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Another week and another win by the San Francisco 49ers. It's almost like we're getting spoiled at this point, isn't it? I'm sure you're not at all interested in breaking down the numbers on Sunday's 20-10 win against the Cleveland Browns, right? Who are you kidding? Let's dive in.
Frank Gore of course had the biggest day for an individual San Francisco player. His 31 carries for 134 yards was an amazing performance, and allowed him to pass Roger Craig and take over the number two spot on the all-time San Francisco rushing list.
Although the Niners had more total yards in the game (348 to Cleveland's 290), the Browns actually had more yards in the air. San Francisco Quarteback Alex Smith only put up 174 passing yards while going 15-for-24 with a touchdown and no interceptions. His counterpart, Colt McCoy, finished 22-for-34 with 224 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception. McCoy also had 30 rushing yards on the day, while Smith had 22. Still, Smith averaged more yards per pass (7.3 to 6.6) and finished the day with a higher QB rating (98.8 to 83.1).
Michael Crabtree led Niners receivers with five catches for 54 yards and a touchdown.
On the defensive side, Ahmad Brooks only had three tackles, all of them solo tackles, but managed to pick up two sacks.
Your fellow Niners fans are always available to run the numbers with you at SB Nation's own Niners Nation.
On Sunday against the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers put up a very good defensive performance. It did break down at times, but the Browns were eventually held to just ten points and only 74 yards rushing. Only 43 of those rushing yards came from an actual running back, and with these stats comes another, slightly more awesome stat. For a bit of a disclaimer, it's "awesome" in the sense that it's kind of badass and impressive, but not necessarily awesome in the sense that it should be celebrated.
What's worthy of that kind of disclaimer? Well - injuries of course. There's a very clear and defined line in sports when it comes to player injuries ... there is a positive gain for the opposing team but they're never something that should be celebrated. But from an impressive standpoint? The 49ers have injured running backs in their last three games, and the injuries have kept players out.
LeGarrette Blount was injured in week five when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers got blown out at Candlestick Park. Blount had ten carries for 34 yards before he was hit in his knee and knocked out of the game. Later on, we learned that Blount suffered an MCL sprain and he has yet to return to action, missing games against the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears.
The following week, Jahvid Best suffered a concussion against the 49ers, and he too has not yet returned to action, missing games against the Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos. Best left the game after just 12 attempts for 37 yards. There was even talk about Best not playing again this season, since he suffered a concussion in the preseason as well.
Now it's Montario Hardesty, making the start for Peyton Hillis for the Browns on Sunday. Hardesty strained his right calf in the first half of the game and did not return. He only had two carries for six yards on the day before going out with an injury.
They're not necessarily trying to injure running backs, but it's definitely a testament to San Francisco's hard-nosed style of play. Safeties Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner begin every play as though they're fired from a cannon, while Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are the embodiment of accurate and sudden tackling. Nobody with the football in their hands gets off lightly when they're playing the 49ers.
And that's just how Vic Fangio intends it to be.
The San Francisco 49ers rode their star tailback to victory in a rather uneventful victory over the Cleveland Browns. Frank Gore tied a career-high in carries (31) on his way to passing Roger Craig as the second all-time leading rusher for SF with 134 rushing yards and one touchdown on the day.
Other than Gore, there wasn't much of note that happened. Cleveland did cut the 49ers deficit to one touchdown with six minutes left in the 4th quarter on a Colt McCoy connection with Josh Cribbs, but on the next drive Gore chewed up the clock with 21 yards on seven carries, and Alex Smith helped out with two first down conversions to Braylon Edwards and Isaac Sopoaga (more on that later). David Akers kicked a 26 yard field goal after the two minute warning to put the game on ice.
Smith had an efficient if unremarkable 15 completions on 24 attempts for 177 yards and one touchdown. San Francisco moves to 6-1 with a clash with the Giants awaiting them next Sunday.
The San Francisco 49ers aren't really feeling much heat yet from the Cleveland Browns. San Francisco has doubled up on first downs and tripled up on yardage, and have controlled both the rushing and passing aspects of the ball game.
