49ers burned by fakes, Akers slumping, knowing OT rules, etc.


49ers burned by fakes, Akers slumping, knowing OT rules, etc.

SAN FRANCISCO -- The 49ers fell victims to two passes thrown by St. Louis Rams punter Johnny Hekker, including a fake punt to keep a late drive alive. The Rams went on to score a touchdown in the eventual 24-24 tie on Sunday.
Faced with a fourth-and-8 from the St. Louis 33, the Rams ran a fake in which Danny Amendola, the gunner on the left side, drew the 49ers the other way when he motioned behind Hekker.Hekker then hit Lance Kendricks with the misdirection pass that picked up 18 yards before Perrish Cox came up to make the tackle."It was an alert all week," Harbaugh said. "The Rams are a fake team. They like to run fakes, they run them very well. (I) wish, in hindsight, we'd been in a better position to defend the fake. We didn't anticipate they'd run a fake at that point."That play kept alive a drive that turned into a 14-play, 81-yard march that culminated with a touchdown that gave the Rams a 24-21 lead with 1:03 remaining in regulation. The 49ers tied the game with a field goal in the closing seconds.Just prior to the end of the first half, Hekker hit rookie safety Rodney McLeod for a 21-yard pass out of his own end zone. Hekker threw to McLeod when he saw Chris Culliver abandon McLeod to attempt to block a punt."When we run the rush we run, you understand that they could do exactly what they did and you roll the dice that they won't do it, as far backed up as they are," Harbaugh said."I wouldn't say we were daring them into it. We felt we were playing the percentages to rush and block the punt. And they executed as well as you can and made a great play."The play did not figure into the scoring, as the Rams ran three more plays before the first half expired.AKERS' STRUGGLES: Kicker David Akers, who set an NFL record with 44 field goals last season and began this season strong, has fallen into a slump. Akers has missed six of his last 15 field-goal attempts.Akers' 33-yard field goal with :03 remaining in regulation sent the game into overtime. But Akers missed a 41-yard attempt in overtime that would've provided the 49ers with a victory over the Rams.Akers, a 14-year professional, did not stick around to answer questions from the media after Sunday's game. When asked if he believes Akers has an issue with his confidence, Harbaugh said, "No, not that I'm aware of."Harbaugh added, "I've not pin-pointed any reason there. I have indications that he's not confident."Akers made his first six field-goal attempts of the season, including a NFL-record-tying 63-yarder in the 49ers' opening victory over the Green Bay Packers. He is 15 of 21 for the season. Last season he made 44 of 52 tries.WILLIAMS THE BACKUP PLAN: The 49ers suited up two quarterbacks as part of their 46-man game day roster. So after starter Alex Smith exited with his concussion, Colin Kaepernick was the only quarterback in uniform.Scott Tolzien was not eligible to play at any point. He was named as one of the team's seven inactive players.So who was the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback? Wide receiver Kyle Williams, Harbaugh said. When asked how much time the 49ers have prepared for the event that Williams was needed in an emergency role, Harbaugh answered, "Minimal."KNOWING THE RULES: Safety Dashon Goldson said afterward he was surprised that the game ended in a tie. When asked if it's important for everyone to know the rules, Harbaugh answered, "Yeah, I think that's important for everyone to know, especially the situation we're in. That's why we called the prevent defense at the very end, for that purpose."

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions


Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”

Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates


Joe Montana: Dwight Clark appreciates all the support from former teammates

More than 35 players from the 49ers’ first Super Bowl champion will be in attendance on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium to show support for Dwight Clark, who revealed in March he was diagnosed with ALS.

Clark, 60, will have ample opportunity to reconnect with some of his old friends on Saturday evening and again on Sunday. At halftime, Joe Montana, surrounded by most of the 49ers' 1981 team, will introduce Clark before a video tribute.

Clark is also expected to make some remarks while situated in a suite for the 49ers’ game against the Dallas Cowboys.

Montana and his wife, Jennifer, have remained in close contact with Clark and his wife, Kelly. The Clarks recently watched the Blue Angels in San Francisco with the Montanas during Fleet Week.

“He’s getting pretty inundated with everyone staying in touch with him at this point,” Montana said on The 49ers Insider Podcast.

“It’s fun for him. At one point, he was telling his wife, Kelly, ‘This is what it’s all about. This is what I want and what I miss, seeing the guys.’ So any of the guys reaching out to him, he surely appreciates it.”

Montana said Clark has not lost his positive outlook or his sense of humor, as evidenced by some not-fit-for-print words he recently had about his wheelchair. Montana said there are always some good laughs and stories any time Clark gets together with his friends.

“That’s the fun part," Montana said. “You just try to get him to forget what’s there, and that you’re there for him whenever. I think the support is the biggest thing right now. In that stage of ALS, it's got to be getting tough, where all of a sudden, things are becoming more and more difficult.”