49ers

Montana vs. Brady -- The jury is still out

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Montana vs. Brady -- The jury is still out

Programming Note: Watch the game live, Sunday at 3 p.m. on NBCSports.com. Pregame simulcast will kick off at 11 a.m.

In a debate over the all-time greats at the quarterback position, Super Bowl and playoff statistics carry much more weight than the regular season.

That's why Joe Montana is widely considered the best quarterback in NFL history. It's also why many are saying Patriots star Tom Brady is poised to surpass the 49ers legend.

Here are the facts:

Playoff record
Joe Montana: 16-7
Tom Brady: 16-5
Edge: Brady
Super Bowl wins
Joe Montana: 4
Tom Brady: 3
Edge: Montana
Super Bowl appearances
Joe Montana: 4
Tom Brady: 5 (including Sunday vs. the Giants)
Edge: Brady
Super Bowl MVPs
Joe Montana: 3 (Jerry Rice won the other)
Tom Brady: 2 (Deion Branch won the other)
Edge: Montana

Playoff Statistics
Joe Montana: 23 games, 63 percent, 5,772 yards, 45 TD (2 rush), 21 INT, 95.6 QB rating
Tom Brady: 21 games, 63, 5009 yards, 39 TD (3 rush), 19 INT, 87.6 QB Rating
Edge: Montana

Super Bowl statistics
Joe Montana: 68, 1142 yards, 13 TD (2 rush), 0 INT, 122.5 QB Rating
Tom Brady: 64, 1001 yards, 7 TD, INT, 94.9 QB Rating
Edge: Montana

If the Patriots win on Sunday and Brady is named the Super Bowl MVP, he will have the same number of both Super Bowl victories and Super Bowl MVPs as Montana, and will surpass him in career playoff victories.

I know this may be blasphemous in these parts, but it might be time to consider the fact that Tom Brady could wind up going down as the greatest QB in history.

Take a deep breath before you start calling me four-letter words.

I am not saying that Brady is better than Montana. I'm saying that he's four masterful quarters away from being in the center of the discussion.

The 34-year-old Brady (turns 35 on Aug. 3) just turned in a season where he completed almost 66 percent of his passes for 5,235 yards and 39 touchdowns.

With the way the modern rulebook protect quarterbacks, combined with the fact that Brady and Belichick possess the definition of a "killer's mentality," there's no reason to think Brady won't put up staggering numbers for as many as six more seasons.

And there's no reason to believe Brady won't get back to at least one, if not multiple Super Bowls.

Trust me, I wish that Justin Smith and Patrick Willis were wreaking havoc on Brady in Indianapolis this Sunday and that that the 49ers had the opportunity to keep Brady at bay from Montana. But we don't live in a perfect world.

If we did, the 49ers would have drafted Brady in 2000 instead of Giovanni Carmazzi, and San Francisco might have eight or nine Lombardi trophies on the mantle, instead of five.

Instead, we have to live with the fact that Brady, who grew up in San Mateo worshipping the 49ers and Joe Montana, would probably love nothing more than to rack up six or seven Super Bowls and five or six Super Bowl MVPs en route to being considered the greatest quarterback of all-time.

I'm not saying it's going to happen or want it to happen. But it could ...

Check back Monday morning.

49ers claim pass-rusher off waivers from Patriots

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Ap

49ers claim pass-rusher off waivers from Patriots

The 49ers on Wednesday were assigned outside linebacker/defensive end Cassius Marsh off waivers from the New England Patriots.

The Patriots waived Marsh on Tuesday after acquiring him in September from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round draft picks.

Marsh (6 foot 4, 245 pounds) appeared in 46 games in his four NFL seasons. Three of his four career sacks came in 2016 while with the Seahawks. He was Seattle's fourth-round pick in 2014 after recording 13 of his 15 career sacks at UCLA in his final two seasons.

Marsh is the second defensive player the 49ers have claimed off waivers this week. The club acquired former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Sheldon Day on Monday. The 49ers released defensive linemen Tony McDaniel and Datone Jones within the past week.

The 49ers are at their roster maximum of 53 players. The club will have to clear a roster spot if Tank Carradine, as expected, is activated off injured reserve in order to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.

Who 49ers start at quarterback is the last thing on Pete Carroll's mind

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AP

Who 49ers start at quarterback is the last thing on Pete Carroll's mind

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback C.J. Beathard is expected to make his fifth consecutive start for the 49ers on Sunday, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll said his team will be prepared to face Jimmy Garoppolo, too.

“It really isn’t a factor,” Carroll said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. “We’re just preparing for the 49ers. They got a style of offense. They got really good players who do what they do. And whoever’s triggering it from the quarterback spot, we’re going to go play football.

“We’ve seen Jimmy play. We’ve seen how he’s mobile and the kind of athlete and competitor he is. But other than that, we just go play football. We can’t do anything about that.”

Beathard remained on the sideline when the clubs met Sept. 17 in Seattle. The Seahawks have defeated the 49ers seven consecutive times, including a 12-9 victory in Week 2 this season. Quarterback Brian Hoyer started the 49ers’ first six games of the season and rushed for just 7 yards during that time. Beathard has 115 yards rushing on 20 attempts in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.

“He’s been mobile. He’s got a rushing average, you know,” Carroll said of Beathard. “He’s averaging 5-yards a carry and stuff. They’re incorporating him in the run game some that we have to be concerned about. That’s different than other quarterbacks at times. I’d think Jimmy can do the same stuff.

“He (Beathard) is getting more settled. You can see the offense growing. You can see Kyle able to expand and do more stuff. He’s an incredible offensive coordinator and play-caller that we’ve respected for a long time. I think they’re just grown and they’re getting more proficient at what they’re doing."