49ers

Smith ranks third in NFL in passing

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Smith ranks third in NFL in passing

For the first time in his career, quarterback Alex Smith was removed from a game because of success.

When the 49ers took over with 9:57 remaining, rookie Colin Kaepernick entered in a mop-up role with his team leading 41-3. Kaepernick completed 3 of 3 pass attempts for 35 yards.

Entering the Monday night game, Alex Smith ranks third in the NFL with a 104.1 passer rating. Aaron Rodgers (122.9) and Tom Brady (109.5) are ahead of him. Detroit's Matthew Stafford, whose team plays the Chicago Bears, is sixth at 100.3.Here are some other quick-hitters a day after the 49ers' 48-3 win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
--For the second week in a row, the 49ers' next opponent plays on a Monday night. The Lions (4-0) are one of two unbeaten teams in the NFL, entering the game against Chicago.--Third running back Anthony Dixon did not see any snaps on offense until the final drive. He carried twice for 4 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run.--Guard Adam Snyder took over in the blocking-back position that nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga filled the previous two games. Sopoaga missed Sunday's game with a staph infection.--Receiver Michael Crabtree caught two passes for 36 yards, but he also did a fine job as a blocker. On an end-around in which Ted Ginn gained 24 yards, Crabtree knocked cornerback Ronde Barber out of the play and then got a shoulder on linebacker Dekoda Watson, knocking him to the ground. "Teddy and Josh Morgan are like my brothers," Crabtree said. "When they have the ball, I'm going to do the best I can to block and make that play go further."--Cornerback Shawntae Spencer did not play after missing most of last week's practice time with a toe injury. Rookie Chris Culliver was the 49ers' No. 3 cornerback and played -- and played well -- in all nickel situations. He recorded his first career interception.--Rookie defensive end Aldon Smith remained in his role as a nickel pass rusher, and he picked up two sacks. The No. 7 overall pick now has a team-leading 3.5 sacks -- all in the past two games.--Punter Andy Lee was used only once. Near the end of the first half, he landed a 38-yard punt at the Tampa Bay 5-yard line, where Preston Parker ill-advisedly made a fair catch.--Linebacker Patrick Willis recorded 12 tackles, which is a good sign for nose tackle Ricky Jean Francois, making his first NFL start. It demonstrates that Jean Francois was tying up enough blockers to allow Willis to make plays. RJF also added three tackles while playing every snap of base defense.--David Akers was 2-for-2 on field-goal attempts. He also made a kick from 46 yards early in the fourth quarter. But the 49ers removed those points from the board to accept a 15-yard leverage penalty on Watson, who used another player to spring higher in an attempt to block the kick. On the next play, Alex Smith hit Vernon Davis for a 14-yard touchdown.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

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USATSI

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

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AP

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”