49ers-Cardinals: Brian Westbrook, 100-Yard Rushing Games and Receptions

The 49ers sent out some post-game notes after Monday's victory (after the jump) and naturally there is plenty about running back Brian Westbrook. However, they didn't mention one statistic that I found pretty interesting (hat-tip to Michael Tunison). Last night was Westbrook's 19th career 100-yard rushing game. However, last night was the first time in one of those games that Westbrook did not record a reception. He had one other game where he had one reception for zero yards, but for the most part he's been plenty involved in the passing.

During his time with the Eagles he was as important to the passing game as he was to the rushing attack. Here in San Francisco, Frank Gore has been just as important in the passing game and was putting together huge totals in yards from scrimmage. Coach Singletary indicated yesterday that the team was going to do what they could to limit Westbrook's touches to keep him healthy and fresh the rest of the season.

That got me wondering how the team would potentially look to use Westbrook in the passing game. I don't recall seeing a pass attempt his way and the play-by-play log doesn't mention any incomplete passes intended for Westbrook. Gore was averaging 4.6 receptions per game entering Monday Night so one would have to imagine we'll see Westbrook used in some form or fashion in the passing game. Or will we see the passing game make some changes and utilize the receivers and tight ends on more short routes?

With The Win...

  • The 49ers improve their record against Arizona to 22-16, including 4-1 on Monday Night Football.
  • The 49ers improve their record to 40-25 on Monday Night Football. The 40 wins on Monday Night Football ties the Miami Dolphins (40-36) for the 2ndmost wins on Monday Night Football since its inception in 1970, trailing only the Dallas Cowboys (42-31).
  • The 49ers have now won three consecutive games over Arizona, including two consecutive wins at University of Phoenix Stadium.
  • The 49ers improve to 9-4 against NFC West opponents under head coach Mike Singletary.
  • The 49ers improve to 9-1 under coach Singletary when not allowing a passing TD.
  • The 49ers improve to 11-1 under coach Singletary when winning the turnover battle.
  • The 49ers improve to 15-2 under coach Singletary when allowing 17 or fewer points.

Nowhere To Run

  • The 49ers defense held the Cardinals to only 13 yds. rushing on the day. It marked just the 4thtime in franchise history that the defense held an opponent to 13 yds. rushing or less for an entire game.

FEWEST RUSHING YARDS ALLOWED IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

Opponent

Date

Atts.

Yds.

Avg.

TDs

at New Orleans

10/1/1972

16

7

0.4

0

vs. St. Louis

11/2/2003

8

9

1.1

0

at Arizona

11/29/2010

11

13

1.2

0

vs. NY Giants

12/1/1986

19

13

0.7

1

 

Scoring Early

  • The 49ers offense put up 21 points in the first half on TD runs by RBAnthony Dixonand RBBrian Westbrook, and a TD pass from QBTroy Smithto WRMichael Crabtree. It marked the first time the 49ers scored at least 21 points in the first half since 11/16/08 vs. StL (35 first half points).

Room To Run

  • The 49ers rushed for 261 yds. on 47 carries. The 261 yds. rushing are the most by the 49ers since 11/19/06 vs. Sea. (262 yds. rushing), and the 47 carries are the most since 1/1/06 vs. Hou. (47 atts.).
  • The 49ers rushed for 128 yds. in the first half on 22 carries (5.8 avg.). It marked the first time the 49ers rushed over 100 yds. in the first half since 12/14/09 vs. Arz. (109 yds.)

First Down Friendly

  • The 49ers offense registered 26 first downs on the evening, the most by the team since 10/10/04 vs. Arz., when they recorded 28 first downs.
  • After struggling on first down last week vs. TB (11/21), the 49ers offense rebounded this week, totaling 207 yds. on 33 plays (6.3 avg.) and 2 TDs.

Welcoming Westbrook

  • In place of an injured RB Frank Gore, RBBrian Westbrookrushed for 136 yds. and 1 TD on 23 carries, marking his 19thcareer 100-yd. game in the regular season and first as a 49er. His last 100-yd. game was 12/7/08 at NYG (33 atts. for 131 yds. and 1 TD). It also marked his 2ndcareer 100-yd. performance on Monday Night Football (12/25/06 at Dal. - 26 atts. for 121 yds.).
  • Westbrook's 136 yds. rushing are his most in a single game since 10/26/08 vs. Atl. (22 atts. for 167 and 2 TDs).
  • Westbrooknotched his first TD as a 49er on an 8-yd. run. It was his first TD since10/11/09 vs. TB (7-yd. TD run).

1 Finds 15

  • QBTroy Smithhooked up with WRMichael Crabtreeon a 38-yd. TD strike following the FR by NTAubrayo Franklin. It marked the 3rdtime in 4 games that Smith and Crabtree have connected on a TD pass. Crabtree leads the 49ers with 5 TD recepts. on the season and Smith has set a single-season career high with 3 TD passes.

Dixon Plows In For 6

  • Rookie RBAnthony Dixonmuscled his way in to the end zone on a 1-yd. TD run, his 2ndof the season.

