LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 6: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the San Francisco 49ers looks down field against the Washington Redskins in the third quarter at FedExField on November 6, 2011 in Landover, Maryland. The San Francisco 49ers won, 19-11. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

49ers Vs. Redskins: San Francisco Picks Up 19-11 Win

The San Francisco 49ers held off the Washington Redskins for their sixth straight win, pulling even further ahead of the rest of the NFC West. For more on the game and the team in general, go to Niners Nation.

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Week 9 NFL Scores: NFC West Continues To Flounder Behind 49ers

As the San Francisco 49ers emerged victorious against the Washington Redskins on Sunday, the rest of the NFC continued to struggle. Thanks to the Seattle Seahawks losing in Dallas, the 49ers now sit with a five game lead in the division with only eight games remaining. The 49ers actually could clinch the division as soon as week 11 if things fall the right way.

The Seattle Seahawks struggled to a 23-13 loss against the Dallas Cowboys. The Seahawks actually were tied heading into the second half, and only trailed by a touchdown heading into the fourth quarter. However, their anemic offense simply could not get anything going. Tarvaris Jackson threw for 200 yards but also threw three interceptions. Marshawn Lynch had his best game of the year with 135 yards and a touchdown, but the three picks killed Seattle's chances as the Cowboys cruised in the fourth quarter.

The Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams squared off in a divisional matchup that required overtime for a decision. Patrick Peterson continued his electric play as he returned a punt 99 yards to win the game for the Cardinals. It was an ugly first four quarters of play as the St. Louis Rams became the first team to score four points in a quarter when they sacked John Skelton twice in the end zone for a safety. That just about sums up regulation of this game. It was simply not pretty, save the Patrick Peterson TD return.

Week ten NFC West Schedule
San Francisco 49ers vs. New York Giants
Seattle Seahawks vs. Baltimore Ravens
Arizona Cardinals @ Philadelphia Eagles
St. Louis Rams @ Cleveland Browns


49ers Vs. Redskins Injury Report: Frank Gore Suffers Ankle Sprain

The big injury news following the 49ers 19-11 victory over the Washington Redskins is that Frank Gore suffered an ankle sprain in the second quarter. Gore was able to finish out the victory and go over 100 yards for the fifth straight game, but it remains an injury to keep an eye on over the next few days.

Gore dealt with an ankle sprain earlier this season against the Cincinnati Bengals. He was extremely limited in practice through the rest of that week and the 49ers started backup running back Kendall Hunter the following week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Gore came off the bench and actually had his first 100-yard rushing game of the season, but the team felt Hunter deserved the start since he handled all the first team snaps that week.

Hunter himself is dealing with a dislocated finger, although there is no word on whether it is a serious injury. Anthony Dixon would handle the snaps if both Gore and Hunter were limited in practice. The other injury of note saw Braylon Edwards suffer a bit of a shoulder bruise. He had x-rays and seems to be fine, but he could also be a bit limited in practice this week.


49ers Vs. Redskins Recap By The Numbers: Frank Gore Has Another Big Game

The San Francisco 49ers just keep rolling along, picking up another victory on Sunday to improve their record to 7-1 and remain undefeated on the road. They probably wish their 19-10 win over the middling Washington Redskins was a bit more decisive, but they'll take them any way they can get them.

Once again, San Francisco's biggest offensive star was running back Frank Gore. His 107 yards on 19 carries made up the bulk of the 138 total rushing yards for the Niners. He averaged 5.6 yards per carry with a long of 27. Another solid performance all around for Gore, who keeps piling more yards onto his career numbers and is currently at second place on the all-time San Francisco rushing list. He's still 1,600 yards behind Joe Perry, who has 8,689 career rushing yards, but every game gets him a little bit closer.

Although Gore had the flashiest numbers in the game, the true offensive star for the 49ers today was kicker David Akers. Counting his extra point, he was solely responsible for 13 of San Francisco's 19 points in the game. He was four for four on field goals, nailing them from 52, 34, 45 and 20 yards. A pretty impressive feat and it's great for the Niners to have yet another consistent weapon in their bag of tricks.

San Francisco's passing game wasn't terribly present in this one. Michael Crabtree again led all receivers with 51 yards on five catches. Quarterback Alex Smith had a solid game with 200 passing yards and the only 49ers touchdown of the game, a 30 yard pass to Bruce Miller (which was Miller's only catch of the game). Smith threw no interceptions and finished with a 109.7 passer rating.

Your fellow San Francisco fans are always available to help you run the numbers at Niners Nation.


