49ers

49ers ugly in 34-7 beating from San Diego

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49ers ugly in 34-7 beating from San Diego

Dec. 16, 2010

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SANDIEGO (AP) The San Diego Chargers have regained their December swagger,thanks to Vincent Jackson's return and a smash-mouth defense.Jackson caught a career-high threetouchdown passes, Philip Rivers surpassed 4,000 yards passing for thethird straight season and the Chargers beat Alex Smith and the SanFrancisco 49ers 34-7 on Thursday night to stay alive in the AFC Westrace.Jackson reminded the Chargers just what they missed when he sat out 10 games during a nasty contract dispute."Since I've been here, it's like Ihad never left," said Jackson, who had his first three TD grabs of theseason, of 58, 11 and 21 yards."He seems to be in midseason form,"Rivers said. "I feel like he's been here for 15 weeks. That's a creditto the way he practices."The Chargers (8-6) pulled within a half-game of AFC West leader Kansas City (8-5), which lost 31-0 at San Diego on Sunday.San Francisco was probably thetoughest test left for the Chargers, who finish with games atCincinnati (2-11) and Denver (3-10). If San Diego wins out and theChiefs lose once, the Chargers will win their fifth straight divisiontitle.The Chargers came within 4:26 of having consecutive shutouts for the first time in their 51-year history.The 49ers (5-9) could wind up 7-9 and in a three-way tie and still win the NFC West, the NFL's weakest division.
MAIOCCO: Playoff scenarios
Rivers and Jackson came out early in the fourth quarter and the Chargers leading 31-0.Rivers was 19 of 25 for 273 yards,giving him 4,141 for the season. He tied Hall of Famer Dan Fouts' teamrecord set from 1979-81. Jackson had five catches for 112 yards."He and Phil have such a goodrapport," center Nick Hardwick said. "They both know what's going on,and they've studied for hours together. We were expecting him to comein and explode, and that's what he's done. He's a beast. He does thingsother players can't do, and he did it tonight."Unhappy that the Chargers didn'tgive him a long-term deal, Jackson sat out the first seven games. Hethen missed three more games while serving a team-imposed suspension.The move cost him some 3 million in salary.When he returned at Indianapolis on Nov. 28, he pulled a calf muscle two plays in and was done for the night and the next game.On the fourth play from scrimmage,Rivers wound up and threw deep. The 6-foot-5 Jackson slowed down andreached out over 6-foot Nate Clements' head to make the catch at aboutthe 15 before outracing the cornerback into the end zone.Jackson exploited a mismatch against linebacker Takeo Spikes for an easy 11-yard catch just before halftime.Jackson pulled in a 21-yarder earlyin the fourth quarter, getting the ball just past the pylon. The playwas upheld after a review.Mike Tolbert had a 1-yard TD run in the third quarter and Nate Kaeding kicked field goals of 25 and 39 yards.Smith fell far short of having thehappy homecoming he was hoping for. Coming off a promising returnfollowing a five-game absence, he was 19 of 29 for 165 yards with oneinterception and was sacked six times."We wanted it bad," linebackerBrandon Siler said of the shutout that just eluded the Bolts. "We weresaying on the sideline, 'Don't give up anything cheap.' It hurts alittle bit, but I think we already know we're a good defense. We provedthat."San Francisco's only score came on Brian Westbrook's 3-yard run with 4:26 left.The 49ers watched as both a fieldgoal and a touchdown came off the scoreboard in a span of four playsearly in the second quarter.Jeff Reed kicked a 38-yard fieldgoal but San Diego's Antonio Garay was whistled for unnecessaryroughness for trying to gain leverage, giving the 49ers first-and-goalat the 10. Smith scrambled and dove at the left pylon on third down andit was ruled a touchdown. The Chargers challenged and it was reversed,with Smith ruled down inches from the goal line. On fourth down at the1, Siler threw Anthony Dixon for a 2-yard loss."I just read the play and got inthere," Siler said. "I think it takes the energy and the momentum outof a team when you do something like that."Said Smith: "It continued to getone-dimensional for us. When you play a defense of that caliber,they're the No. 1 defense for a reason. They played well."Smith was playing against his hometown Chargers for the first time in the regular season.Michael Crabtree had just threecatches for 17 yards and Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis didn't have acatch until the waning minutes, finishing with one for 4 yards."This team has highs and lows, butif we are fortunate enough to go to the playoffs, I think we deserve togo," 49ers coach Mike Singletary said.NOTES: The Chargers tied the teamrecord for consecutive shutout quarters at seven. ... 49ers DT JustinSmith was ejected after making contact with umpire Garth DeFelicefollowing a play. The lineman was in an argument with at least oneChargers player when he appeared to shove DeFelice, who was trying tokeep him out of the scuffle.

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

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Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.