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49ers vs. Bills: A prospector's guide

We take a look at pertinent facts, figures and history in the 49ers Week 5 matchup with the Buffalo Bills

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The 49ers return home for a three-game homestand this week, opening things with the Chris Berman special against the Buffalo Bills. The Bills are 2-2 and that record is fitting for a team made up of a high-octane offense and a struggling defense. The Bills are scoring plenty of points, sitting sixth in the league, but they are 30th in points allowed and they are struggling in the turnover department. The 49ers got back on track in turnovers climbing from No. 14 to No. 6 thanks to a big day against the Jets. A +4 day will do that for you!

Football Outsiders updated their DVOA numbers yesterday, and they rank the 49ers No. 1 in the NFL in rushing, while the Bills rank No. 26 in stopping the run. As we get ready for Sunday's matchup, do I need to make the situation any more clear? Alex Smith has some solid passing numbers at home, and the Bills rank No. 25 in pass defense, so we could see the 49ers take some shots. But with the potential return of Brandon Jacobs, and the strong rushing performances to date, would it surprise anybody to see the 49ers pounding the Bills front seven on the ground?

To date:

San Francisco returns to Candlestick Park for the first of three consecutive home games as the 49ers square off against the Buffalo Bills. The all-time series between the clubs is knotted at 5-5. The 49ers last faced the Bills in 2008, coming away with a 10-3 win at Buffalo.

Last week, the 49ers notched their first road shut out since 1/6/02, defeating the New York Jets, 34-0. San Francisco rushed for 245 yards, the team's high- est single-game rushing total since 2010, as nine different players registered a carry.

San Francisco's defense limited the Jets to just 145 yards of total offense while also forcing 4 turnovers. CB Carlos Rogers notched a career-high two fumble recoveries, returning one 51 yards for a touchdown.

The 49ers special teams unit also shined as LB Larry Grant recorded his first career blocked punt.

Coaching Connections

  • 49ers head coach Jim harbaugh played quarterback for the Chicago Bears while Bills assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Dave Wannstedt was the head coach for the Bears in 1993.

  • Harbaugh was a quarterback for the Indianoplis Colts while Bills defensive backs coach george Catavolos was on the Indianpolis coaching staff in 1994.

  • 49ers assistant head coach/special teams coach Brad Seely also worked with Catavolos with the Colts from 1989-93.

  • 49ers defensive coordinator vic Fangio, offensive coordinator greg roman and Catavolos were on the same staff with the Carolina Panthers from 1995-97.

  • Fangio and Catavolos worked together again with the Colts from 1999-2001.

  • 49ers running backs coach Tom rathman was on the 49ers coaching staff from 2000-02 with Bills special teams coordinator Bruce Dehaven. 49ers offensive line coach Mike Solari worked with De- haven as well, with the Seattle Seahawks from 2008-09.

  • Solari was on the same staff with Bills wide receivers coach Bob Bicknell with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2007.

    Bills-Nor Cal Connections

  • Bills special teams coordinator Bruce Dehaven held the same position for the 49ers from 2000-02.

  • Bills WR Stevie Johnson was born in San Francisco, CA, and attended Rodriguez HS in Fairfield, CA.

  • Bills G andy Levitre is from Los Gatos, CA.

  • Bills LB Kirk Morrison is from Oakland, CA, and played with the Oakland Raiders from 2005-09.

  • Bills DB Delano howell played for 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford.

    49ers-Buffalo Connections

  • 49ers S Donte Whitner was the Buffalo Bills 1st round pick (8th overall) in the 2006 NFL Draft, and played five seasons with the Bills from 2006-10.

  • 49ers wide receivers coach John Morton was a wide receiver for the Toronto Argonauts from 1995-96.

    Collegiate Connections

  • DaWg PounD - 49ers TE/DT Demarcus Dobbs played with Bills T Cordy glenn at the University of Georgia from 2008-10.

  • Bayou BroTherS - 49ers DT ricky Jean Francois and Bills DT Kyle Williams were teammates at LSU in 2005.

  • ThunDering herD - 49ers CB C.J. Spillman played at Marshall with Bills TE Lee Smith from 2006-08.

  • DuCKS oF a FeaTher - 49ers DT Will Tukuafu, and Bills S Jairus Byrd were teammates at Oregon from 2007-08. 49ers RB LaMichael James joined them in 2008.

  • gaMeCoCKS - 49ers CB Chris Culliver and Bills DB Stephon gilmore played in the same secondary at the University of South Carolina from 2009-10.

Series Highlights
Matchups: 10
Series record: Series tied 5-5
49ers home record vs. Bills: Series tied 3-3
First Meeting: 9/24/72, Bills win 27-20, at Buf.
Last Meeting: 11/30/08, 49ers win 10-3, at Buf.
Current Streak: Won 1
Longest 49ers Win Streak: 2 (12/11/83-12/17/89)
Longest Bills Win Streak: 2 (9/24/72-12/21/80)
Most 49ers Points: 35 (12/2/01): 35-0, at SF
Most Bills Points: 41 (12/26/04): 41-7, at SF
49ers Shutouts: 1 (12/2/01), 49ers win 35-0, at SF
Bills Shutouts: None

2012 Statistics

49ERS (rank) BILLS (rank)
3-1 (2nd NFCW) Record 2-2 (t-1st AFCE)
26.0 (12th) Points per game 28.8 (6th)
346.3 (19th) Total Offense 387.8 (11th)
167.0 (3rd) Rushing Offense 158.0 (4th)
179.3 (30th) Passing Offense 229.8 (22nd)
31:31 (10th) Possession Avg 30:03 (18th)
16.3 (4th) Points allowed/gm 32.8 (30th)
277.3 (3rd) Total Defense 406.5 (27th)
79.5 (5th) Rushing Defense 137.0 (28th)
197.8 (5th) Passing Defense 269.5 (23rd)
8 (t-18th) Sacks 10 (t-11th)
46.3 (15th) Punting Avg (Gross) 44.6 (20th)
+4 (t-6th) Turnover Differential -3 (t-22nd)