Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 45, Bills 3

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Maiocco's Instant Replay: 49ers 45, Bills 3

BOX SCORE

SAN FRANCISCO -- Given the honor of throwing out the first pitch prior to the San Francisco Giants' playoff game Saturday night against the Cincinnati Reds, 49ers quarterback Alex Smith was off the mark.He climbed atop the mound at AT&T Park and promptly delivered a pitch that was outside the strike zone and in the dirt. It was met with many groans from the sold-out crowd.Apparently, he was saving his strikes for Sunday.MAIOCCO: Alex Smith opens with best half of his career
Smith had the best regular-season game of his career in a 38-3 victory over the overmatched Buffalo Bills at Candlestick Park.Smith completed 18 of 24 pass attempts for 303 yards and three touchdowns. It's the first time in eight NFL seasons that Smith has thrown for 300 yards or more in a 49ers victory.His passer rating was a perfect 158.3 -- the first time he has ever achieved that mark. The 49ers improved to 13-0 in Smith's career when his passer rating was over 100.Smith threw a touchdown pass of 43 yards to Kyle Williams in the second quarter. He ended the first half with a 28-yard touchdown strike to Michael Crabtree. And early in the fourth quarter, he hit Mario Manningham for a 10-yard touchdown in the rout over the Bills (2-3).In the first half alone, Smith completed 12 of 15 passes for 237 yards. His 28-yard scoring strike to Crabtree with 24 seconds remaining gave the 49ers a 17-3 lead at halftime.That play came after Bills coach Chan Gailey decided against running out the clock at the end of the half. The Bills took over after Colin Kaepernick's fumble with :49 remaining in the half.But the Bills got greedy. Linebacker Patrick Willis forced a fumble of tight end Scott Chandler. Safety Dashon Goldson recovered, and the 49ers had the ball at the Buffalo 28-yard line.Smith hit Crabtree on a corner route on the next play.Crabtree finished the first half with five receptions for 103 yards. It was his first touchdown catch of the season. Another 41-yard reception was nullified by Frank Gore's chop-block penalty.The 49ers scored their first touchdown on Smith's 43-yard pass to Kyle Williams early in the second quarter.Anthony Dixon's three-yard touchdown run with 1:11 remaining gave the 49ers a 45-3 lead.
PROLIFIC OFFENSE: In addition to Smith and Crabtree's production, the 49ers also received a 106-yard day rushing by Gore on 14 carries, and 106 yards receiving on five receptions from tight end Vernon Davis.It was the first time the 49ers have had a 100-yard rusher, two 100-yard receivers and a 300-yard passer in the same game since Nov. 19, 1961 against the Chicago Bears. John Brodie threw for 322 yards; C.R. Roberts rushed for 107 yards; and Aaron Thomas (131) and R.C. Owens (107) both had more than 100 yards receiving.It was the first time the 49ers had a 100-yard rusher, just one 100-yard receiver and 300-yard passer in the same game since Charlie Garner, Terrell Owens and Jeff Garcia did it Oct. 8, 2000 vs. the Raiders.KAEPERNICK CONTRIBUTION: Backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick had a few more wrinkles added for him in the 49ers' offense. Kaepernick was in on a handful of plays. On his first snap, he lined up wide and retreated into the backfield as a decoy as Gore gained 7 yards.Late in the first half, Kaepernick fumbled the ball to the Bills at the end of a 6-yard run. In the third quarter, Kaepernick gained 15 yards to the Bills' 1-yard line to set up a touchdown that gave the 49ers a 24-7 lead.Kaepernick took over for Smith at quarterback with 10 minutes left in the game. On his first snap after taking over he scored on a 16-yard run to make the score 38-3.CULLY IN THE HOUSE: Third cornerback Chris Culliver played nearly every snap as the 49ers employed their nickel defense against the Bills, who typically play three receivers.Culliver entered the game in pass coverage for 121 snaps through four games, according to Pro Football Focus, and allowed only four catches for 30 yards. Culliver has a 42.4 passer rating against him when targeted. That rating dropped some more when Culliver hauled in an interception of a Ryan Fitzpatrick pass in the third quarter. It was Culliver's second career interception.JACOBS SITS: Veteran running back Brandon Jacobs is healthy. He went through a full week of practice to get prepared for Sunday's game, but the 49ers coaching staff did not declare him one of the 46 active players.Jacobs, whom the 49ers signed in the offseason to a one-year, 1.575 million contract, was envisioned as the team's short-yardage back. But he did not suit up because he has no role on special teams.Perhaps the 49ers could've used him in the first quarter. With a second-and-goal situation on the Bills' 1-yard line, Gore was stuffed on consecutive run plays with the 49ers jumbo package in front of him. The 49ers settled for David Akers' 19-yard field goal.In the third quarter with the same personnel grouping that included Leonard Davis, Daniel Kilgore and Will Tukuafu, Gore scored on a 1-yard run to give the 49ers a 24-3 lead.AKERS TIES RECORD: Akers has kicked at least one field goal in every regular-season game in which he has played with the 49ers. The 21-game streak ties a 49ers record set by Bruce Gossett from 1970 to '72. . . The 49ers had a nice two games against the AFC East. A week ago, the 49ers beat the New York Jets 34-0.

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.