Must win for 49ers against Rams?


Must win for 49ers against Rams?

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers can finish the job of winning the NFC West on Sunday against the lowly St. Louis Rams.But they will still have a lot of work to accomplish before the playoffs begin."There's a lot of football left, a lot of opportunities for us to get better," 49ers guard Adam Snyder said. "It would benefit us more to focus on that, rather than getting into the playoffs. I'm sure if we win, I'll celebrate a little. But you celebrate every win."There could be twice the reasons for 49ers running back Frank Gore to celebrate. He is just 22 yards away from surpassing Joe "The Jet" Perry on the official 49ers rushing list.RELATED: Gore on brink of franchise record
"The bigger picture is us winning the game and doing something we've haven't done in a while, and that's getting to the playoffs," Gore said."But I'd be happy if I do it this week. It would be a blessing. I would like to do it in front of the fans, who have been with us for a while and been behind us 100 percent. It would be a time to win and get the record. That would be great."In a lot of ways, this might be a must-win game for the 49ers because of the NFC playoff race. After all, the 49ers are currently in command of the No. 2 seed with a 9-2 record. The game against the Rams at Candlestick would appear to be their easiest remaining game. (The 49ers are 13-point favorites.)The 49ers finish the season at Arizona (Dec. 11), at home in a Monday night game against Pittsburgh (Dec. 19), and with road games at Seattle (Dec. 24) and St. Louis (Jan. 1).It seems unlikely the 49ers (9-2) can catch the Green Bay Packers (11-0) for the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. But the 49ers, essentially, have a two-game lead over the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys for the No. 2 spot, which includes a first-round bye and a home game in the divisional round of the playoffs.The 49ers own a one-game lead over the Saints (8-3), but the 49ers would win any tie-breaker based on a better record within the conference. The 49ers have a two-game lead over the Cowboys, but the Cowboys would win a tie-breaker based on their head-to-head overtime victory against the 49ers in Week 2.If the 49ers were to slip to the No. 3 slot in the playoffs, they would still get a home playoff game in the wild-card round. But if the 49ers win that game, they would be forced to play on the road in the divisional round.Today's key games
St. Louis at 49ers, 1:15 p.m.
Green Bay at N.Y. Giants, 1:15 p.m.
Dallas at Arizona, 1:15 p.m.
Detroit at New Orleans, 5:20 p.m. Here is a look at the complete NFC playoff picture (entering Sunday's games):Division leaders
1. Green Bay (North) 11-0. (NFC record: 9-0)
2. 49ers (West) 9-2. (NFC record: 7-1)
3. New Orleans (South) 8-3. (NFC record: 5-3)
4. Dallas (East) 7-4. (NFC record: 5-2)Wild card
5. Chicago (North) 7-4. (NFC record: 6-3)
6. Atlanta (South) 7-4. (NFC record: 5-4)
Next in line
7. Detroit (North) 7-4. (NFC record: 5-4)8. N.Y. Giants (East) 6-5. (NFC record: 3-5)
9. Seattle (West) 5-7. (NFC record: 4-4)
10. Washington (East) 4-7. (NFC record: 4-5)
11. Arizona (West) 4-7. (NFC record: 4-5)
12. Tampa Bay (South) 4-7. (NFC record: 3-5)
13. Philadelphia (East) 4-8. (NFC record: 4-6)
14. Carolina (South) 3-8. (NFC record: 1-7)
15. Minnesota (North) 2-9. (NFC record: 2-6)
16. St. Louis (West) 2-9. (NFC record: 1-8)Tie-breakers
Head-to-head, if applicable.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games, minimum of four.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.

49ers snap count: Three RBs share workload with Hyde sidelined

49ers snap count: Three RBs share workload with Hyde sidelined

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers split the playing time among three running backs Sunday with starter Carlos Hyde out of action due to a shoulder injury.

DuJuan Harris, whom the 49ers promoted from the practice squad on Saturday, saw his first action of the season. He played 26 snaps, the most of any of the 49ers’ running backs on Sunday in the team’s 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium.

Harris had 39 yards rushing on 11 attempts. He also caught two passes for 18 yards.

Shaun Draughn played 23 snaps, while Mike Davis started but saw action in only 21 plays. Davis carried seven times for 21 yards and a touchdown. Draughn carried once for 16 yards and led the team in receiving with five catches for 37 yards.

