Superlatives from the 49ers' 6-1 start


Superlatives from the 49ers' 6-1 start

The 49ers are making history through the first seven games of the season. And thanks to the Elias Sports Bureau for uncovering some interesting facts.Such as . . . --The 49ers are the first team in 91 years to have a rushing touchdown in each of the first seven games while not allowing a rushing touchdown. As some of you might remember, the Buffalo All-Americans accomplished the same thing in 1920 against a schedule of non-league teams. The McKeesport Olympics, Toledo Maroons and Rochester Jeffersons were some of the opponents on Buffalo's schedule that season.

--Frank Gore joins Larry Johnson, O.J. Simpson and Terrell Davis as the only players since 1970 to gain at least 125 yards and one touchdown rushing in four consecutive games. Johnson (2005) and Simpson (1975) made it five games.--With a record of 6-1, the 49ers have tied the best start through seven games for a team that lost at least 10 games the previous season.And here are some statistics in which the 49ers rank among the tops in the NFL this season:--The 49ers lead the league in defensive points allowed at 15.3 points a game.--Alex Smith and the 49ers are the best team in the NFL with an interception percentage of 1.1 percent. (That's 1.1 interceptions for every 100 passes attempted.)--Punter Andy Lee and the coverage unit rank No. 1 with a net average of 44.2 yards.--The 49ers lead the league in run defense, allowing just 73.4 yards rushing a game.--The 49ers own the best red-zone defense. They've allowed the opposition to score touchdowns on just 6 of 19 (31.6 percent) trips inside the 49ers' 20-yard line.--Aldon Smith leads all rookies with 6.5 sacks. (He ranks seventh in the league among all players.)--Running back Frank Gore is one of four running backs with four or more opportunities to convert every third-and-1 running play.--The 49ers rank second in the NFL with a plus-10 turnover margin.
--The 49ers' return unit rank second in the league with an average starting point of the 25.4 yard line after kickoffs.
--Alex Smith is third in the NFL with a fourth-quarter passer rating of 104.9.--Ted Ginn ranks third in the NFL with a 29.8 average on kickoffs.--Cornerback Carlos Rogers is tied for third in the NFL with three interceptions.--Linebacker Patrick Willis is tied for fourth in the league with two fumble recoveries.--Gore is fifth in the NFL with 675 yards rushing.

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.