After taking an early 10-0 lead and getting stuffed on 4th and goal to prevent an even bigger lead, it wasn't long before SF was marching again. Frank Gore ripped off rushes of 14, five, three and six yards. Alex Smith found Braylon Edwards twice for first down conversions and scrambled for nine yards before getting his first passing touchdown of the day when he found Michael Crabtree for a two yard score.
Cleveland did manage a late field goal drive by Colt McCoy to narrow the gap to two touchdowns before halftime, but unless the Browns can stop Gore (20 rushes for 109 yards and a score) and Smith (10 for 15 for 108 yards and 1 passing score), they're going to have a tough time mounting a comeback.
The San Francisco 49ers have jumped out to a 17-0 lead near the end of the first, but they have had one modest negative to the game thus far. 49ers defensive end/tackle Ray McDonald went down with a hamstring injury in the second quarter and is questionable to return.
The 49ers defense has been fairly dominant thus far today, holding the Browns to 58 total yards to date. McDonald has been key to that and really a key to the 49ers dominant defensive line performance to date. It did not seem like too debilitating an injury, but if the 49ers continue to build up on this lead, I suspect the 49ers will be hesitant to reinsert Ray McDonald into the starting lineup.
The 49ers have defensive linemen Ricky Jean Francois and Demarcus Dobbs as backups. RJF is also the backup nose tackle but can play at all three defensive line positions. The Browns have the ball late in the quarter with the 49ers getting the ball to start the second half.
The San Francisco 49ers are riding Frank Gore early and imposing their will on the Cleveland Browns. Niners defender Ahmad Brooks found Colt McCoy on the second play from scrimmage and sacked and stripped the ball from him, allowing Isaac Sopoaga to scoop up the fumble recovery and set up SF with 1st and 10 from the Cleveland 20. Here's video of that play:
Frank Gore took three rushes for 14 yards (and help from a Cleveland pass interference penalty on third down) to punch it into the end zone.
After another Cleveland punt, San Francisco went to work from their own one yard line. Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter combined for 50 rushing yards on two plays, Smith completed three more passes, and David Akers ended up kicking a 29 yard field goal to put San Francisco up 10-0 early. San Francisco tried to go for the jugular on the next drive with more steady running by Gore and passing by Smith, but Gore couldn't punch it into the end zone on 4th and goal at the one.
Good news for the San Francisco 49ers and it's fans as they'll be getting a key offensive player back this Sunday, while the Cleveland Browns will unfortunately be without their star running back again this week.
Wide receiver Braylon Edwards is listed as active this Sunday after being out since week three dealing with a knee injury. Edwards was arguably the biggest offseason pickup made by the 49ers aside for head coach Jim Harbaugh, and will be a pleasant sight for a San Francisco offense struggling with injuries at the receiver position this season. we'll have to wait and see how much game action he sees.
As for the inactives for the Niners, quarterback Scott Tolzien, wide receiver Brett Swain, cornerback Tramaine Brock, fullback Moran Norris, defensive tackle Ian Williams and offensive guards Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person will all be out for San Francisco.
As for the Browns, Peyton Hillis will sit again, dealing with a nagging hamstring injury that can't seem to heal enough to get on the field. He will be replaced by Montario Hardesty in the backfield. Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis, wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, safety Raymond Ventrone, center Steve Vallos, offensive tackle Oniel Cousins, and defensive end Austin English will all be out for Cleveland.
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off their bye week feeling confident and they're looking to keep their momentum rolling as they get set to host the Cleveland Browns. The Browns aren't looking like the toughest opponents at the moment, so there's a good chance this could end up as another great week to be a Niners fan.
We've got all your viewing and listening information for Sunday's game, so look no further!
Kickoff: 1:15 PM PDT/4:15 PM EST
TV: CBS. Commentators: Ian Eagle (Play-by-Play), DanFouts (Color Analyst).
Radio: The Bone 107.7 FM- KNBR 680/1050 AM. Commentators: Ted Robinson (Play-by-Play), Eric Davis (Color Analyst).
Betting Line: The 49ers are expected to whomp up on the Browns, as they're favored by between nine and ten points.
