Golden Nuggets: Niners a 'Special Team'

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of 49ers links from around the web.

For the second straight week, the 49ers special teams unit has contributed heavily to a win. Kendall Hunter was Johnny-on-the-spot when Tampa Bay tried to get cute with a reverse and fumbled the ball away right into his waiting hands. That touchdown by Hunter was the final nail in the coffin. LaMichael James has also owned the return game, and the coverage unit is one of the most solid with CJ Spillman, Kassim Osgood, Ray Ventrone and Co. helping the team win the field position battle. But the real star again is Phil Dawson. For the second week in a row he was 4-for-4 on field goals. Overall, he has hit on 27 of 30 and notched an outstanding 24 in a row. You can't ask any more from a kicker, especially after the nightmare season David Akers had last year. (You know your special teams in doing really well when perennial All-Pro Andy Lee can't even get a mention). When your defense and special teams have been solid all year, and the offense is finally gaining some momentum, you really have to be stoked going into the playoffs.

Harbaugh is all for bringing back Phil Dawson in 2014 (SFGate)

Buccaneers Game Redux

Report card: ‘A' fourth-straight win notched at Tampa (Inman)

Rewind: 49ers handle business with 33-14 thumping of Bucs (Maiocco)

Player Spotlights

He hasn't had a spectacular game since the season opener against Green Bay, but he's been solid and gaining more confidence. | Colin Kaepernick Continues Impressive Play as 49ers Inch Closer to Playoff Berth (Yahoo)

I'll give you one guess who he's talking about... | 49ers Most Improved Player of the Year (BASG)

Gotta show VD some lovin'. | Niners' Vernon Davis is Having a Special Season (NBC)

Vernon Davis' 52-Yard TD Stirs Twitter (49ers)

Eric Reid has shown some real savvy as a rookie. My kinda player! | Morning Tailgate: Eric Reid Passes on TD Return (49ers)

Gore continues silencing his critics (Gin)

How will the offense adjust to the loss of Bruce Miller? | Bruce Miller - How will the offense change without him? (Lynch)

Team Notes

It's the news that nobody wants to hear. | Bruce Miller probably out for the season with a fractured scapula (BASG)

Quite a few coaches will have their jobs on the line again after this season, but Jim Harbaugh looks like he's in the mold of Bill Belichick who will be around for a while. | NFL Coaching 101: Poetic pressers and the hot seat myth (CSN)

Barring an unlikely playoff scenario (the 49ers taking the #5 seed and the #6 seed beating all teams in it's path causing the Niners to host the NFC Championship game), the Atlanta game will be the final time the 49ers play in Candlestick. | 49ers approaching game vs. Falcons as last one at Candlestick Park (SJMN)

The Rams actually helped the 49ers this week. | 49ers notes: Assist from Rams; Thomas' big day, Davis reunites with coach (Branch)

Levi's Stadium loses bid to host the 2017 college football national title game (SJMN)

So Pete Carroll thinks losing to the 49ers is a silver lining. | Carroll: Loss to 49ers could be Seahawks "best scenario" (PFT)

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