49ers

Why Donte Whitner believes 6-0 49ers should go deep in NFL playoffs

Why Donte Whitner believes 6-0 49ers should go deep in NFL playoffs

With each win, the expectations keep ratcheting up for the 49ers.

Barring a historic collapse, the 6-0 49ers will make the playoffs. So now, it's about how deep they can go.

Can Kyle Shanahan's squad get to the NFC Championship Game? Can the 49ers really make it to Super Bowl LIV in Miami?

After San Francisco's 9-0 win over Washington on Sunday, NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner outlined his hopes for the team.

"They are playing great defense right now. I saw a stat that said they are No. 2 in almost every major category in the National Football League and deservedly so," Whitner said on 49ers Postgame Live. "They put a lot of work in, they brought the free agents in, they're detailed, they're handling their business and they're physical on defense.

"There's no reason why they shouldn't win a lot of football games and get to the playoffs and go deep in the playoffs."

[RELATED: Grading 49ers' win over Washington]

The 49ers haven't made the playoffs since the 2013 season and are coming off a 4-12 season. Getting to the playoffs was a lofty goal entering the season, but now, just making the playoffs won't suffice. This team appears to be good enough to win the NFC.

Nick Bosa has plenty to study as 49ers prepare for rematch with Cardinals

Nick Bosa has plenty to study as 49ers prepare for rematch with Cardinals

SANTA CLARA – 49ers rookie defensive end Nick Bosa’s ability to make adjustments will be tested this week.

For the first time in his career, he will face the same opponent twice in the same season when the 49ers meet the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday in a Week 11 game at Levi’s Stadium.

That means another opportunity to go up against Cardinals left tackle, D.J. Humphries, a fifth-year pro who is having his best NFL season through 10 games. Humphries has allowed just one sack and 21 total pressures, according to Pro Football Focus.

When the 49ers beat the Cardinals in Arizona on Thursday, Oct. 31, Bosa had three quarterback hurries of rookie Kyler Murray, the No. 1 overall pick in the draft. Bosa was selected No. 2.

“Definitely, a big learning experience,” Bosa said. “It was a short week, so a lot of the game plan that we had that week, we’re keeping. And we’re obviously adjusting to some other stuff. But we know our opponent and we know what to do to beat them. We just got to prepare.”

Bosa and Arik Armstead lead the 49ers with seven sacks apiece. Bosa has gone two games without throwing the opposing quarterback for a loss, but he had a strong game Monday against Seattle. Bosa applied pressure to Russell Wilson six times with one hit.

Facing mobile quarterbacks in back-to-back games has given Bosa some lessons on the mindset needed when he faces Murray again Sunday.

“They’re all different, but I’m getting better at it, for sure,” Bosa said.

What’s the key?

“Relentless,” he said. “Keep after it, no matter what. You never know when he’ll hold onto it, so you got to rush like he’s holding on to it every time.”

The 49ers expect the Cardinals to repeat much of the same game plan from the Week 9 meeting. The Cardinals' offensive approach consisted of screens, quick-hitting passes and running the ball in an attempt to neutralize the 49ers' pass rush.

[RELATED: 49ers sign Moore, place Blair on season-ending IR]

Bosa and the rest of the defense is coming off an overtime game in which he, Armstead and DeForest Buckner played nearly every snap. Buckner played 69 of the team’s 73 defensive plays, while Armstead was on the field for 68 snaps. Bosa was on the field for a career-high 60 plays.

“During the game, you’re good to go,” Bosa said. “Obviously, you’re going to keep giving it all you have, but the next day you definitely feel it. I usually don’t play that many plays. We don’t usually play that many plays as a defense, so we’re all a little extra sore, but we’ll be fine.”

Joe Montana statue at Levi's Stadium defaced after 49ers-Seahawks game

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MATT MAIOCCO

Joe Montana statue at Levi's Stadium defaced after 49ers-Seahawks game

SANTA CLARA – The statue of legendary 49ers quarterback Joe Montana outside Levi’s Stadium was vandalized on Monday night following San Francisco's 27-24 overtime loss to the Seattle Seahawks, according to authorities.

Jorge Alberto Lopez of Santa Clara was booked into Santa Clara County Jail on a charge of felony vandalism, Santa Clara Police announced in a press release.

According to the report, a security officer at Levi’s Stadium witnessed Lopez grab the facemask of the statue and pull it off. The suspect was arrested at 9:50 p.m. on Monday.

Early Thursday morning, reporter Bonnie-Jill Laflin received a video of the incident and posted it on her Twitter account.

The 49ers released the following statement on Wednesday:

“The Joe Montana statue that is part of the ‘The Catch’ art installation located inside the stadium’s Gate A plaza was vandalized following our recent Monday Night Football game. Security personnel apprehended the individual soon thereafter and the Santa Clara Police Department arrested the individual on felony vandalism charges. Crews have already begun repairs on the statue and expect work to be complete prior to Sunday’s home game. As this is an ongoing police matter, we will not have any additional comment.”

[RELATED: Bosa lost for first time in two years in 49ers' MNF defeat]

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Statement from the #49ers: “The Joe Montana statue that is part of the ‘The Catch’ art installation located inside the stadium’s Gate A plaza was vandalized following our recent Monday Night Football game. Security personnel apprehended the individual soon thereafter and the Santa Clara Police Department arrested the individual on felony vandalism charges. Crews have already begun repairs on the statue and expect work to be complete prior to Sunday’s home game. As this is an ongoing police matter, we will not have any additional comment.” The facemask has been repaired. I took this photo this afternoon. The suspect is a resident of Santa Clara. Go to NBCSportsBayArea.com for more information.

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The statue of Montana was dedicated last October and is accompanied by a statue of Dwight Clark making the leaping catch in the 1981 NFC Championship Game that lifted the 49ers to their first Super Bowl. The statue has since been repaired.