49ers key matchup No. 2: Goldson vs. Stafford


49ers key matchup No. 2: Goldson vs. Stafford

(This is the second part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Lions matchups to watch Sunday, 5:20 p.m. (NBC-TV), at Candlestick Park.

Key matchup No. 3: Patrick Willis vs. Brandon Pettigrew
49ers FS Dashon Goldson vs. Lions QB Matthew StaffordTale of the tape
Goldson (38): 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, sixth season, Washington
Stafford (9): 6-foot-3, 232 pounds, fourth season, GeorgiaThis is a matchup that features two big-play players.
Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford and 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson have been known to take some chances, and that means a big play could happen for either side when these two are involved.There is no denying Stafford's big-play potential. He threw for 355 yards in the Lions' 27-23 victory over the St. Louis Rams in Week 1 to become the second player in NFL history to pass for at least 350 yards in four consecutive games (Drew Brees, 4 in 2011)."He can make plays at any time," Goldson said. "He's got the arm to get it there, and he's got the weapons. I'm sure he's done his study."Stafford led the Lions on a late scoring drive for the winning points to enable the Lions to open with a victory. But he also gave the Rams plenty of chances with one interception at the goal line, another inside the Rams' 20-yard line, and one more that resulted in cornerback Cortland Finnegan's 31-yard interception return for a touchdown before the half."Watching what he did last week, he forces the ball in there a lot," Goldson said. "He's still a good quarterback. He's got a strong arm. You can't sleep on him. But there's definitely going to be something out there."Goldson, whom the 49ers retained on a one-year, 6.2 million tender as their franchise player, recorded six interceptions last season to share team-high honors with cornerback Carlos Rogers. He also forced one fumble and recovered one.However, Goldson is also known to take a gamble from time to time and give up a play. He left his responsibility in the end zone in the 49ers' quarters coverage in Week 1 to leave Green Bay receiver James Jones all alone for a 10-yard touchdown.Goldson should have plenty of action come his way in the 49ers' secondary, as he will likely be over the top in coverage against All-Pro wide receiver Calvin Johnson on multiple occasions.

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care


Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.