49ers quickly turn focus from Giants to Seahawks


49ers quickly turn focus from Giants to Seahawks

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jim Harbaugh didn't spend any time wallowing Monday after the most lopsided loss in his two seasons as coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

He has only three days to prepare his team for Thursday's key NFC West game against Seattle, which is tied with the 49ers and Arizona Cardinals at 4-2, and he might have to do it without the services of Pro Bowl offensive tackle Joe Staley.

Staley is visiting a neurologist after suffering a concussion during Sunday's 26-3 loss to the New York Giants, who recorded six sacks while winning a physical battle in the trenches on both sides of the line.

``It certainly wouldn't be very human if you didn't hurt today,'' Harbaugh said. ``But there's no time. You've got to dust yourself off and ride. Right now we have no choice. We have to get to Seattle right quick. We've got a football fight coming.''

The loss to the Giants came after two dominant victories over New York's two other NFL teams. San Francisco overpowered the Jets 34-0 on Sept. 30 then set a franchise record with 621 yards of total offense the next week during a 45-3 rout of the Buffalo Bills.

But just as their impressive season-opening wins over Green Bay and Detroit were followed by a clunker against Minnesota, the 49ers hardly had the look of one of the league's elite teams against the Giants.

The much-anticipated rematch of last season's NFC championship game - won 20-17 in overtime by the Giants - became a blowout by the third quarter as New York scored the game's final 26 points. It was the first time a Harbaugh-coached 49ers team had lost by more than 10 points.

``I was pretty kind of blown away,'' said right guard Alex Boone, who moved to left tackle after Staley was hurt late in the third quarter. ``It's hard to sit here and talk about it now because all I have on my mind right now is Seattle. But we have to come back and look at it this weekend after the Seattle game to find where did we go wrong, what did we do wrong. We have to make this better because we can't have this happen the rest of the year.''

The 49ers unraveled offensively after a strong start during which they held a 125-20 edge in total yards entering the second quarter.

Alex Smith entered the game as the NFL's top-rated quarterback but left it with three interceptions after throwing just one pick in San Francisco's first five games. After two 12-play drives to begin the game, the 49ers recorded just one first down in each of the second and third quarters and never had a drive advance beyond the New York 24-yard line.

Add missed field goals from 43 and 52 yards by All-Pro kicker David Akers, and it was a very uncharacteristic outing for the 49ers.

``It's easy to look at yesterday's game and ask questions about pretty much everything,'' Smith said. ``Because none of it looked good. We had good balance early, but we just got away from it. We got down multiple scores and got one-dimensional and then started forcing things, and then it got really bad. And then the turnovers are just like the nail in the coffin.''

Smith was sacked four times and backup Colin Kaepernick was dumped twice as San Francisco struggled up front against a New York defense that also hit the two quarterbacks nine other times.

The Giants were able to get that pressure even though San Francisco spent most of the game in shotgun formation, including on 16 of its first 22 plays.

Boone had to move from right guard once Staley was injured because the 49ers have no other offensive tackles on their roster. Boone was the team's third tackle behind Staley and Anthony Davis last season before moving into the starting lineup this year.

Veteran Leonard Davis took Boone's place at guard, and that could be what the 49ers have to go with Thursday against another formidable defensive front if Staley is unable to return. Staley's status won't be determined until later in the week.

The 49ers are just pleased to have another game this week to help them forget what happened Sunday.

``The one bright spot about a Thursday game is you don't have to deal with the loss for the whole week,'' center Jonathan Goodwin said. ``You get a chance in a couple of nights to go out and try to make the week a lot better than it would have been.''


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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.


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We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington


We have ourselves a goalie rotation in Washington

It’s happened. The Caps no longer seem to have a No. 1 goalie anymore, they have a No. 1 and 1a.

That’s right, we have a goalie rotation in Washington.

“There's no sense riding one,” Barry Trotz said after practice on Monday. “[Braden Holtby] is coming back and looking better every game and [Philipp Grubauer] played pretty well for a long stretch so why not have both of them going?”

Grubauer got the start Sunday in Philadelphia and Holtby is slated to get the start Tuesday against the Dallas Stars. After that we will have to wait and see.


Trotz has no layout for which goalie he wants to start and when in the remaining ten games. He is not thinking about each goalie splitting five games or which one he wants to use more.

Nope. Trotz has just one thing on his mind. It is all about who starts the next game, that’s it.

“I think you just go with a guy that's hot at the time and your team feels comfortable with and go from there,” Trotz said.

So where does this leave the goaltending situation when it comes to the playoffs? A goalie rotation is all well and good in the regular season, but he has to have one starter for the postseason, right?

Not necessarily.


When Trotz was asked if he philosophically believed in having one starter for the playoffs, Trotz initially said he would not answer, but then said, “Why don't you ask Mike Sullivan what he thinks.”

Sullivan, of course, is the head coach of the Pittsburgh Penguins who has led his team to a Stanley Cup in each of the past two seasons despite turning to both goalie Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in both seasons.

While Pittsburgh’s goalie rotation was largely based on injury, however, it still provides an example of how using both goalies can work in the playoffs and that seems to be the path the Caps are headed on at the moment.

Said Trotz, “You just have to go with your gut who you think is going to get the job done.”