Bruce Miller Probably Secured His Starting Job Against Redskins

When the 49ers starting fullback, Moran Norris, went down in week two against the Dallas Cowboys, it fell to rookie Bruce Miller to come in and take over. Most fans were very happy about this, as Norris has been one of the most criticized players on the team's roster over the last couple seasons. Norris had reached a point where he was whiffing on blocks and didn't contribute anything else in regards to rushes or the passing game.

So Miller it was. Through the first two weeks, Frank Gore had less than sixty yards with Norris blocking. Miller got the start against the Cincinnati Bengals, and looked pretty good, but the 49ers run blocking wasn't great altogether and Frank Gore didn't have a big game. But then things blew up, and Miller was right in the thick of things.

With the win over the Washington Redskins, Gore secured his fifth straight game of at least 100 rushing yards, becoming the first person in 49ers franchise history to do that. And Bruce Miller was right in the thick of things and directly contributed to the accolade. In fact, Miller has been playing great since his first start, his run blocking has been stellar and he's been a threat in the passing game.

Miller's ability as a blocker can be seen on just about any running play. Maybe his blocks aren't all fundamentally sound at this point, but he's getting his assignments dead on and isn't whiffing by any means. Gore trusts him, and again, there's the added ability offensively. The 49ers beat the Redskins by a touchdown on Sunday, and the only offensive touchdown came from a 30-yard touchdown reception by Miller.

It's not likely that Norris would have been able to run that route and make that catch for that touchdown. It's just not. Norris has never been an offensive weapon, and has gotten the same amount of consideration in the passing game as ... well, as Joe Staley and Isaac Sopoaga did against the Browns. And if Miller is blocking at an above average level, there's no reason to go with Norris. After recovering from a fibula injury, Norris will be able to return to the active roster, but if the 49ers go the way they probably should, he'll be on the bench.


49ers Vs. Redskins Recap: Bruce Miller Touchdown, Good Defense Gives SF 19-11 Win

The Washington Redskins got off to a decent start offensively, at least as far as the individual plays were concerned. Running back Roy Helu had the longest gain of any running back playing the 49ers this season, a 16-yard play. But the 49ers quickly forced a three-and-out, and the tone of the game was established. Three and outs were a staple of the game, but in the end, the strong 49ers defense and field position gave the offense enough tries to put on the points, enough to give San Francisco a 19-11 win.

David Akers had four field goals on the day, one of them from 52 yards back. San Francisco struggled early on offensively, not converting a third down until their seventh try, when Alex Smith hit Ted Ginn Jr. for a 14-yard completion. Smith ultimately had a good game though, and it would have been better if not for a couple drops, namely from running back Frank Gore and tight end Vernon Davis. Smith had just one touchdown in the game, a 30-yard completion to rookie fullback Bruce Miller in the second quarter that really sucked the wind out of the Redskins.

It was Miller's first touchdown of his career, and a video can be found here.

The Redskins offense was much, much worse than it might appear after the game. San Francisco allowed a touchdown with under two minutes left, giving Washington their best drive of the game. They only rushed three players on each play and let Helu set a franchise record for receptions by a running back. John Beck went 9-for-10 on that late drive, plus a two-point conversion. 

But it wasn't enough, the Redskins played most of the game with all kinds of offensive issues. Helu was essentially the only bright spark, as Beck was dinked and dunked his way into punting situations with regularity. Brian Orakpo and Ryan Kerrigan had good games for the Washington defense, stopping the 49ers enough times to the point where a good offense might have been able to keep the game close.

Frank Gore had over 100 yards rushing for the fifth consecutive game, becoming the only player in 49ers franchise history to do so. Gore had 107 yards on 19 carries. Alex Smith finished the game 17-for-24 for 197 yards and a touchdown against no interceptions. Helu finished with just 41 yards rushing, but had 105 yards receiving, though a lot of them came on that final drive.


49ers Vs. Redskins Score Update: SF Leads 16-3 In Fourth Quarter

The 49ers got things started in the second half with a wide receiver screen to Kyle Williams, who picks up the first down. Frank Gore breaks through the line for another first down on the following play ... it was in a formation that featured Joe Staley stacked on the right side of the line and Vernon Davis lining up at left tackle. Delanie Walker would go on to convert a second down with a 10-yard gain. Smith throws a deep ball to Davis, but Davis drops it and the 49ers end up being forced to punt, the drive stalling. It was a great throw, and Davis probably should have caught it.

