If Alex Smith thought he had it rough against Seahawks ...


If Alex Smith thought he had it rough against Seahawks ...

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers faced one of the better defenses in the NFL a week ago. And that, more than anything, is the reason the passing game struggled.At least that's the theory of 49ers quarterback Alex Smith, who pointed to what the Seattle Seahawks have done this season to some strong passing attacks."There are people that expect the same thing over and over again," Smith said Thursday. "That was a good defense we played on Thursday night. We played them on a short week. You look at what they did versus a lot of good quarterbacks this year.REWIND: Alex Smith Q&A -- On his injured finger and his confidence
"Look what they did against Aaron (Rodgers), they beat Tom Brady. Look what they did against (Tony) Romo."Let's look at what the Seahawks' defense against the opposing quarterback through seven games:Week 1 vs. Cardinals: John Skelton 51.0 rating (Seahawks lost 20-16)
Week 2 vs. Cowboys: Tony Romo 74.0 rating (Seahawks won 27-7)
Week 3 vs. Packers: Aaron Rodgers 81.5 rating (Seahawks won 14-12)
Week 4 vs. Rams: Sam Bradford 63.3 rating (Seahawks lost 19-13)
Week 5 vs. Panthers: Cam Newton 56.8 rating (Seahawks won 16-12)
Week 6 vs. Patriots: Tom Brady 79.3 rating (Seahawks won 24-23)
Week 7 vs. 49ers: Alex Smith 74.5 rating (Seahawks lost 13-6)Opposing quarterbacks have a 79.2 passer rating against the Seahawks defense with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions.But the 49ers aren't getting any breaks this week, either.On Monday night, the 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals, who feature one of the better pass defenses in the NFL.They feature a good front three, including Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett, a strong pass rush of Daryl Washington (six sacks) and O'Brien Schofield (four sacks), cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and William Gay, and experienced safeties Adrian Wilson and Kerry Rhodes.Week 1 vs. Seahawks: Russell Wilson 62.5 rating (Cardinals won 20-16)
Week 2 vs. Patriots: Tom Brady 79.6 rating (Cardinals won 20-18)
Week 3 vs. Eagles: Michael Vick 64.8 rating (Cardinals won 27-6)
Week 4 vs. Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill rating (Cardinals won 24-21)
Week 5 vs. Rams: Sam Bradford 69.7 rating (Cardinals lost 17-3)
Week 6 vs. Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick 68.9 rating (Cardinals lost 19-16)
Week 7 vs. Vikings: Christian Ponder 35.5 rating (Cardinals lost 21-14)The Cardinals are on a three-game losing streak, but don't fault the pass defense for those defeats. For the season, opposing quarterbacks have compiled a 67.4 rating with nine touchdowns and six interceptions.

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.