Found December 31, 2012 on
San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay Packers
There's a downside to receiver Michael Crabtree's career-best performance in the San Francisco 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
The 172 receiving yards and two touchdowns tossed his way by quarterback Colin Kaepernick may reveal just how one-dimensional the 49ers offense has become, hardly the image a Super Bowl contender wants to carry into the playoffs.
"I thought Michael and Kaepernick really got us going," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "That was a great spark those two guys gave us. We have belief and confidence in a lot of guys."
But that cast has shrunk in recent weeks due to injuries, making Sunday's victory all that more vital. The win clinched a second consecutive NFC West title for the 49ers and about a half-an-hour later they secured the No. 2 seed in the NFC -- and the first-round bye that comes with it -- as the Minnesota Vikings edged the Green Bay Packers, 37-34.
The 49ers are slated to host the Divisional Playoff game at Candlestick Park Jan. 12 at 8 p.m. ET, a game that will be broadcast on FOX.
"I think the biggest thing is (to) get healthy," Kaepernick said. "We're going to have a little time off. A little time to rest and then go get ready."
Receiver Mario Manningham suffered a season-ending knee injury a week ago in a 42-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The 49ers have already lost receiver and returner Kyle Williams (ACL) and running back Kendall Hunter (Achilles) for the season.
"We have less options than we had at the beginning of the year," 49ers center Jonathan Goodwin said. "Other teams know that. It's nothing we haven't had to deal with before."
A week after suffering a concussion, tight end Vernon Davis was cleared on Saturday and had one reception for 5 yards in a limited role.
"Just having Vernon out there is helping the offense," Gore said. "They have different looks with Vernon on the field. He is one of the best tight ends in the league (and) one of the fastest."
Couple the injuries together with receiver Randy Moss not being a viable threat and Kaepernick almost had no choice but to throw Crabtree's way. Kaepernick targeted Crabtree 13 times on 29 pass attempts (44.8 percent); Crabtree accounted for 62.3 percent of Kaepernick's passing yardage.
"He's a playmaker," said Kaepernick, whose 276 yards passing set a career-high for the second-year pro. "You put the ball in his hands and he's going to do something with it. We're trying to put the ball in his hands to see what he can do."
The first breakthrough -- which came as the Cardinals led 6-0 -- was a 49-yard pass play in the second quarter. Crabtree's other TD was a 7-yard reception in the third quarter.
"My dude (Kaepernick) made it happen," said Crabtree, who surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in a season for the first time. "I'm just going out there, running routes, catching the ball until I make a play."
The 49ers offense could share more of the burden with All-Pro defensive lineman Justin Smith (partially torn triceps) injured and kicker David Akers struggling.
Smith was out for the second game in a row, but is expected to be back for the postseason. It's not clear the same can be said for Akers, who missed two goals (40 and 44 yards) and has been among the league's most inaccurate kickers this season.
"We'll evaluate the position," Harbaugh said. "It's his job to make field goals."
Crabtree said he's ready for the increased load if it comes to it in a couple weeks.
His one reception for three yards was the lone catch by 49ers receivers in last season's NFC title game loss, as quarterback Alex Smith -- who lost the starting job in Week 9 this season after he missed time with a concussion -- was forced to rely on Davis and Gore through the air.
"With how bad I did last year, in my opinion, I feel like I didn't do what I was supposed to do," Crabtree said. "I feel like I get another chance."
BEST OF MAXIM
With David Akers missing two field goals during Sunday’s win over the Cardinals, 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh acknowledged that they’re going to “evaluate” their kicking situation. “I don’t know if we have to,” Harbaugh said when asked about possibly changing kickers. “We’ll evaluate the position. It’s his job to make the field goals.” As much as people don’t...
The San Francisco 49ers parted ways for good with running back Brandon Jacobs on Monday, an expected move after the outspoken player was suspended for the final three regular-season games.
The team said that even if Jacobs were to be claimed by another team off waivers, he would not be eligible to play during the postseason and only once the Super Bowl was done - so, that certainly...
David Akers has not been great as the 49ers’ kicker this season.
He nailed a record-tying 63-yard field goal in the season opener (which led to a bit in Sports Illustrated’s expose on 63-yarders) but soon tumbled back to the uneven form that led to his exit from the Eagles after the 2010 season. He has missed 13 field goals this year, including four in the last three games, and...
The San Francisco 49ers announced on Monday that they have waived running back Brandon Jacobs, ending a relationship that was rocky from the start. Jacobs, who signed with the 49ers last April after playing the 2011 season with the New York Giants, appeared in two games for the 49ers and had seven yards on five carries. He was suspended by the team for the final three regular...
During an interview with the media, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis didn’t sound very optimistic that he’ll play in tomorrow’s game against the Cardinals.
At various points during Friday’s interview, Davis said he felt “OK” and “all right” and acknowledged “taking it easy” during practice. He sounded not at all like a player expecting to return to action.
As Jim Harbaugh sent his players into a mandatory three-day break to ''rest their minds, rest their bodies,'' San Francisco's coach and his staff began playoff preparations for the NFC divisional round in less than two weeks.
Specifically, the two-time reigning NFC West champions will focus much of their efforts on the Washington Redskins - the one team among...
First off thank you Minnesota Vikings. They got the 49ers the No.2 seed and a playoff bye. The Vikings needed to win to make playoffs but more importantly that win gave the 49ers a much needed bye.
Now onto the 49ers game. The 49ers needed the win over the Cardinals to win the West and it started off slow, but they got clicking on all sides of the ball and beat the Cardinals 27-13...
The San Francisco 49ers have the luxury of having a bye week in the 2012-2013 NFL Playoffs, following a comeback win against the Arizona Cardinals coupled with a loss by the Green Bay Packers which will set up a wild card matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. While many teams will enjoy the first round bye to rest some players, the 49ers will use it to evaluate players and bring...
The NFC West belongs to the San Francisco 49ers once again. The Niners cruised past the Cardinals, while the playoff-bound Seahawks topped the Rams.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (concussion) is active Sunday against the Cardinals.Fantasy Spin:Fantasy owners should look elsewhere. The 49ers tight end has just five catches on 10 targets over his last five games.
While defensive end Justin Smith is doubtful to play today
against the Arizona Cardinals, tight end Vernon Davis is questionable after
being cleared to return to practice earlier in the week, reports Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com.
Niners defensive tackle Justin Smith (triceps) says he’ll
be ready to play next week, but he's doubtful for Sunday's regular-season finale
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is active Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, according to NFL.com. Davis sustained a concussion last Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and was listed as questionable on the team's injury report. He wore a non-contact jersey during practice Friday and had to pass a concussion test before he could be cleared.
Just two months ago, the 49ers grabbed control of the NFC West from the Arizona Cardinals behind Alex Smith's near perfect performance on a Monday night in the desert. Oh, how much has changed since.
SAN FRANCISCO -- The San Francisco 49ers held a pair of celebrations Sunday at Candlestick Park. After beating the Arizona Cardinals 27-13 and capturing their second straight NFC West title, the 49ers celebrated on the field. Then minutes later in their locker room, the 49ers watched on television as Minnesota beat Green Bay 37-34 with a last-second field goal, giving the 49ers...
SAN FRANCISCO -- Wide receiver Michael Crabtree caught eight passes for a career-high 172 yards and two touchdowns Sunday at Candlestick Park, as the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-13 to capture their second consecutive NFC West title. The 49ers (11-4-1) would earn the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC and a first-round bye if the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green...