The San Francisco 49ers host the Cleveland Browns Sunday afternoon and will look to improve to 6-1 and take further control of the NFC West. The 49ers are sizable favorites for the first time in quite some time, tipping the line at upwards of nine points. Oddsmakers think the 49ers could roll it up on Cleveland, which could be good for fantasy football options.
Below we have embedded a widget that provides up to the minute fantasy projections for pertinent 49ers fantasy players. As you can see, Frank Gore is projected to put up a monster day against Cleveland. He is ranked fifth among all running back projections. He is an obvious start and one would hope for big numbers on the day.
Alex Smith is not quite such an obvious start, but there is something intriguing about rolling with him if you have bye week issues. The Browns have a solid enough pass defense, but if the 49ers can build an early lead and establish their power rushing game, Smith could get into a groove and put up some decent numbers. He likely will not have huge yardage totals, but he could get two or three touchdown passes with his array of red zone weapons.
In looking through some of the other sit/start options, obvious starts are Vernon Davis, the 49ers defense/special teams and David Akers. Beyond that, Delanie Walker remains a great bye week option as he has become a big red zone threat for the 49ers.
Keep an eye out for information on Braylon Edwards active status. Michael Crabtree could be on the way to becoming Alex Smith's go-to guy between the 20s, in which case an inactive Edwards only helps that.
Our weekly 49ers sit/start suggestions are based on a combination of our knowledge as fans and the weekly projections of numberFire.com. Head over to numberFire.com to get a full breakdown of their weekly projections.
The 49ers have an emerging defensive rookie of the year candidate in linebacker Aldon Smith, and on Sunday when they host the Cleveland Browns, he'll face his biggest test yet. Smith will be taking over the spot of Parys Haralson in nickel situations at right defensive end and, as always, folks are on the lookout for a potential expanded role for him and maybe some more snaps standing up. Either way, he'll be on the right side on Sunday.
Which means he'll be taking on Cleveland's left tackle, Joe Thomas. He's one of the premier left tackles in the NFL over the last four seasons, and he's not slowed down even a little bit. Thomas is 6'6'' and 312 pounds and is playing on a seven-year, $84 million deal right now. In other words, he is the very definition of a franchise left tackle.
It's a tall test for Smith, who is second among NFL rookies with 5.5 sacks on the season. Thomas is a guy who plays every snap as fresh as the first, and hasn't missed an offensive snap in 70 games. He's given up 1.5 sacks on the season and only gave up four sacks a year ago. Smith will have his work cut out for him, and pressure will definitely be a focal point of the 49ers defense on Sunday.
With Peyton Hillis looking like he's going to miss the game on Sunday, it will be up to Colt McCoy to lead the Browns offense to victory. With receiving targets Benjamin Watson and Mohamed Massaquoi coming off of concussions, the offense may be even more limited. McCoy may have to hold the ball longer than he'd like, and try to make things happen. That's one thing that's going in the rookie's favor.
The San Francisco 49ers are off to a surprising start in 2011 and the team will look to keep the momentum going in week eight against the Cleveland Browns. The team has been battered with injuries all year long, but it appears San Francisco will be near full-strength by the time kickoff roles around on Sunday.
Here is the practice report for Friday, as well as each player's status for the game:
Limited Participation In Practice:
Full Participation In Practice:
LB Auston English (knee), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (head)
Did Not Participate In Practice:
RB Peyton Hillis (questionable), LB Kaluka Maiava (questionable), S Raymond Ventrone (questionable)
Limited Participation In Practice:
Full Participation In Practice:
For more on the 49ers, be sure to check out Niners Nation.
The San Francisco 49ers must be brimming with enthusiasm and confidence. They kept their momentum rolling by handing the Detroit Lions their first loss of the season and headed into a well-earned bye week. Let's see if the odds are in their favor as they get set to host the Cleveland Browns in Week 8.
According to SB Nation's odds partner, OddsShark, the Niners are indeed the favorites. That should probably come as no surprise considering that the Browns only scored 6 total points in last week's game (they won that game, by the way). After opening as 9.5 point favorites, the line ranges between 7.5 and 9.5 for San Francisco, but every odds maker has them projected to win by more than a touchdown. That's probably not too much of a stretch.
