Golden Nuggets: Cardinals at 49ers, Vernon Davis likely out

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Sunday, December 30, 2012 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

Well, I'll get this out of the way. Happy New Year. That's a bit early, you say? Yes, it is. I'm going away with the wife for New Year's, so I'll miss my scheduled Monday morning, postgame Nuggets. Fooch will be filling in, so everyone be nice to him. I know how you kids can be with a substitute teacher. I don't want you running amok, commenting left and write about ridiculous, off topic nonsense. But, yeah. May 2013 be good to us all.

As for the 49ers, what does the New Year have in store. We'll know a lot more about that once we see what the end of 2012 has for us. What happens this weekend will determine our playoff seeding which will have a big bearing on our playoff success. I know all of us will be Vikings fans for a while tomorrow. I never did mind the Vikings. I was shocked that they went into Houston and dealt the Texans their most significant blow of the year. They may lose their No. 1 seed in the AFC because of it. All I know is that the outcome of that game made the GB @ MIN game more than just the Packers beating up on a finished foe for playoff seeding. Oh, and we need to win. But that's a foregone conclusion, right? W-W-L.

As for the news, a fairly slow day to report on. Mostly injury updates and the customary preview. Put some links in the comments if you'd like to share. See you next year.

Cardinals at 49ers

Here's my preview on the game. After examining the statistics, the Cardinals are awful. It's hard to figure out how they won 5 games, including beating the Patriots in Foxborough. The Cardinals offense ranks last in yards, first downs, rushing yards, yards per pass attempt and yards per rush attempt. Add in the 28th ranked run defense and you have a blowout. | Niners, Colin Kaepernick need to rebound in a big way (Malone)

Even if Vernon could play, wisdom says to hold him out until the games matter. | Vernon Davis likely won't play Sunday (SF Gate)

This is a key matchup that Michael Crabtree has won every time since Peterson came into the league. Earlier this year he had 5 catches for 72 yards and 2 touchdowns in Arizona. Crabtree is currently at 933 yards receiving on the season, and if he tops 1,000, he'll become the first 49er since Terrell Owens in 2003 to go over the mark. | 49ers key matchup No. 2: Michael Carbtree vs Patrick Peterson (Maiocco)

Here's Eric Branch's preview of the game. He notes how well the Cardinals defend the pass. If they could defend the run they'd have a decent defense. If they could play offense they'd have a good team. | 49ers, hoping for bye, host Cardinals (Branch)

Cardinals-49ers preview (Yahoo!)

NFL capsule: 49ers 15-point favorites vs Cardinals (CSN Bay Area)

Why the 49ers-Cardinals game matters (Cohn)

Assorted 49ers News

A lot of people are still questioning the midseason change of quarterbacks that the 49ers pulled this season, especially after the Seattle loss. Mike Sando has drive info for the team under both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick. Very similar stats all around. | 49ers offensive drive info by quarterback (Sando)

Here's a bunch of team notes, including the headline. You gotta love Cowboy, the ultimate gamer. If he plays and we win the Super Bowl, I'll put up a statue in his honor in front of my house. | Justin Smith says he will return in time for playoffs (Mercury News)

Sando takes a look at the 49ers' D-line draft picks over the last years. It hasn't been great, folks. Ray McDonald is the best of the bunch. Is this the year that we flash some draft cash on the DL? | With Justin Smith hurt, a look at 49ers' DL drafting (Sando)

Here's an interesting twist. Colin Kaepernick's college coach, Chris Ault, stepped down from his position at the University of Nevada Reno but hasn't said he's retired. He claims to have more to give and, with the read-option and pistol formations now all the rage, will surely find work as an offensive assistant if he wants it. | Could Kaepernick be reunited with Ault? (Maiocco)

Anthony Davis named youngest winner of McKittrick award (Branch)

Justin Smith will need triceps surgery after season (Pro Football Talk)

Upon further review: The Seattle massacre - how to explain it? (49erswebzone.com)

KNBR conversation: Carlos Rogers, 49ers (SF Gate)

Inactive Vernon Davis would allow more growth for Garrett Celek (Bach)

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