The Washington Redskins took the field and Ahmad Brooks gets his fiifth sack of the season, bringing down John Beck for a three-yard loss. The drive stalls out though, and they're forced to punt. On the 49ers drive, they convert their first third down of the game with a 14 yard completion. Brian Orakpo gets a big sack on the next third down though, forcing David Akers to kick a field goal. It's good from 45 yards, and the 49ers lead 16-3.

Washington comes out and faces an early third down, but they convert it with a 13-yard completion to Hankerson. Another big play comes Roy Helu's way when Ricky Jean Francois tips a pass that goes through the air and lands in Helu's hands. He gets 17 yards on the play, the longest play of the day for Washington. Then NaVorro Bowman makes a tackle for a four yard loss, but the Redskins are called for an illegal block and it's a 15-yard penalty. Two short plays later, they're faced with a third-and-18. They pick up some good yardage, and decide to go for it on fourth down, but the play is broken up.

San Francisco leads 16-3 in the fourth quarter.


VIDEO: 49ers' Bruce Miller Scores First Career Touchdown

After a slow start and two field goals, the 49ers offense really got things going with a bang in the second quarter against the Washington Redskins. Roy Helu caught a John Beck pass and turned upfield following a stalled 49ers drive, but linebacker Patrick Willis hit him and forced a big fumble, which was recovered by safety Donte Whitner. With time running out and two timeouts left (following the referee not allowing the 49ers to take one earlier in the game, for some reason), they got ready to drive down the field.

In this instance, the phrase "drive down the field" equates to "throw a thirty yard touchdown pass to the rookie fullback on the first play of the drive." That's fullback Bruce Miller - catching the first touchdown pass of his career, which is actually his first touchdown overall. Miller has been starting in place of an injured Moran Norris, but after this route, this catch and this touchdown, do you think he'll be getting his job back?


49ers Vs. Redskins Score Update: Touchdown, Field Goals Make It 13-3 In Favor Of San Francisco At Halftime

The 49ers first drive of the second quarter stalls out after a couple big plays by Frank Gore. Alex Smith is forced to throw the ball away and David Akers comes out to kick a field goal. The 52-yard field goal is good and the 49ers take a 3-0 lead. Washington takes the field and Roy Helu has another big gain, this one of 11 yards. But a short gain and an incompletion later, and they're faced with a 3rd and 7. John Beck finds Jabar Gaffney though, on the right side all alone, and they pick up the first down.

On a third down, the Redskins pick up the first down, but there's two fouls on the play. Ahmad Brooks is called for offsides, but Trent Williams is called for unnecessary roughness, which is a fifteen yard penalty and supersedes the offsides call, so the Redskins have an even longer third down, can't pick up the yardage they need, and were forced to punt.

Michael Crabtree gets a first down completion over the middle, and then Frank Gore changes direction on a toss and picks up a first down, too. Unfortunately, the drive once again stalls out and a third down incompletion to Vernon Davis forces them to punt. Andy Lee, team MVP, puts it near the ten-yard line, though.

If you blinked, you missed John Beck getting two yards, an explosion of cheers from the crowd for that two-yard gain, and the Redskins being forced to punt. Alex Smith gets a nine-yard run and then Frank Gore explodes for a 27-yard gain after a big block from Michael Crabtree. Kendall Hunter gets close to the first down, setting them up with a 2nd and 2, and then they end up with a 3rd-and-1. Alex Smith rolls out but throws the ball away and the 49ers call a timeout to consider their options on fourth down.

They elect to go for it, but they're called for a false start, so David Akers comes out for the field goal. It's good from 34 yards and the 49ers take at 6-0 lead. The false start shouldn't have been called, because Justin Peelle was an eligible receiver on the play and was allowed to move.

The Redskins take the field, but Patrick Willis forces a fumble on Roy Helu and Donte Whitner recovers. On the first play of having the ball back, fullback Bruce Miller catches a 30-yard touchdown pass, the first of his career. After an extra point, the 49ers lead 13-0.

Washington gets a first down with a 14-yard completion to Gaffney to get things started. They did stall out though, and started running out of time, so Graham Gano attempts a 59-yard field goal. Surprisingly, it's good, and the 49ers lead is cut to 13-3.


49ers Vs. Redskins Score Update: No Score Through One Quarter

The San Francisco 49ers won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, and the Redskins took the field after a touchback. Roy Helu made the start at running back and took the first down carry, breaking out for sixteen yards, the longest run by a running back against the 49ers this season. But following that, the Redskins had two runs go for short yardage followed by a John Beck incompletion to force a punt. The 49ers take over at the 17-yard line.