The over/under for the game is steady at 38.5, but again, you can't ever count on the Browns to hold up their end of the whole "score points" deal. I'd say that picking the 49ers to cover the spread is the safer of the two options.
Think you know how to beat the odds? Let your fellow Niners fans know over at Niners Nation.
The San Francisco 49ers offense has been running smoothly as of late, and offensive coordinator Greg Roman is hoping it continues against the Browns. He spent some time with the media after Thursday's practice at team headquarters, talking a bit about the health of some players, as well as giving some insight to how he approaches a game with an opponent like Cleveland.
Roman was asked about the status of center Jonathan Goodwin, and was hopeful that the big fella could come back from his concussion this week:
Do you anticipate Jonathan Goodwin being your starting center this week?
"I certainly hope so. Jonathan's been very important for us. He understands and knows what he's doing, gets everybody organized quickly, efficiently, and he's Cool Hand Luke in there at the center position. Understands the game and he's been really good for us."
Goodwin was limited for contact this week in practice, but the Niners hope that he can suit up this Sunday, as long as he passes all the concussions tests before the game of course.
Roman also spoke about wide receiver Braylon Edwards who has been progressing this week but may still not be healthy enough to play this weekend:
How has Braylon been moving and are you encouraged by what you've seen on the field?
"Yeah, it's day to day with Braylon. He's moving around pretty well and we just had a walk-through, so you really can't tell much there. We'll just keep taking it day-to-day. But, he looks like he's in pretty darn good condition physically. He's been working really hard and that's been Braylon Edwards since the first day he got here, he's been the consummate professional. The guy that I want to be in the fox hole with."
As long as his knee is stable and ready to go, I don't see any big problem with him playing this week. His cardiovascular condition is likely lagging with all the time off from training, but hopefully it won't be a inhibiting point for Edwards.
Roman also talked a bit about his approach to play calling at this time of the season:
At this point in the season, do you add plays that you had in the run in training camp or do you work off of the stuff you already know?
"A lot of it is based off what we've done. Again, not to rehash the offseason, but it was a different offseason and therefore our timeline changed. I don't think we're as deep into it as we would be normally, so there's more stuff that has yet to be unveiled."
Something up the sleeve...always something great to have in the NFL.
Can you talk about the Browns defense and what they are? Can you tell me what you see from them on film defensively?
"Not overly exotic, but extremely disciplined. They're the type of defense that they want to make you, if you're going to score, do it in 12 plays. They try to put the pressure back on you to execute. I'm sure they have other ways of saying that there. They're going to play a sound, physical scheme and everybody is going to be in the right spot and they're going to play hard.
For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation to get in on the action.
San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is undoubtedly pleased with the overall performance of his secondary thus far in the season, as are the rest of the fan base, largely in part to new addition Carlos Rogers. But there is more to it that just that, as Fangio explained in his Thursday press conference at 49ers headquarters.
Has that whole spot, just as a whole, been a pleasant surprise with [CB] Carlos [Rogers] and [CB] Tarell Brown and the three guys you sort of cycled in?
"Yeah it has. We have good depth there. We have five corners on the roster. We have confidence in all of them. They all have played this year, significant snaps, and they are all very capable. Nothing would change, one way or the other, depending upon who was in there."
It's also good to hear about a 49ers secondary that bolsters confidence in the coaches in fans, because there honestly hasn't been one for a while. These guys really have gelled well, they just need to be healthy enough to be on the field at the same time.
Fangio also spoke about Tramaine Brock's progress after recently having a cast removed from his hand:
For him [Brock], was it an issue of not being able to grab and to do what he needs to do with that left hand?
"Yeah, you guys know how hard it is to play corner in this league. Trying to do it with a club on your hand, it becomes that much harder. I've had bad experiences with that in the past of playing guys that have a big cast on their hand, particularly at the corner position. You're basically playing with one arm and that's not a position to be playing one arm with. Again, our healthy players are better than Brock with a cast on his hand."
