NEW ORLEANS - Through 13 games of the regular season, Aldon Smith was a one-man wrecking ball.
The second-year 49ers linebacker was wreaking havoc on opposing offenses, using his lightning-quick speed and underrated power to muscle past linemen and drag down quarterbacks with ease. In all, he had 19½ sacks, well on his way to eclipsing the NFL’s all-time record.
But fast-forward to Super Bowl XLVII week and Smith hasn’t sniffed a sack since. The 6-foot-4, 258-pounder has gone 0-for the three regular season and two playoff games since. Read More
Over the next week and a half leading up to Super Bowl XLVII, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh’s story will be told a nauseating amount of times. And frankly, it should be. The turnaround he has engineered in two short years to restore a once-proud franchise to all its glory has been nothing short of miraculous.
But in all the Harbowl buzz, it’s easy to overlook the puppeteer behind the scenes: Niners general manager Trent Baalke. Read More
If we learned anything after 16 regular-season games and last week’s divisional playoff round, the 49ers will be making travel arrangements for New Orleans and Super Bowl XLVII about 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
While San Francisco still has to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome on Sunday, it’s a mere formality at this point. Read More
After the Big Game was forced to be played in mid-October in 2012, it will be back to its traditional late-November slot in 2013.
The Pac-12 Conference unveiled its 2013 schedule on Thursday and the annual rivalry game between Stanford and Cal is slated for Nov. 23 at Stanford Stadium. 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
More than a third of the season has passed, and the Warriors have emerged as the most surprising story in the NBA. They have compiled a 21-10 record, shown the ability to win on the road and dramatically improved defensively.
The secret is out. The Warriors are for real.
At this point, there is enough of a sample size to say anything less than a playoff spot would be a disappointment. Golden State has started off seasons with promise before, so skepticism is expected. One playoff berth since 1994 has a way of making doubting as natural as blinking. Read More
As the calendar is set to turn from 2012 to 2013, the Bay Area is basking in pro sports glory. The Niners have locked up another playoff spot, the Giants are reveling in their World Series win and the A’s are still soaked in Champagne from their run to the AL West crown. Even the seemingly always-dreadful Warriors are off to their best start in years. The most consistent franchise, the Sharks, would probably be winning too, if they were playing.
The one black eye in the Bay Area? The Raaaiders.
“Just win, baby,” has turned into, “Just take it on the chin, baby.” Read More
After 14 regular-season games, the 49ers have shown stretches of brilliance, moments of weakness and everything in between.
But over the next two weeks, we’ll learn exactly who the 49ers are and whether another deep playoff run is in the cards.
The 49ers hit the road for consecutive Sunday night showdowns against the New England Patriots — fresh off their 42-14 thrashing of the Houston Texans on Monday — and the Seattle Seahawks before closing out the season at home with the hapless Arizona Cardinals, a game a Pop Warner team could win. Read More
It’s December, the Warriors have the fifth-best record in the Western Conference and they’re fifth in the NBA in rebounding. Maybe the Mayans were right after all.
While it’s still very, very early in the NBA season, the signs coming from Oakland have been extremely encouraging.After years of the run-and-gun style of Don Nelson, coach Mark Jackson’s vision for his team is starting to come to fruition. Read More
When the 49ers’ official depth chart was released Tuesday, the starting quarterback was listed as “Alex Smith or Colin Kaepernick.”
That type of clarity is what we’ve come to expect from the 49ers since Smith went down with a concussion Nov. 11 and Kaepernick rode in on his white horse.
When news surfaced Tuesday that Warriors center Andrew Bogut wouldn’t be making the team’s upcoming road trip starting Friday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, only one thought came to mind: Good.
While it certainly means Bogut will be out longer than the seven to 10 days Golden State laid out Nov. 8 for the Aussie big man to rest his surgically repaired left ankle, it’s a refreshing sign of caution. That’s something that obviously hasn’t been exercised with Bogut and that precious ankle up to this point.
Before the sweet smell of Champagne has even dissipated from the Giants’ clubhouse after they clinched the NL pennant, it’s already time for the first pitch of the World Series.
And you know what that means: time for the Giants to be written off once again.
Las Vegas sportsbooks have pegged the Detroit Tigers as the favorites to win the World Series. And they’re not alone. Read More
Two playoff starts, two mediocre performances.
That’s been the story thus far for the Giants’ Matt Cain, who draws the tough assignment today of trying to shut down the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series in front of their rabid fan base.
After a dazzling effort in 2010 in which he didn’t allow a single earned run in 21¹⁄³ postseason innings — shutting down one potent lineup after another — much was expected of Cain when the calender turned to October.
While it’s way, way too soon for 49ers fans to panic after Sunday’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings — the Niners are still clearly among the NFL’s elite teams — one red flag worth monitoring has certainly popped up through three games.
The much-ballyhooed overhaul the 49ers made to their offensive skill positions in the offseason has yet to yield the expected results.
No long bombs to Randy Moss. No signs of LaMichael James darting through defenders and going 60 yards for a score. No Mario Manningham turning a short crossing route into a highlight touchdown. Read More
What was once a statement that would be mocked and chided has now become inevitable: The A’s will make the playoffs in 2012.
Yes, it’s hardly official with 16 games left and a tough 10-game road trip facing the A’s. But entering today’s game against the Detroit Tigers, Oakland owns a 1½-game edge over the Baltimore Orioles for the top wild-card spot and, more importantly, a 4½-game lead on the Los Angeles Angels for the all-important second wild-card berth. Read More