Before facing 49ers, Bills ride McCoy past Rams in LA


Before facing 49ers, Bills ride McCoy past Rams in LA


LOS ANGELES -- Nickell Robey-Coleman returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown, LeSean McCoy rushed for 150 yards, and the Buffalo Bills won their third consecutive game by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 30-19 on Sunday.

Robey-Coleman stepped in front of rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper and strolled down the sideline to put the Bills ahead 23-16 with 3:54 left in the third quarter.

The big play allowed the Bills to finish off the Rams (3-2) and end their three-game winning streak. Robey-Coleman added another interception in the final minutes.

The Bills stopped Bradley Marquez on a fake punt at the Rams 25 with 3:41 remaining.

Tyrod Taylor then threw a 6-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin to put the game out of reach.

The Bills (3-2) were able to take advantage of the Rams defensive line playing without starting ends Robert Quinn and Williams Hayes and tackle Michael Brockers.

McCoy and Taylor found success early on up the middle against the Rams (3-2). Taylor scrambled for 22 yards on third-and-19, and capped off the drive by escaping the pocket to buy more time before finding Justin Hunter for a 4-yard touchdown.

McCoy had a 53-yard run to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Mike Gillislee early in the second quarter, but Cam Thomas blocked Dan Carpenter's extra point.

McCoy had his 28th 100-yard game and second this season. The Bills finished with 193 yards rushing.

Todd Gurley scored the Rams' first touchdown at home since returning to Los Angeles on a 1-yard run late in the first half. Gurley had 72 yards rushing, but three ofGreg Zuerlein's four field goals came on drives that stalled inside the red zone.

Case Keenum was 21 of 31 for 271 yards and two interceptions. Tavon Austin had seven receptions for 59 yards and added 26 yards rushing on three carries.

Former USC standouts Reggie Bush, Robey-Coleman, Kevon Seymour and Robert Woods served as the Bills' captains in their return to the Coliseum. For Bush, it was his first time back since pounding rival UCLA for 260 yards rushing and two touchdowns in his final home game in 2005. The Trojans were forced to disassociate from Bush as part of the NCAA sanctions the school received for extra benefits he received while playing at USC.

Bills: Nose tackle Marcell Dareus (hamstring) was inactive. Dareus was suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Adolphus Washington got the start, finishing with three tackles and one sack. ... Safety Aaron Williams suffered a shoulder injury in the second half. ... SafetyColt Anderson did not return after suffering an arm injury in the second half.

Rams: Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. ... Offensive lineman Cody Wichmann injured his right ankle on the opening possession and did not return. Jamon Brown replaced Wichmann at right guard. ... Running back Benny Cunningham (hamstring) was inactive, resulting in more work on passing downs by Gurley. Gurley had three receptions for 36 yards.

Bills: Host San Francisco next Sunday.

Rams: Travel to Detroit next Sunday.

Frank Gore returns home for his 14th NFL season


Frank Gore returns home for his 14th NFL season

Frank Gore is returning home to, in all likelihood, finish his professional football career.

Gore, 34, signed a one-year contract to enter his 14th NFL season with his hometown Miami Dolphins, the team announced Friday.

Gore grew up in Coconut Grove, Florida, and attended Coral Gables High School before playing collegiately at the University of Miami.

He played the first 10 NFL seasons with the 49ers and is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. Gore ranks fifth in NFL history with 14,026 rushing yards – just 75 yards behind No. 4 Curtis Martin.

After rushing for 11,073 yards and 64 touchdowns with the 49ers, the club declined to offer him a multi-year contract following the 2014 season. Gore played the past three seasons with the Indianapolis Colts.

Gore remains one of the most popular players in 49ers history. When asked recently if he would be willing to “retire” as a member of the 49ers after his final game, Gore reacted enthusiastically about the possibility.

1, Emmitt Smith 18,355
2, Walter Payton 16,726
3, Barry Sanders 15,269
4, Curtis Martin 14,101
5, Frank Gore 14,026

49ers increase competition for starting guard positions


49ers increase competition for starting guard positions

The 49ers are the fifth team to give Jonathan Cooper a chance after he arrived in the NFL as the No. 7 overall pick of the Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 draft.

Cooper, 28, caught the attention of the 49ers with his career-high 13 starts last season with the Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers signed him to a one-year, $4.95 million contract this week.

“We signed him to compete for one of the guard spots as a starter,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday at Stanford's pro day. “He played very well in our minds for Dallas last year and kind of resurrected his career. He’s battled injuries, but we really like the way he played, and we think he’s a very good fit for what we do. So we were pleased to add him.”

The 49ers plan to take it slowly this offseason with Cooper, who underwent surgery after tearing the medial-collateral ligament in his left knee during the final game of the season. The 49ers report for the offseason program in mid-April.

The 49ers are certain to have at least two new starters on the offensive line. Former New York Giants center Weston Richburg was signed to replace Daniel Kilgore, who was subsequently traded to the Miami Dolphins. Brandon Fusco, who started 16 games at right guard, signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an unrestricted free agent.

Laken Tomlinson has a chance to hold onto a starting job. Acquired shortly before the start of the regular season in a trade from the Detroit Lions, Tomlinson quickly moved into the starting lineup at left guard and started the final 15 games. Tomlinson was a first-round draft pick of the Lions in 2015.

“Laken played very well the longer he was there,” Lynch said. “I think people forget with Laken, he came here in Week 1. He was kind of force-fed. We didn’t have many options. But we saw a guy get better throughout the season. He’ll get his opportunity.”

Joshua Garnett, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 2016, spent last season on injured reserve due to an a knee injury sustained in training camp. The 49ers challenged Garnett to get in better physical condition. He has been cleared for football activity.

“Joshua Garnett has been working extremely hard, so he’ll be in that mix,” Lynch said. “He did a great job embracing the time he has last year to improve as a player. He remade his body and we're looking forward to see him get after it in the offseason.

“I think he’s excited about it. He’s feeling sexy, as he says.”

Erik Magnuson, 24, won a spot on the 49ers’ roster after signing as an undrafted rookie from Michigan. Magnuson could enter into the competition at guard. He displayed unique versatility in his first season, starting two games at right tackle before sustaining a season-ending foot injury. He can also serve as a backup center.

And, perhaps, the 49ers are not finished adding to the competition. The team owns the No. 9 overall selection, and Notre Dame’s Quenton Nelson could be on the radar in the unlikely event he is not selected within the top eight picks.

When asked if the 49ers could also add another player to the mix with a draft pick, Lynch answered, “We’ll see. We’re always looking to get better there.”