Golden Nuggets: Ready for the Stretch Run

Adam Boone makes almost any other player look like Mini-Me. - Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday, November 30, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

We've reached that point in the season where it's 3rd down and a 1st down means getting into the playoffs. The season hasn't gone as well as everyone has expected, but we know that to make a winning Superbowl run, the biggest thing that matters is to just get in the playoffs with some sort of momentum. Here are factors which make me confident in what the 49ers could do going into the stretch run:

  • Consistent Defensive Play. If there's one thing that has been consistent about this team all season is the solid play of the defense. They are still difficult to run against, have an improved secondary and a rapidly improving pass rush. | 49ers defense rounding into form (Yahoo)
  • Peaking Roster Health. The passing game will get the biggest bump with the imminent return of Michael Crabtree and the already practicing Quinton Patton. The defense should also get Ray McDonald and Tarrell Brown back soon further raising the talent on an already deep group. | Crabtree should immediately improve the 49ers passing game on Sunday (Gin)
  • Winnable Remaining Schedule. After two straight NFC West matchups against the Rams and Seahawks, the 49ers close out the season against 3 teams with a combined total of 10 wins. | Wishful thinking dept: How the 49ers could win the NFC West (BASG)
  • Playoff Battle Tested. The closer you get to the end, the bigger the meaning of the remaining games. Majority of the roster has been intact through two extended playoff runs and they know exactly what it takes to win big games. | Vernon Davis Plots 49ers Postseason Run (49ers)

49ers vs Rams

Does Jeff Fisher mean it, or is he just trying to avoid providing bulletin board material? | Fisher doesn't see any problem with Kaepernick's 2013 performance (PFT)

Tarell Brown is close to full health but not close enough to play against the Rams. | Brown slowly recovering from ribs injury (Maiocco)

RB Zac Stacy, CB Trumaine Johnson, and LG Chris Williams have all been cleared to play against the 49ers. | 3 Rams with cleared to play against 49ers (Yahoo)

49ers' NFC West test begins with rejuvenated Rams (Inman)

Top 10 Spotlight: 49ers vs. Rams (Price)

Infographic: Rematch with the Rams (49ers)

Revived Rams Wary of 49ers Defense (NBC)

Crabtree, Crabtree Crabtree!

Michael Crabtree set to return to San Francisco 49ers (NFL)

49ers' Crabtree: 'I'm ready to play' (Maiocco)

Crabtree doesn't want to "hype it up" but says he's ready to roll (Barrows)

Assorted Team Notes

Ahmad and Aldon are now bookend sack brothers. | Double trouble: Brooks, Smith could become rare 49ers' tandem (Branch)

Aldon Smith's wallet not sacked for sacking RG III's sack. | Aldon Smith not fined for knee to RGIII's groin (PFT)

Jerry Rice. Video game. It's no Tecmo but you gotta try it. | Attention shoppers: 49ers' Jerry Rice makes family-friendly video game his pet project (Inman)

Candlestick Moments

Continuing the Farewell Candlestick series, this great run by Steve Young is this week's most memorable moment. | 49ers at Candlestick Park: Steve Young's crazy run (SJMN)

This moment clearly established the G.O.A.T. | 49ers' top Candlestick moments: Jerry Rice sets TD record (Inside Bay Area)

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