49ers

Instant Analysis: Garoppolo does it again, leads 49ers to third straight win

Instant Analysis: Garoppolo does it again, leads 49ers to third straight win

BOX SCORE

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers entered Sunday’s game trying to approximate what it might be like to play a meaningful mid-December game.

The Tennessee Titans did not have to pretend. They came to the Bay Area as the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs and battling to earn the right to play football in January.

Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers down the field in the final minute to set up Robbie Gould’s game-winning 45-yard field goal as time expired for a 25-23 victory over the Titans at Levi’s Stadium. The loss drops the Titans to 8-6 to drop two games behind Jacksonville for the lead in the AFC South.

Garoppolo hit Trent Taylor for 7 yards, George Kittle for 24 yards and Marquise Goodwin for 14 yards to get the 49ers into field-goal range for the 49ers’ third consecutive victory after the Titans left too much time on the clock after a go-ahead field goal late in the fourth quarter.

Titans kicker Ryan Succop made a 50-yard field goal with 1:07 remaining to give Tennessee’s 23-22 lead. But Garoppolo and the 49ers' offense had the final word.

Robbie Gould made all six field-goal attempts, including a 48-yarder with 3:08 remaining to give the 49ers a 22-20 lead. It was his second game-winner in the closing seconds in three weeks. He made all five of his attempts against the Chicago Bears on Dec. 3 in a 15-14 victory. Gould now has made 20 consecutive field-goal attempts.

Garoppolo made his first home start since taking over from C.J. Beathard as the 49ers’ starting quarterback, which provided a little more energy for the home crowd than what would typically be expected for a three-win team.

Garoppolo completed 31 of 43 pass attempts for a career-best 381 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. His passer rating was 106.8. Garoppolo became the first 49ers quarterback since Jeff Garcia in 2000 to throw for more than 300 yards in back-to-back games.

The 49ers pulled to within 20-19 on Gould’s 50-yard field goal in the middle of the fourth quarter. On the 49ers’ next possession, Garoppolo hit Kendrick Bourne for 54 yards and Kittle for 19 yards to get into field-goal range for Gould’s go-ahead kick.

The 49ers would have had a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line, but Taylor’s 20-yard catch-and-run on a third-and-17 play was nullified by Marquise Goodwin’s controversial offensive pass interference call. He was flagged for blocking while the pass was in the air to Taylor.

Tennessee had taken a four-point lead on Marcus Mariota’s 8-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews.

Garoppolo got off to a hot start in leading the 49ers on scoring drives in all four of their first-half possessions until running out the final 29 seconds before of halftime.

The 49ers punched it into the end zone in the second quarter after the team settled for two Gould field goals.

On third and goal from the 5, Garoppolo bought time by rolling to his right and found tight end Garrett Celek alone in the end zone. The touchdown gave the 49ers a 13-3 lead.

The defense forced an immediate takeaway when linebacker Brock Coyle stripped former 49ers tight end Delanie Walker after a short completion. Rookie safety Adrian Colbert recovered at the Tennessee 46-yard line.

The 49ers cashed in with Gould’s 28-yard field goal for a 16-3 lead late in the first half. Gould’s previous kicks were good from 38 and 48 yards.

But Mariota drove the Titans 79 yards down the field in 68 seconds for a touchdown on a 4-yard touchdown pass to Walker. The 49ers led 16-10 at halftime.

GOODWIN, A GOOD ONE
Goodwin has thrived since Garoppolo’s insertion into the starting lineup. Goodwin had eight catches for 99 yards in Garoppolo’s first start against Chicago, then came back for six receptions for 106 yards against Houston.

Goodwin again proved to be a huge part of the team’s offense. He caught a career-high 10 passes for 114 yards and has gained Garoppolo’s trust. In the first half, under pressure Garoppolo threw pass off his back foot that Goodwin went up and caught against Titans defensive back Da’Norris Searcy.

Goodwin was credited with the catch on the simultaneous possession. Tennessee coach Mike Mularkey challenged the call, but the play was upheld as a Goodwin catch for 10 yards.

THIS ‘N’ THAT
--Cornerback Tyvis Powell was active for the game with backup Greg Mabin being ruled out of action due to a calf injury. Ahkello Witherspoon, who was listed as questionable with a knee injury, started and played the entire game.

--Garoppolo completed 18 of 26 passes for 189 yards in the first half, already giving him more yards passing in his first 2 ½ games as the starter than any other 49ers quarterback in his first three starts in franchise history.

--Wide receiver Aldrick Robinson sustained a concussion in the first half on an incomplete pass near the Titans sideline. He was ruled out for the game, and now goes into the NFL’s return-to-play protocol.

--Garoppolo completed passes to nine different receivers – including himself. Garoppolo’s fourth-quarter pass was deflected by Titans defensive lineman Austin Johnson at the line of scrimmage and ended up back in Garoppolo’s hands. He tried to advance the ball but linebacker Wesley Woodyard dropped him for a 6-yard loss.

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

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Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2015. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.
 

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

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USATSI

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.