Fangio said he expects Chris Culliver to be healthy this Sunday, another good sign for the San Francisco secondary. He spoke about Shawntae Spencer's progress as well, and how it effects Fangio's options with the third corner.
How do you expect to use your third corner back this week, third corner? Who do you expect it to be and how do you plan to use them?
"I think it will be kind of similar to what it's been lately. [CB] Shawntae [Spencer] is improving, he's still not 100 percent. He's ready to play, but he's not 100 percent yet."
Hopefully he will be by Sunday.
For more on the 49ers, check out Niners Nation.
That's right everybody, fullback Moran Norris returned to practice on Thursday joining his team on the field for the first time since September 18. He remained limited is practice, as did wide receivers Michael Crabtree (foot), Braylon Edwards (knee), cornerbacks Chris Culliver (shoulder) and Tramaine Brock (hand), and center Jonathan Goodwin (concussion). No players did not participate for the 49ers today, always a good sign.
As for the Browns, running back Peyton Hillis took a step back on his road to recovery from his hamstring strain as he did not practice at all on Thursday. He didn't play last week's game against the Seattle Seahawks, and is still up in the air against the 49ers. Tight end Benjamin Watson (head), wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi (head), and safety Raymond Ventrone (hamstring) all were out for Cleveland as well.
For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation to get in on the action.
You can expect running back Frank Gore to get a lot of touches on Sunday, when the San Francisco 49ers host the Cleveland Browns. Gore has three consecutive 100-yard rushing games and is eyeing another one. More than just helping the team win and get the offense going, Gore is hoping to hit the 110-yard mark and pass Roger Craig as the team's second all-time leading rusher. If he passed him, he'd be behind only Joe Perry.
His last performances were efforts of 127, 126 and 141 yards, after starting the season with three games of less than 60 yards apiece. You can expect a heavy dosage of Gore on Sunday, especially because of the nature of Cleveland's defense. It has been their strong suit, and has kept them in games, but the rush defense has left something to be desired. Their defense even won them a game - last week's 6-3 win over the Seattle Seahawks.
But their strength is the pass defense, led by cornerback Joe Haden, and the 49ers aren't likely to put the game in Alex Smith's hands. It will definitely fall to Frank Gore to run the ball early and often, and Kendall Hunter will be the guy to back him up. There's reports that Haden is still a little sore, so maybe the 49ers will challenge him with Braylon Edwards potentially returning, but this will definitely be the Frank Gore show.
The Browns have allowed rushers of 121 yards (Cedric Benson), 95 yards (Daniel Thomas), 101 yards (Chris Johnson) and 91 yards (Darren McFadden). That 110 yardage mark is certainly within reach for Gore. Joe Perry has the franchise record with 7,344 yards, and Gore currently sits at 6,955.
The San Francisco 49ers host the Cleveland Browns this Sunday looking to improve to 6-1 on the season. While their own wins are important enough, the rest of the NFC West has continued to provide support for the the 49ers run at the NFC West title. The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams have combined to lose eleven straight games, while the Seattle Seahawks have bounced back and forth and managed only a pair of wins.
Given the road the 49ers are taking through the NFC West, each week we'll provide a rundown of NFC West picks. Additionally, we'll provide picks on games that affect the 49ers playoff positioning. If the 49ers can maintain their current pace, or really anything close to it, they would be the first team to clinch their division. This would mean they would have an opportunity to secure a bye and possibly home field advantage. Accordingly, various games are of great importance to them.
