Tag Archives: Patrick Willis

49ers NFC Championship grades: Defense and special teams

ATLANTA – The 49ers beat the Falcons 28-24. The 49ers are going to the Super Bowl. Here are the grades for the 49ers’ defense and special teams. Defensive line: B. Justin Smith and Ray McDonald didn’t get much pressure on Ryan, but in the second half they were able to push the pocket up the […]

Three keys to the game for the 49ers and the Falcons

This is the opening to my Saturday article on the keys to the game for the 49ers and the Falcons. The Falcons need a miracle to beat the 49ers this Sunday. That’s the consensus of NFL critics. The Falcons need a fire alarm to go off in the 49ers’ hotel at 3 a.m. They need […]

Harbaugh on the Falcons: “They’re solid in every regard.”

SANTA CLARA – This is the transcript of Jim Harbaugh’s Monday press conference, courtesy of the 49ers.   How did DT Justin Smith make it through the game? “Good. Played well. Came out of the game as clean as possible.”   And did you expect him to kind of pick up where he left off? […]

49ers divisional playoff grades: Defense and special teams

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers massacred the Packers 45-31 on Saturday night. Here is the grade for the 49ers defense and special teams. Defensive line: B+. Justin Smith played 53 snaps, 91 percent of the defensive snaps. That alone is impressive. He couldn’t use his injured left arm, but the Packers still double teamed him, […]

49ers Week 17 grades: Defense and special teams

SAN FRANCISCO – The 49ers stomped the Cardinals 27-13. Here are the grades for the 49ers defense and special teams. Defensive line: B. Ricky Jean Francois had a team-high six tackles (one for a loss), a sack and a QB hit. He played well. Ray McDonald didn’t get any sacks or tackles for loss, but […]

Why the 49ers-Cardinals game matters

There are two reasons why this game against the Arizona Cardinals matters deeply to the 49ers. First, there are playoff implications. If the 49ers win, they’ll be 11-4-1. They’ll get the No.2 seed and a first-round Bye if the Packers lose to the Vikings. If the Packers beat the Vikings, the 49ers get the No.3 […]

Loss of Justin Smith could be more than just physical

The 49ers have a big problem with Justin Smith. Even if he is able to play in the playoffs, a triceps injury is very painful, especially when the elbow gets beyond a normal range of motion. The 49ers probably would have to brace his arm and restrict how far he can extend it. This would […]