49ers review: Offensive player-by-player


49ers review: Offensive player-by-player

Just think, for the first 56 minutes on Saturday, the 49ers managed 237 yards of total offense and two touchdowns.In the final four minutes -- tense, critical minutes -- the Alex Smith-led offense rolled up 170 yards and two touchdowns to enable the 49ers to go marching into the NFC Championship Game with a 36-32 victory over the New Orleans Saints.There's so much to rehash from this game, but let's focus on the two scoring plays.
Third-and-8, New Orleans 28, 2:18 remaining: The play is called "QB-9" or "QB-Whack." The whack was courtesy of 5-foot-10, 186-pound receiver Kyle Williams, who took out 6-3, 282-pound defensive end Will Smith with a crack-back block. (More on Williams' block in his recap.) Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams guessed wrong. He stacked the 49ers' right side. He brought five pass-rushers off that side. Alex Smith ran away from the blitz. Kyle Williams' block was key. Alex Smith then beat defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis, tied up initially by center Jonathan Goodwin, to the left sideline. Michael Crabtree worked cornerback Tracy Porter inside and blocked him from Smith. Left tackle Joe Staley made the most athletic play, as he got in front and chopped down safety Isa Abdul-Quddus at the 19-yard line. "Joe told us in the locker room, 'Wait 'til you see my block on film," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "It was a tremendous block, the stride, the beauty of the arm action, the leg cycle, the speed." And it led to Smith racing untouched for a 28-yard touchdown, giving the 49ers a short-lived 29-24 lead.Third-and-4, New Orleans 14, 0:14 remaining: Quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst installed this play specifically for this purpose -- to expose a Saints tendency. Tight end Vernon Davis lined up in the left slot and his entire goal was to remain in front of safety Roman Harper, lined up 2 yards deep in the end zone. Second tight end Justin Peelle lined up just outside of Davis and ran a 5-yard hitch. His action distracted linebacker Scott Shanle just enough to create the opening through which Smith drilled in his pass to Davis. The pass was perfect and Davis held on despite Harper's hit, which came a split-second too late. Pass protection was not an issue, as Smith took a three-step drop after receiving the shotgun snap. The Saints rushed only three men on this play. The 14-yard Smith-to-Davis touchdown provided the winning points with nine seconds remaining.Here is the entire offensive player-by-player review from the 49ers' 36-32 victory over the New Orleans on Saturday in the NFC divisional round game at Candlestick Park:Quarterback
3-Scott Tolzien: Inactive (coaches' decision).
7-Colin Kaepernick: Did not play. (Follow on Twitter @Kaepernick7)
11-Alex Smith: Not sure what else can be written. Smith got the 49ers rolling with TD passes of 49 yards to Vernon Davis, beating the blitz, and 4 yards to Michael Crabtree on a third-down play. But in the second and third quarters, the 49ers offense fell flat. Smith completed just 10 of 20 passes for 82 yards. He was sacked three times, losing a fumble on one of them. But the late-fourth quarter was astounding. Smith finished the game with 299 yards passing -- the most he has ever thrown in a 49ers victory in his career. He had three touchdowns throwing and one running. He led the 49ers down the field twice in the final four minutes to cap a game that will be talked about for generations.Running backs
21-Frank Gore: Started at running back, and came through with an outstanding all-around game, though he was not counted upon to run the ball as many times as most had expected. Gore rushed for 89 yards on 13 carries. He also picked a good time to become a factor as a target in the pass game. Gore caught three passes for 24 yards on the decisive drive. He was challenged often in pass protection, too. He picked up defensive lineman Will Smith on play in which Smith hit Crabtree for a 4-yard touchdown in first quarter. And he alertly recovered an Alex Smith fumble when the ball was jarred loose by safety Roman Harper, who was unblocked on the play.
24-Anthony Dixon: He played one snap from scrimmage, and on a second-and-6 play from the New Orleans 18 in the third fourth quarter, he was stopped for no gain. Dixon saw his usual healthy dose of action on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @Boobie24Dixon)
32-Kendall Hunter: He played eight snaps from scrimmage. When he was on the field, the 49ers made sure it was to run the football and avoid the many responsibilities of pass protection. Hunter gained 23 yards on six carries. He also had one kickoff return for 25 yards. (Follow on Twitter @KendallHunter32)
44-Moran Norris: Suited up for the game as Bruce Miller's backup but did not play.
49-Bruce Miller: He played 21 of the 49ers' 68 offensive snaps. Miller caught a 16-yard pass in the third quarter. He picked up rushing defensive end Cameron Jordan on 37-yard pass play to Vernon Davis late in fourth quarter. He also had an assisted tackle on special teams. (Follow on Twitter @bmiller_49)
90-Isaac Sopoaga: Played four snaps of offense as an extra blocker as part of the 49ers' power-running package.Wide receivers
