The first thing the 49ers should do in the offseason is re-sign Alex Smith to a multiyear contract.
I’m sure Alex will be willing. He’s had two chances to leave the Niners, but has returned each time. The first time was after the 2008 season, when then general manager Scot McCloughan said he’d either have to accept a restructured contract, at a lower salary, or leave as a free agent. He stayed.
The second time was last February, when he was a free agent, but Jim Harbaugh asked him to come back. After the lockout ended, Alex signed a one-year contract. Read More
If securing an NFC Championship Game at home was something on Jim Harbaugh’s checklist, then the rookie coach probably had a reason to root for the underdog in the other NFC divisional matchup over the weekend.
"I never really root," the 49ers coach confessed, acknowledging possible danger. "It’s almost like one of those things — be careful what you wish for ... and if I ever do root in a game, it’s always for the team that’s playing harder." Read More
For the first time since January of 1998, the NFC championship game will be returning to Candlestick Park.The 49ers will host the New York Giants, who knocked off the defending champion Green Bay Packers 37-20 on Sunday, on Jan. 22 for the right to go to the Super Bowl.The 49ers are the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, while the Giants are the No. 4 seed. Read More
Defense has been the backbone of the dramatic turnaround the 49ers have made this season, so it only seems fitting it played a huge role in Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game.
The game will be remembered for Alex Smith’s fourth-quarter heroics, but none of that would have been possible without the ball-hawking defense. Read More
Edward Coble has only missed six home games in the past 60 years — that’s one per decade, as he points out. The 49ers’ first playoff game in nine years wasn’t going to be one of them.
For more photos from pre-game tailgating at Candlestick Park, click on the photo to the right.
The 86-year-old San Francisco native has been a 49ers fan for as long as that’s been possible. He went to his first game in 1946, out at Kezar Stadium, and has been a ticket-holder since 1951, since he could afford it. Read More
Five months ago, when the 49ers and New Orleans Saints met in the first game of the preseason, few would have imagined the two would see each other again in the playoffs. While it was just an exhibition game, the Saints humbled the 49ers 24-3 and had many thinking San Francisco was the leader in the clubhouse for the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Read More
Much like the Green Bay Packers last season, the New Orleans Saints entered the postseason as the hot team.
The Packers, who won three road playoff games last year, were able to turn the momentum they gained late in the season last year into a Super Bowl championship.
On Saturday at Candlestick Park against the 49ers in an NFC divisional playoff game, New Orleans will see if it can keep pace.
“It’s a very formidable challenge for our team on both sides of the ball and special teams this week,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. Read More
Honestly, the comeback of Alex Smith stands incomplete.
After seasons of ridicule for his struggles to become the next 49ers quarterback in the line measured by Joe Montana and Steve Young, Smith’s Comeback Player of the Year-type season has been filled with hollow applause.
That’s because, up until now, Smith has heard more about what he hasn’t done than what he’s done.
Basically, Smith has been credited with not screwing up this Niners season, for not making the bone-headed mistake that might have bounced the 49ers off their 13-3 regular-season run. Read More
Will 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio go to the blitz more in Saturday’s playoff game against the New Orleans Saints?
Fangio has been known in the past for the variety and frequency of his blitz calls. This year, he has usually depended on his linemen, especially veteran defensive end Justin Smith, a Pro Bowl choice, and rookie Aldon Smith to apply pressure. Read More
They get one shot. That was the reminder from the man who has helped enable them to gain that shot, Jim Harbaugh.
“It’s special being in the playoffs,” said Harbaugh, the 49ers rookie coach.
Special because they haven’t been there for years. Special because six months ago, when the lockout ended and the Harbaugh regime started, few believed the playoffs were possible.
But here they are, in a game that is a chess match, a wrestling match, a delightful contrast in styles. Read More