San Francisco got started with a 12-yard run from Frank Gore, and then a carry by Kendall Hunter and completion to Michael Crabtree gave them a second first down. But things quickly stalled out when they were called for delay of game on third and one, and couldn't convert the longer attempt when Alex Smith was brought down by Ryan Kerrigan with a huge hit. He looks shaken up, but eventually is walking around on the sideline.

Washington takes the field again and end up with a 3rd and 4, but have to call a timeout to avoid a delay of game. John Beck throws a pass to Helu, but NaVorro Bowman on the tackle forces the incompletion and they have a three-and-out. The 49ers take the field and Michael Crabtree is immediately hit for a 21-yard gain on first down, but the 49ers end up with a 3rd and 14 after Frank Gore gets tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Smith throws to Gore, but he drops the ball and the 49ers are forced to punt.

The Redskins begin at their own three-yard line, and are helped out by a call from the referees, Justin Smith is called for defensive holding one play after almost getting an interception. So the Redskins come out, and the fullback gets a 14-yard reception and they're now moving. Another 49ers penalty gives the Redskins another first down. But Dashon Goldson comes up pick and picks off John Beck, under-cutting the route and bringing the 49ers offense back on the field.

Frank Gore rushes for nine yards and the quarter comes to an end, tied at 0-0.


49ers Vs. Redskins Inactive List: Ray McDonald, Shawntae Spencer Both Inactive Sitting

The San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins released their inactive lists for Sunday's contest and as expected the 49ers deactivated Ray McDonald for the game. The 49ers defensive end has been dealing with a hamstring injury and has not quite been able to get over it. Ricky Jean-Francois will start at left defensive end and Demarcus Dobbs will be the primary backup defensive end. Given that Dobbs does not play nose tackle, Ian Williams is active and the backup nose tackle.

The Redskins, as expected, have tight end Fred Davis active. He was limited all week but will play. Offensive tackle Trent Williams is also active as he is overcoming an ankle sprain. The other interesting news courtest of @49ers is that Roy Helu will get the start ahead of Ryan Torain.

49ers' inactive players: QB Scott Tolzien, WR Brett Swain, CB Shawntae Spencer, FB Moran Norris, OL Mike Person, OL Daniel Kilgore and DE Ray McDonald.

Redskins' inactives players: FS Oshiomogho Atogwe, WR Santana Moss, RB Tashard Choice, LB Markus White, DL Darrion Scott, OL Willie Smith, WR Donte' Stallworth

For more on the San Francisco 49ers, visit SB Nation's 49ers blog Niners Nation and SB Nation Bay Area. For more on the Washington Redskins, check out SB Nation's Redskins blog Hogs Haven and SB Nation DC.


49ers Vs. Redskins: Time, TV Schedule, Radio And More

It's week 9 of the season, and the San Francisco 49ers already appear to be running away with their division in the NFC West. This week they'll be looking to keep their strong momentum going as they travel to take on the Washington Redskins. Although the Niners are the favorites in this one, Washington is a team that's easy to underestimate. They'll be hoping that the 49ers fall into that trap.

The 49ers, meanwhile, will attempt to keep following their same game plan that has brought them so much success in 2011; relentless defense and an offense powered by Alex Smith, Frank Gore, and Michael Crabtree.

If you're wondering about the details of Sunday's game, wonder no longer. It can all be found right here.

Game Date/Time: Sunday, November 6; 10:00 am PT

Location: FedExField; Landover, Maryland

Records: 49ers (6-1); Redskins (3-4)

TV: CBS. Announcers: Kenny Albert (play-by-play); Daryl Johnston (color analyst); Tony Siragusa (sideline reporter)

Radio: The Bone 107.7 FM - KNBR 680/1050 AM. Announcers: Ted Robinson (play-by-play); Eric Davis (color analyst)

Spanish Radio: KIQI 1010/KATD 990 AM. Broadcasters: Armando Botello, Juan Carlos Sierra, Matias Godinez and
Melvin Moran

Betting Line: According to our friends over at OddsShark, the 49ers are favored by 4 points.

Online Coverage: Your faithful online home for discussing and following the San Francisco football team is Niners Nation. The Redskins contingent is likewise represented over at Hogs Haven.


49ers Vs. Redskins: Joe Staley, Anthony Davis Could Decide Game Against Brian Orakpo, Ryan Kerrigan

The 49ers offensive line has really stepped things up since looking so poor to start the season. Through the first three games, the line was poor in pass protection and run blocking. Joe Staley was making mistakes that set the team back and Anthony Davis was thoroughly abused by Jason Babin and other pass rushers, getting Alex Smith beat down with regularity. Frank Gore couldn't get yardage without help from his guys, being able to depend only on Mike Iupati. It was a sad state of affairs.