Morgan Reaches 100

  • With 3 recepts. on the night, WR Josh Morgan now has 101 career recepts.

Run Defense Continues Streak

  • The 49ers defense has not allowed a 100-yd. rusher in the last 17 games, which marks the 2nd-longest active streak in the NFL, behind the NY Jets (18 games). San Francisco is one of only 3 teams (NY Jets, and Pittsburgh) to not allow a 100-yd. rusher in 2010.

Getting To The QB

  • With 1.0 sack on the day, the 49ers have now recorded 63.0 sacks against the NFC West since defensive coordinator Greg Manusky arrived in 2007. The 63.0 sacks rank 2ndin the NFL for most sacks against division opponents in that time span, trailing only the Seattle Seahawks (70.0).

The Chains Weren't Moving

  • The 49ers defense allowed only 8 first downs. It marked just the 4thtime since 2000 that the 49ers defense allowed 8 first downs or fewer in game [6 at StL (1/3/10), 8 vs. Chi. (9/7/03), vs. Chi. (12/17/00)].

Willis Sets Career High

  • LBPatrick Willissacked Cardinals QBDerek Andersonin the 3rdqtr., giving him 5.0 sacks on the season, setting a new single-season career high (4.0 sacks in 2007 & 2009).
  • Willis has now registered a sack in 3 consecutive games [1.0 vs. StL (11/14), 2.0 vs. TB (11/21), 1.0 at Arz. (11/29)], the longest streak of his career.

150 And Counting

  • DTJustin Smithhas now started 150 consecutive games, dating back to his rookie season in 2001. Smith's consecutive start streak ranks 3rdamong defensive players and 7thamong all NFL players.
  • Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky on Smith's 150thconsecutive start: "I hope he gets another 150. He's a good football player. He doesn't care about that. That's just the type of guy he is. He cares about winning football games and he's a good, hard worker."

Feeling Picky

  • LBTakeo Spikesnotched his 2ndINT of the season, 17thof his career, picking off Cardinals QBDerek Anderson. Since 2003, Spikes has registered 12 INTs, ranking t-4thamong all linebackers in the time span.

Picking Up The Loose Ball

  • NTAubrayo Franklinscooped up his first career FR as the Cardinals bobbled the handoff on the first play on defense. Franklin's FR led to a 38-yd. TD pass from QBTroy Smithto WRMichael Crabtreeon the next play.

Andrus Hits His First

  • KShane Andrusregistered his first career made FG on a 38-yd. att. in the 3rdqtr. He later added a 26-yd. FG in the 4thqtr.

Extending His Streak

  • TEVernon Davishas now started 54 consecutive games, which ranks 3rdin the NFL among TE's behind Tony Gonzalez (65) and Jason Witten (62).

WHAT YOU TALKIN' BOUT WILLIS?

LB Patrick Willis now has a career-high 5.0 sacks this season. He leads all NFC inside linebackers with that total and is tied for the league-lead with Chargers LB Kevin Burnett. Willis is one of two NFL inside linebackers, and the only one in the NFC, to lead their team in sacks (4.0 by Broncos LB Mario Haggan). Willis is tied with DT Justin Smith for the team lead.

 

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED IT?

Last night RB Brian Westbrook posted the most rushing yards by a player on Monday Night Football this season. The 49ers are responsible for two of the top five rushing performances on Monday night this year, as RB Frank Gore posted 112 yds. and 1 TD rushing on 9/20/10 vs. NO.

 

2010 MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SINGLE-GAME RUSHING LEADERS

Player

Opponent

Atts.

Yds.

Avg.

TDs

1.

Brian Westbrook, SF

at Arz. (11/29)

23

136

5.9

1

2.

Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG

at Dal. (10/25)

24

126

5.3

0

3.

Frank Gore, SF

vs. NO (9/20)

20

112

5.6

1

4t.

Chris Johnson, Ten.

at Jax. (10/18)

26

111

4.3

1

4t.

Mike Tolbert, SD

vs. Den. (11/22)

25

111

4.4

1

NIFTY 50

Last night the 49ers had three players register 50-yards-or-more in the same game for the 13th time in team history (Brian Westbrook 23-136-1TD; Anthony Dixon 14-54-1TD; Frank Gore 5-52). It was the first time the team had done so since 12/14/98 vs. Detroit (Garrison Hearst 24-198-1TD; Steve Young 10-66-1TD; Terry Kirby 7-60-2TDs). Ironically, that game was also on Monday Night Football.

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST

Since Stats Inc. began keeping the stat in 1994, it is just the second time the 49ers registered at least 18 rushing first downs in a game (21 vs. Detroit 12/14/98).

The 49ers held the Cardinals without a rushing first down Monday night. That is just the second time this season that a team has not been allowed to post a rushing first down in the game. The Indianapolis Colts were held without a rushing first down this week by the San Diego Chargers. (Courtesy of ESPN Stats and Information).

 

RUNNING SOME CLOCK

Monday night the 49ers controlled the clock for 39:01 minutes, the highest time of possession for San Francisco since 12/7/08 vs. NYJ when the team held the ball for 39:49.

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