New Orleans Saints @ St. Louis Rams: While this is a home game for the Rams, the New Orleans Saints are coming off a demolition of the Indianapolis Colts. It may have been a crappy Colts team, but the victory was impressive nonetheless. There is a chance of overlooking the Rams, but following Baltimore's stunning upset in Jacksonville, I suspect most big teams will try to avoid looking ahead. Even though the Rams are basically out of the race, the Saints are battling for the NFC South, which means battling San Francisco for that potential #2 seed. PICK: Saints
Cincinnati Bengals @ Seattle Seahawks: The Bengals are playing some solid football, but they will be without Cedric Benson this week as he serves his one-game suspension. Seattle is wildly inconsistent, so anything could happen in this game and it would not surprise me. I think this week, good things happen for Seattle. PICK: Seahawks
Arizona Cardinals @ Baltimore Ravens: The Cardinals get to travel to face a pissed off Ravens squad? Is there any way this does not end poorly for Arizona? PICK: Ravens
Current NFC Playoff Seeds
*The tie breaker with Tampa Bay and Atlanta is a little funky at the moment
Running back Moran Norris (fibula) was the lone 49er out of practice on Wednesday. Meanwhile, cornerback Tramaine Brock (hand), wide receiver Michael Crabtree (foot), cornerback Chris Culliver (shoulder), wide receiver Braylon Edwards (knee) and center Jonathan Goodwin (concussion) were limited participants.
Edwards has been eyeing a return this week against his former team since he injured his knee in Week Two. Early signs this week show that Edwards is running routes and getting practice on the field, but he has decided to take his recovery cautiously. Edwards could sit out this week in favor of further healing if he believes that it will help ensure a 100% return later on this season.
Meanwhile, the Browns missed guard Shawn Lauvao (knee), wide receiver Mohamed Massoquoi (head), safety Raymond Ventrone (hamstring) and tight end Benjamin Watson (head) in Wednesday's practice. Kicker Phil Dawson (right thigh), linebacker Scott Fujita (head), cornerback Joe Haden (knee), running back Peyton Hillis (hamstring) and tackle Tony Pashos were limited.
Hillis has been taking first-team snaps all week and figures to start against the 49ers this weekend. He will have his work cut out for him: San Francisco owns the league's second-best run defense this year, conceding just 74.7 rushing yards per game to opponents.
Both sides could be missing big players on Sunday due to injuries. For the most part, though, these two sides should be mostly healthy by kickoff.
The San Francisco 49ers have been the biggest surprise story for the 2011 season thus far and CBS has taken notice to Jim Harbaugh's football team. As the team welcomes in the Cleveland Browns to town this Sunday, Ian Eagle will handle the play-by-play duties and Dan Fouts will serve as the analyst doing the broadcast.
Kickoff is set for 1:05 p.m. PDT in San Francisco. All of this information is courtesy of The506.com.
While the game is not expected to be too closely contested, fans across the country want to catch a glimpse of the the upstart 49ers. Alex Smith, while inconsistent at times, has led this team time and time again when the game is on the line and their victories over the Lions and Eagles opened a lot of eyes around the league. The Browns are fresh off 6-3 victory over the Seahawks and now have a 3-3 record on the season.
For more on the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Braylon Edwards has been out since Week Two of the 2011 NFL season when he suffered a right knee injury in a 27-24 overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys. Six weeks later, it looks like he may be ready to return. According to Matt Maiocco of SportsNet Bay Area, Edwards ran routes of all lengths today.
Edwards' return could become another bright spot in a season that has been filled with them. From the fairly consistent play of Alex Smith to the strong rushing attack headed by Frank Gore to the stingy defense, San Francisco has rushed out to a 5-1 record and the top spot in the NFC West. The team has been short-handed at receiver, and Edwards could be the man to fill that void.
Edwards recorded his best statistical season since 2007 last year with the Jets when he finished with 904 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He also averaged a career-best 17.1 yards per catch. San Francisco will be good shape if Edwards can put up comparable numbers this year.
The 49ers play the Cleveland Browns at home this weekend. The Browns boast the league's second-best defense against the run this year, allowing just 172.0 yards per game. Edwards could be in for a tough outing in his first game back, assuming that he does return on Sunday, but his presence alone should boost San Francisco's confidence as it prepares for its games coming out of the bye week.
The San Francisco 49ers are coming off a bye week in which the rest of the NFC West lost and will host the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. They're expecting to have players back from injury and, at 5-1, are feeling good on all fronts. For more on the game and the team in general, head on over to Niners Nation, SB Nation's San Francisco 49ers blog.
The San Francisco 49ers return to action against the Cleveland Browns, and could welcome the return of wide receiver Braylon Edwards to the lineup.
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