But as the rest of the team got better and started to execute offensively, the o-line improved and grew as a unit. They're not suddenly this unstoppable force, but with Staley and Davis playing better on the outside, it's covered up some errors on the inside from Jonathan Goodwin and Adam Snyder/Chilo Rachal. On Sunday though, they're set to face one of their biggest tests yet.

Brian Orakpo is a player that the 49ers passed up on in favor of Michael Crabtree some season ago, and he's been a force to be reckoned with. Orakpo has been the bright spot whenever Washington has underwhelmed, constantly on the attack and constantly a threat. He'll be lining up and going against Staley on Sunday. On the flipside, the 49ers will be hoping Aldon Smith can perform at or above the level that Orakpo has played at.

Across from Orakpo is another great player though - Ryan Kerrigan. If the 49ers feel Aldon is a defensive rookie of the year candidate, he'll get stiff competition from Kerrigan and Denver's Von Miller. Kerrigan will be working against Anthony Davis on the right side and with Orakpo, they provide a formidable test for the 49ers offensive line. Will Alex Smith be able to stay upright, and will Frank Gore be able to run the ball? The game could very well be decided by these matchups at the tackles.


Ray McDonald Doubtful, Ricky Jean Francois Should Start At LDE For 49ers Against Redskins

We've got a bit of bad news coming from the San Francisco 49ers on Friday. Defensive end Ray McDonald is listed as doubtful on the Friday injury report and is not expected to be available when the team takes on the Washington Redskins. McDonald hasn't practiced all week and left last Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns with a left hamstring strain early on. Ricky Jean Francois took over for McDonald and played well.

Jean Francois is likely to get the start at left defensive end if McDonald can't go, and while the former played well in McDonald's absence, it's a definite blow to the 49ers defense. This is McDonald's first season as a starter and has three sacks on the year, a premium for defensive ends in the 3-4 defense. Some rankings have McDonald as one of the best 3-4 ends in the NFL through the first half of the season. His impact in the run game has been felt, and he's been getting good pressure on the quarterback with regularity.

But McDonald's absence isn't likely to hurt the 49ers defense to such an extent to make them question their ability to stop the struggling Redskins offense. Jean Francois made a couple big plays against the Browns, getting in Colt McCoy's face and forcing an incompletion on one play, and teaming up with Patrick Willis to bring down Greg Little on a screen for an eight-yard loss. 

Jean Francois also spent time at nose tackle against the Browns, and started at the position in week five against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Isaac Sopoaga was out.

Demarcus Dobbs will also probably be active if McDonald can't go, and will get some snaps in place of Jean Francois when he needs a break. Dobbs had a nice play against the Browns when he entered in the nickel formation and occupied space, allowing Aldon Smith to get around and get a sack on McCoy. If Dobbs is taking snaps in place of Jean Francois, then that might mean Ian Williams is active to take some snaps in relief of Sopoaga at nose tackle.

So while the 49ers would prefer to have the breakout McDonald active on Sunday, his replacements are capable and they're going up a Redskins team that just gave up nine sacks to the Buffalo Bills in their last outing. Their quarterback situation is not ideal and they've got injured running backs aplenty. The 49ers should probably be cautious and sit McDonald even if they feel as though he can play on Sunday.


49ers vs. Redskins, Injury Report: Moran Norris Questionable, Ray McDonald Doubtful This Sunday

As the San Francisco 49ers try to get as healthy as possible before their meeting with the Washington Redskins this Sunday, a few key players were limited in Friday's practice, while defensive tackle Ray McDonald sat out with a hamstring injury, and is listed as doubtful at FedEx Field this Sunday. 

Wide receivers Michael Crabtree (foot) and Braylon Edwards (knee) were limited in practice Friday, as were cornerback Chris Culliver (shoulder), safety Dashon Goldson (knee), and fullback Moran Norris (fibula). All of them should be good to go this Sunday save for Norris, who is still listed as questionable in the injury report. He would be replaced by rookie Bruce Miller if he can't suit up this Sunday.

As for McDonald, his doubtful status means that fan favorite Ricky Jean-Francois will likely get another start in his place this Sunday, though the presence of McDonald will sorely be missed on the D-line. 

For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation to get in on the action. 


Greg Roman's Offense Isn't His, It's the '49ers Offense'

I've always been told that a great leader never accepts credit for his success, but rather places the credit on those around him. Such is the case for San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, who has been as precise as he has humble about his offensive attack this season.

"Our goal is to take all these guys who are great coaches and some of our parts just to add up to something the best we can possibly be," Roman said. "The hallmark of our offense is teamwork. That's what it is, it's teamwork."

