There’s no questioning how badly Billy Cundiff wants another chance in the playoffs after the way last season ended.
Cundiff and the Baltimore Ravens stayed home after he missed a potential tying 32-yard field goal in the closing seconds of the AFC Championship Game and New England went to the Super Bowl last season instead.
These days, Cundiff has no qualms discussing his greatest career disappointment. He hopes to soon make a new impression on the NFL’s postseason — succeeding as San Francisco’s starting kicker. Read More
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Just ask the 49ers.
One year ago, the Niners needed a quarterback making his first NFL playoff start to stand toe-to-toe against an elite, Super Bowl-winning QB in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs. Now, the scenario is playing itself out once again.
While the opponent is different, and the name on the back of the jersey for San Francisco’s QB will say Kaepernick instead of Smith, what was true last season remains true today. Read More
SANTA CLARA — David Akers and Billy Cundiff were taking their competition to be San Francisco’s playoff kicker to Candlestick Park on Monday.
Coach Jim Harbaugh said there’s a “good chance” both kickers will be on the roster for Saturday’s NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers, though he didn’t specify whether each would be among the 46 active players but did say “that’s conceivable.” Harbaugh indicated one of the two has already earned a lead for the job but wouldn’t say who it is. Read More
SANTA CLARA — Andy Lee’s nerves came on a full day before the 49ers’ playoff opener a year ago, not just leading up to his first punt as is typically the case each game. Tight end Vernon Davis was surprised at his butterflies stepping onto the NFL’s big stage for the first time, too.
Last January, most of the 49ers had never been part of a playoff game and were suiting up for a rookie NFL coach. So much was made of the playoff inexperience at the time. Now, it’s just the opposite. Read More
Did the 49ers catch a break by drawing the 2010 Super Bowl champions for next week’s NFC divisional-round playoff game at Candlestick Park?
With the uncertainty surrounding Justin Smith’s health, some are suggesting that the 49ers are actually better suited to take on the high-flying Green Bay Packers than the ground-gashing Seattle Seahawks. Here’s the argument in a nutshell: Vic Fangio’s run defense is vulnerable with a one-armed Cowboy on the line; thus, Marshawn Lynch’s legs pose a greater threat than Aaron Rodgers’ one-dimensional Packers. Read More
The 49ers can toss their film from the season opener against Green Bay in the trash for as much good as it will do now.
Cedric Benson is gone, and the Packers’ running game is now powered by DuJuan Harris and Ryan Grant — neither of whom was on the roster Dec. 1, let alone back in September.
Randall Cobb, whose 75-yard punt return gave the Packers a fleeting chance late in the 30-22 victory by San Francisco, is now one of Aaron Rodgers’ favorite receivers. Read More
He caught six passes, including one for a score, the night he emphatically declared quarterback Colin Kaepernick “the man.”
But since his 83-yard receiving night in the 32-7 route against the Chicago Bears in mid-November — a team that was then projected to be in the postseason — Vernon Davis hasn’t been the preferred target of his precocious passer.
Six games and six Kaepernick starts removed from one of his best performances of the season, Davis hasn’t scored since. And he’s only amassed six receptions since. Read More
San Francisco 49ers’ director of player personnel Tom Gamble has emerged as the top candidate for the New York Jets’ general manager job, ESPN reported Sunday.Gamble interviewed for the job on Saturday.The job opened up when the Jets fired Mike Tannenbaum last week.Gamble reportedly declined a second interview with the Jacksonville Jaguars so he could concentrate on the Jets’ job. Read More
Deep on offense and scary-good on defense, the Green Bay Packers were way too much for the Minnesota Vikings.Maybe everyone else in the NFC, too.Aaron Rodgers, Charles Woodson and the Packers reminded everyone of how dangerous they can be when they’re at full strength Saturday night, overwhelming the Vikings 24-10 in an NFC wild-card game that was never really close.“Our defense played great,” Rodgers said. “Our defense tonight played at a championship level and that’s what you need in the playoffs.” Read More
Billy Cundiff, sporting a crisp, new white No. 6 jersey, had an impressive first day of practice with the 49ers while kicking alongside struggling veteran David Akers as coach Jim Harbaugh watched closely.
Cundiff signed a one-year contract Tuesday with the NFC West champion Niners (11-4-1) to compete with Akers as Harbaugh and his staff determine who will handle the kicking duties for San Francisco in the NFC divisional playoffs Jan. 12 at Candlestick Park. Read More