAlshon Jeffery?

Not happening, according to Eagles head coach Doug Pederson.

While a couple reports have linked the Eagles to making a trade before the fast-approaching deadline to grab another veteran outside receiver, Pederson shot them down at his Wednesday press conference.

“There’s no legitimacy to that,” Pederson said. “And I’m thrilled with the guys we have and going to work with them every day.”

[MAIOCCO: Source: 49ers not shopping WR Torrey Smith]

The Eagles made a trade before the season to acquire Dorial Green-Beckham from the Titans, but the team’s receivers still haven’t been great during the first six games of the 2016 season.

They also went out and claimed Bryce Treggs after the 49ers waived him at final cuts, but the speedy wideout hasn’t yet been active.


New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

New York Giants release kicker Josh Brown

The New York Giants released placekicker Josh Brown, the team announced on Tuesday.

The NFL suspended Brown for the season opener in Dallas for violating the League’s Personal Conduct Policy.  That suspension was based on his May 22, 2015 arrest on domestic violence charges, which were dismissed approximately five days after the arrest.

Brown served his suspension, returned to the Giants on September 12, and subsequently participated in five games. 

Last Wednesday, approximately 24 hours before the Giants were to depart for London, new information was released by authorities in Washington State.  The new materials disclosed a history of alleged domestic violence by Brown.  On Thursday, the Giants announced Brown would not accompany the team to London, where they played the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. 

Last Friday, the NFL, at the Giants request and citing the documents released two days earlier, placed Brown on the Commissioner Exempt List. 

Today, the Giants released Brown.

“We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” said team president John Mara. “Our beliefs, our judgments and our decisions were misguided.  We accept that responsibility.

“We hope that Josh will continue to dedicate himself to rehabilitation, and to becoming a better person and father.  We will continue to support him in his efforts to continue counseling, and we hope that Josh and his family can find peace and a positive resolution.

“We have great respect and feel strongly about our support for the good people who work tirelessly and unconditionally to aid the victims of domestic violence and who bring awareness to the issue. We have been partners with My Sisters’ Place (a domestic violence shelter and advocate based in Westchester, New York) for nearly 20 years. The leadership of that organization has provided invaluable insight as we have considered our decisions in this matter.  We value and respect their opinion, and we look forward to continuing to work with them in the future.”

Statement from Josh Brown:
"The road to rehabilitation is a journey and a constant modification of a way of life.  My journey will continue forever as a person determined to leave a positive legacy and I embrace the opportunities to show and speak about what has helped me to be that man.  I am sorry that my past has called into question the character or integrity of The New York Giants, Mr. Mara or any of those who have supported me along the way.  In the coming days and weeks I plan on telling more of the pain I had caused and the measures taken to get help so I may be the voice of change and not a statistic.  In the interim I am cooperating with the Giants and the NFL. Thank you to everyone that has supported me, I will not let you down."

New York Giants media services