If Alex Smith thought he had it rough against Seahawks ...


If Alex Smith thought he had it rough against Seahawks ...

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers faced one of the better defenses in the NFL a week ago. And that, more than anything, is the reason the passing game struggled.At least that's the theory of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who pointed to what the Seattle Seahawks have done this season to some strong passing attacks."There are people that expect the same thing over and over again," Smith said Thursday. "That was a good defense we played on Thursday night. We played them on a short week. You look at what they did versus a lot of good quarterbacks this year.REWIND: Alex Smith Q&A -- On his injured finger and his confidence
"Look what they did against Aaron (Rodgers), they beat Tom Brady. Look what they did against (Tony) Romo."Let's look at what the Seahawks' defense against the opposing quarterback through seven games:Week 1 vs. Cardinals: John Skelton 51.0 rating (Seahawks lost 20-16)
Week 2 vs. Cowboys: Tony Romo 74.0 rating (Seahawks won 27-7)
Week 3 vs. Packers: Aaron Rodgers 81.5 rating (Seahawks won 14-12)
Week 4 vs. Rams: Sam Bradford 63.3 rating (Seahawks lost 19-13)
Week 5 vs. Panthers: Cam Newton 56.8 rating (Seahawks won 16-12)
Week 6 vs. Patriots: Tom Brady 79.3 rating (Seahawks won 24-23)
Week 7 vs. 49ers: Alex Smith 74.5 rating (Seahawks lost 13-6)Opposing quarterbacks have a 79.2 passer rating against the Seahawks defense with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.But the 49ers aren't getting any breaks this week, either.On Monday night, the 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals, who feature one of the better pass defenses in the NFL.They feature a good front three, including Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, a strong pass rush of Daryl Washington (six sacks) and O'Brien Schofield (four sacks), cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and William Gay, and experienced safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes.Week 1 vs. Seahawks: Russell Wilson 62.5 rating (Cardinals won 20-16)
Week 2 vs. Patriots: Tom Brady 79.6 rating (Cardinals won 20-18)
Week 3 vs. Eagles: Michael Vick 64.8 rating (Cardinals won 27-6)
Week 4 vs. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill rating (Cardinals won 24-21)
Week 5 vs. Rams: Sam Bradford 69.7 rating (Cardinals lost 17-3)
Week 6 vs. Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick 68.9 rating (Cardinals lost 19-16)
Week 7 vs. Vikings: Christian Ponder 35.5 rating (Cardinals lost 21-14)The Cardinals are on a three-game losing streak, but don't fault the pass defense for those defeats. For the season, opposing quarterbacks have compiled a 67.4 rating with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

Jaguars retain offensive coordinator, pass on Chip Kelly

Jaguars retain offensive coordinator, pass on Chip Kelly

It appears the Jaguars have passed on Chip Kelly for a second time this month.

After reportedly not getting their head coaching job, Kelly reportedly interviewed for their offensive coordinator position on Monday.

But two days later, Jacksonville announced that Nathaniel Hackett has been retained as offensive coordinator under head coach Doug Marrone.

Kelly told CSNBayArea.com recently he would take his time to determine his next career move.

“I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said two days after his firing. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

The 49ers fired Kelly with three years, $18 million remaining in his contract. The 49ers hired Kelly just two weeks after the Philadelphia Eagles fired him. Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles after leaving his successful program with the Oregon Ducks after the 2012 season.

Report: Shanahan announced as 49ers' coach to Falcons' staff

Report: Shanahan announced as 49ers' coach to Falcons' staff

The 49ers feel certain they have landed their head coach, according to sources.

And the Atlanta Falcons are reportedly convinced offensive Kyle Shanahan will be entering the head-coaching ranks with the 49ers next season, too.

Atlanta coach Dan Quinn made an announcement to coaches that Shanahan would be the 49ers’ next coach, Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported Wednesday, adding everyone in the room was “super supportive.”

On Wednesday, Quinn was asked at a press conference about Shanahan and the 49ers.

“I know it’s for sure out there, (but it’s) definitely not our story to tell,” Quinn said. “They (the 49ers) will for sure reach out to (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and to the organization and there will be a window for them if they’d like to visit with him for next week. But that’s really where it’s at, and there’s nothing left to do until then."

The Falcons will face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship game. The 49ers will have a second interview with Shanahan after the game. Shanahan will also become involved in the process to hire the 49ers’ next general manager.

The 49ers are checking with the NFL to determine what is allowable under the league’s anti-tampering policy, according to a league source. If the Falcons win on Sunday, the 49ers would not be able to officially hire Shanahan until after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

According to sources, the 49ers have narrowed their initial search for the next general manager to four candidates: Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst of Green Bay, Minnesota’s George Paton and Terry McDonough of Arizona.

The general manager candidates are expected to meet with Shanahan, but it’s unclear whether Shanahan can interview the candidates if the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl and he is not officially the 49ers’ coach. The 49ers are expected to hold a second round of general manager interviews early next week and could fill the position by the end of next week.