10-Kyle Williams: He played 48 plays from scrimmage and caught two passes for 12 yards. More important, he delivered a fantastic block on Will Smith to help Alex Smith get to the edge on a 28-yard TD run. It was a similar play to which Williams leveled Saints defensive lineman Turk McBride in the exhibition season. This time, coaches were reluctant to have Williams execute the play after he missed the season finale with a concussion. In fact, for the past two weeks of practices, Williams wore a black non-contact jersey. "We were working other people on it, and I told them I wanted to do it," Williams said. "Just because I knew I could get it done. Coming off the concussion, I don't know that they wanted me to do it at first. But I told them I wanted it." Williams returned one punt for 6 yards, and had a kickoff return for 20 yards. (Follow on Twitter @KyleWilliams_10)
13-Joe Hastings: Inactive (coaches' decision).
15-Michael Crabtree: Started at played 56 plays in the game. He caught four passes for 25 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown on a quick slant in the first quarter. He made a crucial block on Alex Smith's TD run. He had one flat-out drop and did not secure catches on two other passes that hit his hands. (Follow on Twitter @KingCrab15)
18-Brett Swain: He played 17 snaps from scrimmage as the No. 3 receiver after Ginn's injury. Swain had one chance to be a hero, as Smith attempted a deep pass to him on the final drive. Swain, working against cornerback Jabari Greer, had this pass elude his right fingertips.
19-Ted Ginn: Ginn sustained a right knee injury late in the second quarter when he fell hard after being shoved legally by linebacker Martez Wilson within the 5-yard zone. He left the game for the next two possessions. Ginn returned to the lineup and ran a fly sweep for 3 yards. He was also called for pass interference for an illegal pick. After breaking the huddle after that play, he went to the ground and did not return to action. Ginn played 22 snaps, and caught one pass for 11 yards. He averaged 11.5 yards on two punt returns.Tight ends
46-Delanie Walker: Inactive (fractured jaw), but might be available to play Sunday against the New York Giants in the NFC Championship Game. (Follow on Twitter @Dwalk46)
81-Justin Peelle: Played 23 snaps as the 49ers' No. 2 tight end. He was on the field as starter, as the 49ers opened in a two-TE formation. Peelle had one catch for 4 yards. Made block on linebacker Scott Shanle to help Gore pick up 15 yards on a first-quarter toss play.
85-Vernon Davis: Started at tight end and played every offensive snap. And, simply, he had the best game of his career with seven receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He had a 49-yard touchdown on which the 49ers beat the blitz. Of course, he also made the game-winning 14-yard touchdown grab with nine seconds remaining. He had a 47-yard catch that set up the final score. And he had a 37-yard catch on the previous drive, which ended with Smith's TD run. Both times, Davis beat the man coverage of Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins. He also fared well in other areas, supplying a good block Will Smith to allow Hunter to pick up 9 yards. (Follow on Twitter @VernonDavis85)
94-Justin Smith: Entered the game for four snaps of offense -- his first snaps of offense in his career. Smith delivered a block on left defensive end Cameron Jordan to help Gore pick up 5 yards and a first down on the second play of the game. "You go out there and run into your guy," Smith said. "It's not the most complicated thing. They dummied it down, so I don't have to learn a whole lot."Offensive linemen
59-Jonathan Goodwin: Started at center, but left the game for one series due to a left lower leg injury. When he returned, he had a strong second half. Played a major role in getting the 49ers' protection in order against the Saints' blitzes. On the game-winning TD, Goodwin was locked up one-on-one against Saints defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis to allow a clean pocket from which Alex Smith threw. (Follow on Twitter @Jgoody59)
62-Chilo Rachal: He played special teams, and also saw six snaps from scrimmage at right guard when Goodwin was out of the game.
67-Daniel Kilgore: Inactive (coaches' decision). (Follow on Twitter @DanielKilgore67)
68-Adam Snyder: Started at right guard and also played six snaps at center when Goodwin was injured. He took Saints defensive tackle Aubrayo Franklin out of the play to open hole for Gore's 42-yard run in fourth quarter. (Follow on Twitter @ASnyds68)
74-Joe Staley: Started at left tackle, had a very strong game in pass protection and as a run-blocker. Of course, he made the huge block on Smith's TD run (see above). He also made block on cornerback Tracy Porter on play Hunter gained 9 yards on a pitch. Staley was one-on-one against Will Smith on the Vernon Davis touchdown catch. (Follow on Twitter @jstaley74)
75-Alex Boone: Entered the game five as an extra blocker.
76-Anthony Davis: Started at right tackle and played every snap. He had a solid game in run-blocking and pass protection. Davis was one-on-one against defensive end Junior Galette on the Vernon Davis touchdown catch. (Follow on Twitter @AnthonyDavis76)
77-Mike Iupati: Started at left guard and played every snap. . . . Powered Jonathan Vilma back more than 5 yards on play in which Gore gained 9 yards in the second quarter. He also had a big block on Vilma to help spring Gore on a 42-yard run.
78-Mike Person: Inactive (coaches' decision).

