Lessons 49ers can learn from Super Bowl teams

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Lessons 49ers can learn from Super Bowl teams

My boss asked if I had any ideas on 49ers topics to write in conjunction with the Super Bowl.My first thought was, "How about something on what the 49ers can learn from the teams that made it to the Super Bowl?"It sounded like a great idea. But when a team, such as the 49ers, makes it to the conference championship game, the biggest lesson to be learned is . . . don't lose the championship game.

The 49ers lost in overtime to the Giants. A team that had a plus-28 turnover margin during the regular season, had a minus-2 margin in their season-ending game against the Giants.Of course, the 49ers' defense is good enough to win a championship. Defenses ranked 27th (Giants) and 31st (New England Patriots) in yards allowed made it to the Super Bowl.So does that mean that offense wins championships?The Patriots were second and the Giants were eighth in total yards on offense. The 49ers were 26th in the NFL on offense.The 49ers were ranked 31st in the league on third-down efficiency. The 49ers were particularly inept in the NFC Championship Game against the Giants, as they converted just 1 of 13 third-down attempts.Another bleak area for the 49ers was their red-zone offense. They were 30th in the NFL with touchdowns on just 40.7-percent of their trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line. The 49ers scored 35 touchdowns and kicked 44 field goals during the regular season. By contrast, the Patriots scored 61 TDs and kicked 28 FGs, while the Giants scored 47 TDs and 19 FGs.Cleveland, Kansas City, Seattle and Washington were the only other teams that had more field goals that touchdowns this season.There is little doubt the 49ers' offense, most notably their passing game, must improve. New England had the second-ranked passing attack. The Giants were fifth. The 49ers were 29th.So those are the lessons the 49ers can learn from the Super Bowl teams -- as if they hadn't already figured it out.

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.

It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Mike Nolan coached the 49ers for three full seasons before he was fired after Week 7 in his fourth year at the helm.

On Monday morning, he was asked about the situation in Santa Clara and if he would make a change at head coach or general manager.

"It's sad that it's gone to where it is," Nolan said on 95.7 The Game. "They're beginning to look much like when I took the job over in 2005 ... and there really was not a lot of good personnel on the team.

"The difference though that is better and will continue to be better, they will be (in) a much better cap situation going forward than we ever were back then ... but the losing I should say is really killing them.

"The personnel is not as bad as they're playing and that's the thing that really gets under your skin as a coach because you're frustrated by what's going on ... the thing that I have thought most of the season when people were talking about changes as the losses started to mount up, was not to change it. Because I know Trent (Baalke) personally, and Trent does a good job with personnel and that's his primary job.

"But for a lot of strange reasons -- guys retiring, guys quitting a couple years ago, just a lot of weird things that occurred -- their roster has kind of fallen off a little bit, but it is still a much better roster than some of these other teams that are not winning."

After winning their Week 1 game against the Rams, the 49ers have lost a franchise-record 11 straight games.

Chip Kelly is under contract through 2019 and the team owes Jim Tomsula $7 million over the next two years combined.

Baalke's contract runs through 2018.

"It's about players first and I think they have the right guy in place to pick the players but unfortunately for Trent, I think the choice of Tomsula hurt him and currently right now with Chip Kelly it's not helping him either," Nolan added. "They do not have a bad roster.

"Obviously they need a quarterback. They could be a .500 team in my opinion if they get a quarterback as near as next year even ... they got a tough decision to make at the end."