Roman accounts the team's success with the team mentality that Coach Harbaugh has instilled around headquarters, not his game planing. The O.C. noted that he works very closely with each and every offensive coach on the team, not compartmentalizing them as separate entities. Instead they are all coming together, and directing a hungry and determined group of players:

"It all comes down to the players. We have players that want to win, and they're very talented and totally dialed in."

Coach Harbaugh earlier in the week called it Roman's offense. But Roman of course deflected the credit, calling it the "49ers" offense, and he wouldn't want it any other way. 

For more on the 49ers, head over to Niners Nation to get your fix. 


49ers Vs. Redskins: The Last Time Vernon Davis Was 'Frustrated' ...

It'd be inaccurate to say San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is disappointing this season. Davis only has 27 receptions for just under 300 yards and three touchdowns on the season, but he's been the guy that opposing defenses key in on. He's been double covered and the gameplan hasn't really centered around Alex Smith and the passing game. Running back Frank Gore is carrying the load right now, and that is suiting the 6-1 49ers just fine.

So again, Davis isn't disappointing, by any means. He's being double covered as the 49ers receivers struggle and has been kept in to block an awful lot, contributing to one of the league's best rushing attacks. But he's still a little bit frustrated. Aside from disliking the double coverage, Davis is definitely frustrated that he's not catching the ball or putting up the stats.

The thing about the Vernon Davis of now and the Vernon Davis of a few years ago is that this one is OK with it. This Vernon Davis is a team player just happy to get a win. Instead of having diva-esque frustrations, he's having the run-of-the-mill "I want to help more" kind of frustrations, while doing everything that's asked of him. Either way, he's still frustrated ... and that might be a big deal.

Last time Davis was "frustrated," he caught eight passes for 114 yards in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in week three.

Perhaps that means he's in for a big game against the Redskins, yeah? Maybe - the Redskins do have a good pass defense, though - and they haven't been giving up big games to tight ends. But neither do the Bengals.


Fantasy Football Sit/Start Projections, Week 9: Is Frank Gore The Only Fantasy Option?

The San Francisco 49ers travel to face the Washington Redskins Sunday afternoon looking to improve to 7-1. The 49ers are coming off a dominant defensive performance against the Cleveland Browns, but a less than stellar offensive performance. Frank Gore was once again the dominant force as the passing game continued to struggle.

Michael Crabtree managed his first touchdown of the season and appears to be coming on as an Alex Smith target. On the other hand, Braylon Edwards is healthy once again, which could cost Crabtree some targets. The 49ers passing offense provides some decent enough weapons, but they serve primarily as bye week fill-ins for now.

The big question mark on offense has been Vernon Davis. He has struggled to get much of anything going as the 49ers either hold him back to block or leave him to deal with double- or triple-teams. He entered the season as a top-ten or even top-give fantasy option. Through seven games it is hard to tell what to do with him. You could argue he is due for a big game, but time is running out on his must-start status.

Must Start: RB Frank Gore, TE Vernon Davis, 49ers Defense/Special Teams, K David Akers

Bye-week Fill-in: WR Michael Crabtree, WR Braylon Edwards

Desperate Starter Need: TE Delanie Walker, RB Kendall Hunter, QB Alex Smith

Leave On Waivers: Ted Ginn Jr., Kyle Williams


49ers vs. Redskins Injury Report: Ray McDonald Misses Practice Once Again

The San Francisco 49ers have been on a roll in recent weeks and they are busy preparing for the Washington Redskins. While the team has been relatively healthy this week, starting defensive end Ray McDonald missed his second consecutive practice on Thursday with an injured hamstring.

His status for Sunday's game is unknown at this point. McDonald has had a huge impact on the 49ers this season and plays a big role in the front-seven, a unit that has played very well in 2011.

Here is the complete injury report for Thursday:


Did Not Participate in Practice:

DT Ray McDonald (hamstring)

Limited Participation:

WR Michael Crabtree (foot), CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), WR Braylon Edwards (knee), S Dashon Goldson (knee), RB Moran Norris (fibula)

Full Participation:

CB Tramaine Brock (hand), CB Shawntae Spencer (toe)


Out (will not play on Sunday):

RB Tashard Choice (hamstring), WR Santana Moss (hand)

Did Not Participate:

S Oshiomogho Atogwe (toe, knee)

Limited Participation:

CB Phillip Buchanon (neck, knee), TE Fred Davis (ankle), T Trent Williams (ankle)

Full Participation:

S Reed Doughty (chest), LB London Fletcher (hamstring), LB Rocky McIntosh (ankle), TE Logan Paulsen (shoulder), RB Mike Sellers (back)


For more on the 49ers, head on over to Niners Nation.


