Patrick Willis believes the 49ers can still be a great defense even without All-Pro tackle Justin Smith.The 49ers might have to spend the rest of this season finding out whether or not Willis, their All-Pro linebacker and defensive leader, is correct.Smith is unlikely to play Sunday in the regular-season finale against Arizona because of a partially torn left triceps. The injury could force Smith to miss some or all of the postseason. Read More
To most, the headline for the game Sunday is Lions vs. 49ers, a battle between two young and dynamic contenders in the NFC. It’s Jim Harbaugh vs. Jim Schwartz, two young and brash head coaches whose post-game handshake at the end of last season’s game nearly triggered a brawl.
Still to others, it’s Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and the Lions’ explosive offense vs. the 49ers’ punishing and unyielding defense. Read More
The fortunes of professional sports teams are fickle. Take the Bay Area, for example. The Giants are early into what appears to be another decade of success following the disappointment of 2011. The frugal A’s are in the midst of an unlikely playoff push following years of inadequacy. The Warriors, largely hapless since the 2006-07 “We Believe” season, have rebuilt virtually their entire program in the past year. Read More
Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers may not be handed the hardware they really wanted this weekend, but it’s very likely they will walk away with at least one award during the NFL honors show on Saturday.
“I’ve said so often how proud I was of this team. I thought they played their hearts out,” Harbaugh said after the season. “I thought we were a well-coached team. Be very proud of our guys.” Read More
The 49ers had three defensive players and two specialists, placing an NFL-best five on The Associated Press’ All-Pro team Friday.
Linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman and defensive tackle Justin Smith along with punter Andy Lee and record-setting kicker David Akers were voted onto the honor squad. Smith also received votes at defensive end, finish third and missing All-Pro status at a second spot. A panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL votes on the team. Read More
The 49ers’ 20-3 win over Pittsburgh on Monday night had great individual performances, but the combined efforts of the three Smiths carried the day and Jim Harbaugh had high praise for the trio Tuesday.
Alex Smith threw for 187 yards on 18-for-31 passing and Harbaugh said he is not only a Pro Bowler, but his quarterback of the future. Read More