Linebacker Gerald Hodges started for the first time since Week 3. He played 61 snaps, while Michael Wilhoite saw action on 13 plays after losing his spot in the starting lineup. Nick Bellore started alongside Hodges at inside linebacker and was on the field for 74 of the 49ers’ 75 defensive plays.

First-round draft pick DeForest Buckner played 73 of the 49ers’ defensive plays, an unusually high number for a defensive lineman.

Outside linebacker Tank Carradine did not play any snaps on defense. The 49ers signed him to a one-year extension at the beginning of the season that paid out a $1.25 million signing bonus. His cap figure for next season is $2.025 million. Carradine played seven snaps on special teams.

Here’s how the 49ers divided their playing time on offense, defense and special teams on Sunday in their 45-16 loss to the Bills:

70 snaps
70 -- QB Colin Kaepernick, LT Joe Staley, LG Zane Beadles, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Joshua Garnett, RT Trent Brown
61 -- WR Quinton Patton
56 -- WR Torrey Smith
54 -- TE Vance McDonald
41 -- TE Garrett Celek, WR Jeremy Kerley
26 -- RB DuJuan Harris
23 -- RB Shaun Draughn
21 -- RB Mike Davis
14 -- WR Aaron Burbridge
9 -- WR Rod Streater
4 -- TE Blake Bell

75 snaps
75 -- S Eric Reid, CB Tramaine Brock
74 -- LB Nick Bellore
73 -- DL DeForest Buckner
71 -- LB Ahmad Brooks
70 -- S Antoine Bethea
62 -- CB Rashard Robinson
61 -- LB Gerald Hodges
48 -- LB Aaron Lynch
47 -- DL Arik Armstead
41 -- DL Quinton Dial
40 -- CB Jimmie Ward
26 -- LB Eli Harold
17 -- DL Mike Purcell
14 -- DL Tony Jerod-Eddie
13 -- LB Michael Wilhoite
9 -- S Jaquiski Tartt
7 -- DL Ronald Blair
2 -- CB Keith Reaser

Special teams
27 -- Dontae Johnson, Shayne Skov
21 -- Wilhoite
20 -- Burbridge
17 -- Streater, Purcell
16 -- Celek
15 -- Bell
13 -- Draughn
12 -- Bellore
11 -- Bradley Pinion, Davis
10 -- Dial, Tartt
9 -- Kyle Nelson, Reaser
7 -- Tank Carradine, Harris, Reid, Brooks, Ward, Harold
5 -- Phil Dawson, Robinson, Hodges, Lynch
3 -- Andrew Tiller, JaCorey Shepherd, Beadles, Staley, Brown, Garnett, Kerley
2 -- Blair

Did not play
QB Blaine Gabbert
C Marcus Martin

Not active
QB Christian Ponder
WR Keshawn Martin
CB Marcus Cromartie
RB Carlos Hyde (shoulder)
T John Theus
TE Je’Ron Hamm
DL Glenn Dorsey (knee)

Report: 49ers seek first-round pick for Staley

Report: 49ers seek first-round pick for Staley

If the 49ers are active at the NFL trade deadline on Nov. 1, the organization figures to be sellers.

With a 1-6 record, mired in a six-game losing streak and seemingly fielding a less-competitive team every week, the 49ers do not figure to be in the buying market with the trade deadline approaching.

Left tackle Joe Staley, 32, one of the team’s few players who would be attractive to a contender, is available for a first-round draft pick, according to Pro Football Talk. The report cited a “source with knowledge of the dynamics.”

Cleveland Browns left tackle Joe Thomas is also on the trade market for a second-round pick, according to the report. The teams mentioned with potential interest in acquiring Staley or Thomas are the Vikings, Giants, Cardinals, Seahawks and Patriots, reports PFT.

Staley has a base salary of $5.4 million this season. His pay increases to $8.95 million next season, including $8.25 million in base salary. He is signed through the 2019 season.

Staley, a first-round draft pick in 2007, has been selected to five consecutive Pro Bowls.

If the 49ers trade Staley, it could open the way for right tackle Trent Brown to move to the left side. The only other tackle on the roster is rookie John Theus. Veteran guard Zane Beadles is also capable of playing tackle.

The NFL trade deadline is Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. (PT). The 49ers enter their bye week after Sunday's 34-17 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team’s next game is Nov. 6 against the New Orleans Saints.