Carlos Rogers Ready To Take On Old 'Team' When 49ers Play Redskins

When the San Francisco 49ers head to Washington to take on the Redskins, there will be at least one reunion. Cornerback Carlos Rogers was a free agent acquisition that was met with mixed reviews when the move was made. San Francisco was apparently in on the Nnamdi Asomugha sweepstakes, and then were making a play for other names like Jonathan Joseph and maybe even Antonio Cromartie.

But the signing was Rogers, considered the last of the "above average" cornerbacks on the market at the time. When Nate Clements departed for the Cincinnati Bengals, Rogers stepped in as his replacement. In Washington, he was the butt of a lot of criticism, mostly from his inability to hold on to an interception. More than one time Rogers dropped an interception that may have been able to seal the game in their favor. The fans were often out for his blood.

Rogers was always a solid cover corner though, something the fans always took for granted. He would lockdown receivers at times, do his best to minimize mistakes, and, yes, at times, would drop an interception. Honestly, that should have been good enough for Redskins fans. But it wasn't, so they were happy to see him go, and the 49ers have scooped him up.

Now Rogers is playing as well as most cornerbacks in the league and has three interceptions on the season. Apparently the 49ers defensive coaches know how to instruct a player on properly closing his fingers around a football, something that is apparently beyond the scope of Washington coaches. Rogers' three interceptions equal the amount of picks thus far from the entire Washington secondary. He's got nine passes defensed to his credit, too.

There was also recent talk of how Rogers apparently wanted out of Washington a couple seasons ago. There wasn't a ton of animosity or anything like that, but Rogers never really felt comfortable there, and his strong play in San Francisco under Jim Harbaugh and Vic Fangio is indicative of that as well. On Sunday, he'll go into Washington and play a team he never really felt was much of a team that cared about its players and concentrated on football first.


49ers vs. Redskins, Odds: Niners Run Game Drawing Bets This Sunday

If you are looking for some more specific bets to make this weekend on your favorite NFL teams, there are a few hot bets over at bodog that may or may be right up your alley. 

The San Francisco 49ers run game has been spot on this season, though their rush defense has been that much more impressive. They haven't allowed a rushing TD all season, and bodog wants you to bet on whether they will or not this week:

Will the 49ers score a Rushing TD and not allow a Rushing TD Week 9? (The 49ers are the first time in 91 years to score, but not allow a rushing touchdown in each of their first seven games of the season)     

Yes                  5/2

No                    1/4

With all the injures at the RB position out in Washington, I would say the Niners very well could keep their running game from scoring. The question is do you want to put your money up on it?

Will Frank Gore Record 125 Rushing Yards or more Week 9 for a 5th straight week?   

Yes                  +200    

No                    -300    

The 'Skins rank 21st in rushing yards allowed at over 120 a game, so I'd say this is a definite possibility here as well. Once again, does you wallet agree with you though?


NFL Picks, Week 9: 49ers Look To Improve Playoff Positioning

The San Francisco 49ers currently sit at 6-1 with a four game lead in the NFC West over the Seattle Seahawks. Their playoff odds are over 99% and they seem to be a veritable lock to win the NFC West. Although they will likely lock up the division in the not too distant future, the 49ers still have plenty beyond that worth playing for.

They currently hold the second best record in the NFC and thus have a shot at a first round bye and home field advantage. That leaves them with plenty of opportunities to do some scoreboard watching. Accordingly, we are going to have some picks of games that could impact the 49ers playoff positioning as the season moves on. We are almost through the bye weeks, which means there will be plenty of action during the coming playoff chase.

Green Bay Packers @ San Diego Chargers: While I do believe the Chargers could provide a stiff challenge to the Packers this week, I also think the Packers are going to keep on rolling. They face a tough schedule the rest of the way, but the Packers are in the zone right now. There is nothing to indicate a loss is coming anytime soon. PICK: Packers

Atlanta Falcons @ Indianapolis Colts: The Falcons are currently 4-3 and one half game back of the New Orleans Saints in the NFC South. They sit two games back of the 49ers, but remain a threat for a possible first round bye if they can get hot. They should have little trouble in Indianapolis this week. PICK: Falcons

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New Orleans Saints: The Saints are in first place and looking to move a game and a half up on the Bucs and Falcons this week. They lost in Tampa earlier this season, but should be able to even it up in New Orleans this Sunday. They are a stiff challenge to the 49ers first round by chances, but their loss in St. Louis shook that up pretty well. PICK: Saints