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

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

49ers players get week break, while coaches search for answers

SANTA CLARA -- In the early afternoon Monday after the 49ers’ day-after-game meetings concluded, the players were excused for the next seven days.

Coach Chip Kelly opted to give the 49ers a week break, rather than going through a couple days of practices before providing the players with a mandatory four consecutive days off during the bye week.

The 49ers on Sunday dropped to 1-6 on the season with a 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But there will be no extra practices to attempt to sharpen their performance.

“They’ve been at it since July 31st,” Kelly said. “They haven’t had more than one day off in a row. So I think at this point in time that’s what our whole MO has always been.

“They’ll meet with our strength and conditioning coaches. They have their lifting programs in terms of what they can do and what they have to do. And I think at this point in time we need to heal up. I think it’s a good break for them to do what they need to do and that’s the way I’ve always done it and our teams have been fresh coming out of the bye week.”

While the players will be off for a week, Kelly said the coaching staff will continue to work through Friday in an attempt to identify areas in which they can improve and snap out of their six-game losing streak on Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints at Levi’s Stadium.

“We’ve got a lot of self-scout that we have set aside,” Kelly said. “We’ll be in here all week kind of looking at what we’ve done in the first seven games, what have our opponents done to us in the first seven games relative to what we thought going into the game based on the break downs. Did they change?

“If they were 60-percent pressure going into our game and they were only 30-percent pressure in our game, trying to delve into how people are defending us. How are people attacking us from an offensive standpoint in terms of attacking our defense and what their tendencies were going into the game and then what actually transpired in the game. So we’ve got a lot of film work and a lot of studying to do here during this week.”

Kelly reiterated on Monday that he is not looking at leaving the 49ers after this season. He said he has not heard from any schools with coaching openings or potential openings. Kelly said he has tried to remain focused on his job through the longest losing streak he has ever experienced as a coach.

“No one’s happy, so I don’t know if the word’s anguish, but I mean obviously you try to keep it consistent in terms of your approach to everything that you do,” Kelly said. “I don’t think being consistent and being even-keeled means that it doesn’t bother you or that you’re not frustrated in terms of what’s gone on.”

Kelly said the 49ers have the talent to win games. When asked why the coaches have not been able to extract more victories, Kelly placed the blame for the team’s poor play on himself and his staff.

“That’s on us,” Kelly said. “I agree 100-percent in terms of what you’re saying. But our job is to put our players in position to make plays and we’re not doing a good enough job of that right now.”