NFL Rankings: 49ers crack Top 5, Raiders don't move


NFL Rankings: 49ers crack Top 5, Raiders don't move

The Falcons are flying in uncharted territory, the Niners make a statement and the Raiders take advantage of the soft underbelly of their schedule.

1 (1) Atlanta Falcons (7-0) Off to best start in franchise history; Falcons had never been 5-0 before this year. 2 (3) New York Giants (6-2) Raiders fans lamenting Stevie Brown (five picks) as The One That Got Away. 3 (6) San Francisco 49ers (6-2) If it's not the defense setting the standard, Alex Smith is breaking efficiency records. 4 (2) Houston Texans (6-1) Bye week allows Texans to lick their wounds, re-focus. 5 (4) Chicago Bears (6-1) They've already had six Pick-6s. The 1985 Bears had five defensive TDs all season. 6 (8) Green Bay Packers (5-3) Yes, Aaron Rodgers is feeling it - 11 TDs and 0 INTs in his last three games. 7 (11) New England Patriots (5-3) TE Rob Gronkowski has a league-high 11 multi-touchdown games since 2010. 8 (5) Minnesota Vikings (5-3) Norse boast leading rusher in Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin tied for lead in receptions. 9 (12) Denver Broncos (4-3) Peyton Manning's streak of three straight four-plus TD passing games longest since 2004. 10 (7) Baltimore Ravens (5-2) In the spirit of Halloween and a bye week: Quote the Ravens on injuries nevermore? 11 (13) Miami Dolphins (4-3) To quote Church Lady, Isn't that special? 'Fins block FG, punt and recover onsides kick. 12 (9) Arizona Cardinals (4-4) What happened to that 4-0 start? Well, Card's QBs have been sacked an NFL-high 39 times. 13 (10) Seattle Seahawks (4-4) Jekyl and Hyde 'Hawks are 3-0 at home, 1-4 on the road. 14 (24) Pittsburgh Steelers (4-3) Throwback unis ugliest this side of Denver's throwbacks. And that's saying something. 15 (25) Indianapolis Colts (4-3) Andrew Luck has already passed for more yards in 2012 than ANY Colts QB did in 2011. 16 (17) Buffalo Bills (3-4) Oh for the days of the Juice and the Electric Company. 17 (18) Cincinnati Bengals (3-4) Hispanic Heritage Month leftover: Anthony Muoz is greatest LT in NFL history. Discuss. 18 (14) New York Jets (3-5) Seriously, what did the Jets think was going to happen when they signed Tim Tebow? 19 (15) Washington Redskins (3-5) London Fletcher's consecutive games played reaches 231, league's longest active streak. 20 (16) St. Louis Rams (3-3) Jeff Fisher's mustache only possession of Rams coach not owned by Bill Belichick. 21 (19) New Orleans Saints (2-5) Good news? Drew Brees' TD streak at 50 games. Bad news? Saints allowing at least 24 points. 22 (20) Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) Does Andy Reid losing first post-bye game signal end of Michael Vick Era? 23 (21) San Diego Chargers (3-4) Mere urban myth that FireNorv was trending worldwide Sunday night? 24 (22) Dallas Cowboys (3-4) No, ahem, facelift can, gulp, mask the Cowboys' issues as Jerry Jones booed at home. 25 (28) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-4) Nine-game road losing streak ends in time for trip to Black Hole. 26 (26) Detroit Lions (3-4) Comeback cats? Lions have scored more in 4th quarter than other three quarters combined. 27 (27) Oakland Raiders (3-4) Two wins have come against 1-6 teams. Competition about to ramp up. 28 (23) Tennessee Titans (2-5) Vick Ballard with the early TD of the Year with his helmet-to-the-pylon play. 29 (31) Cleveland Browns (2-6) Only in Cleveland could nine straight punts end with a victory. 30 (29) Carolina Panthers (1-6) Cam Newton's suggestion box overfloweth after he falls to 1-11 in games decided by 7 points or fewer. 31 (30) Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) Introducing the newest entry to the NFL's worst name wing - TD-catching OT Guy Whimper. 32 (32) Kansas City Chiefs (1-6) Romeo Crennel doesnt know why Jamaal Charles had only 5 carries? How is he still coach?

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


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.