New York Giants @ New England Patriots: The Giants are one game back of the 49ers for that second first round bye and face a tough battle in Foxboro. This is a tough one to pick and I actually think it will go down to the wire, but home field edge should help the Patriots, if just barely. PICK: Patriots

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys: This basically is the last stand for the Seattle Seahawks. They are four games back of the 49ers with nine games to go. The odds of a comeback are fairly astronomical, but they have to start somewhere. I don't think it happens, but crazy things happen from time to time. PICK: Cowboys

St. Louis Rams @ Arizona Cardinals: The battle for last place. The Rams seem like the second best team in the division, although that doesn't say a whole lot given the state of the Rams, Cardinals and Seahawks. But I actually think St. Louis ends the season in second place. PICK: Rams


Aldon Smith Named Defensive Rookie Of The Month

San Francisco 49ers rookie Aldon Smith is making noise just a handful of games into his NFL career. Smith becomes the first 49ers rookie since Patrick Willis in 2007 to win defensive rookie of the month honors.

The seventh overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, Smith has recorded 6.5 sacks after San Francisco's first seven games. Smith didn't register a single sack during the team's first three games (all in September) but recorded between 1.0 and 2.5 sacks in each of the team's four contests in October to ring up his impressive total.

Smith also had 13 tackles and a safety during his October campaign. If he maintains his pace, Smith could log roughly 15 sacks by year's end.

Though young, Smith has become a central part of San Francisco's defense. The rookie has yet to start a game and could become all the more dangerous once he gets into the starting lineup. If Smith can continue producing at the same level that he is playing at right now, he could solidify his role as one of the most fearsome pass rushers in the league.


49ers Vs. Redskins Injury Report: Michael Crabtree And Braylon Edwards Limited On Wednesday

The San Francisco 49ers take to the road to face the Washington Redskins this weekend. Both sides appear to be largely healthy, though the 49ers wide receivers continue to rest up during practice.

Two 49ers- defensive tackles Ray McDonald (hamstring) and Justin Smith (not injury related)- failed to practice on Wednesday. Meanwhile, five players were limited during practice: wide receiver Michael Crabtree (foot), cornerback Chris Culliver (shoulder), wide receiver Braylon Edwards (knee), safety Dashon Goldson (knee) and running back Moran Norris (fibula).

Crabtree and Edwards have been dealt with injuries this season and continue to work through them by resting during the week. Both players played last week against the Cleveland Browns and led the 49ers pass attack with 54 receiving yards and one touchdown for Crabtree and 42 receiving yards for Edwards.

The Redskins are also struggling with injuries to their offense. Running back Tashard Choice (hamstring) and wide receiver Santana Moss (hand) were out on Wednesday and will not play on Sunday.

Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe (toe, knee) and tight end Fred Davis (ankle) did not practice on Wednesday either but have not been ruled out for Sunday. Redskins cornerback Phillip Buchanon (neck, knee), linebacker London Fletcher (hamstring) and tackle Trent Williams (ankle) were limited participants.

The 49ers should have most, if not all, of their players on the field on Sunday. San Francisco will take aim at its sixth straight win against the Redskins.


49ers Vs. Redskins Odds: San Francisco Enters As Slight Favorites

The San Francisco 49ers are in the middle of a special season, moving to 6-1 and maintaining their firm grip of the NFC West last week with a 20-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns. This week, the 49ers head east to take on the struggling Washington Redskins (3-4). The odds place the 49ers as 3 to 4.5-point favorites, according to Odds Shark.

The line may be a little too generous in favor of the Redskins. Washington is in the middle of a three-game losing streak with lots of controversy swirling around its quarterback situation. Both Rex Grossman and John Beck have struggled this season, and their inconsistent play is taking its toll on the offense. The Redskins didn't score at all against the Buffalo Bills last week and are averaging just 11.0 points over their past three contests.

By comparison, the 49ers are averaging 31.0 points over their last three games. San Francisco's defense has also suffocated opponents all season, ranking 10th in the league in total yards allowed and first in total rushing yards allowed.

The 49ers are in good position to take over this game on the road and add to their fine season. If the Redskins do not solve their inconsistent quarterback problems, the 49ers should easily cover the spread.


49ers Vs. Redskins NFL Schedule Preview: Aldon Smith Has Sight Set On Big Game

The San Francisco 49ers are 6-1 and firmly atop the NFC West. They're skyrocketing up NFL power rankings and are heading to Washington to take on the Redskins on Sunday. For more on the game and the team in general, go to Niners Nation.

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