Good morning, Niners Nation. And what a good day it is to be part of this nation. I looked at expert predictions going into the game against the Patriots and only two (out of around 20...not sure, I didn't count) picked us to win. Which is probably less than how many picked us to lose to the Rams, but, hey....we play to our opponents level. Good thing the playoffs are coming.
Speaking of the playoffs...if we can beat the Seahawks we should be able to secure the No. 2 seed and the coveted bye week that accompanies it. It's going to be a helluva game, that one. Did anyone happen to read the link someone put in the comments of yesterday's Nuggets? It leads to the comments on the open thread for the 4th quarter of SNF on the Seahawks SB Nation page. Absolutely hilarious to read. It goes from calling the 49ers every name in the book and saying they had the division in the bag to a big fat WTF....you can read it and hear the pin drop in households all across Seattle. Here it is. Oh, lots of profanity, not for small children. | Sunday Night Football open game thread II (Field gulls)
Man, I love a sports rivalry and if things keep going as expected, we might have a rival on our hands for quite some time.
This edition of the Nuggets has a bit of leftover Niners-Patriots news, the beginnings of the Niners-Seahawks roar that will be deafening by Sunday night, and a lot of love for Michael Crabtree. Enjoy.
Week 15: 49ers 41, Patriots 34
Here's a massive article about the slugfest that was last Sunday night's game in Foxboro, by the New York Times. We went in there and beat the Patriots for their first home loss in December in over 10 years. The writer hints that we may be in for a rematch in New Orleans. | Are 49ers and Patriots still the best? Maybe (New York Times)
Harbaugh proud of team's effort in New England (Mercury News)
49ers-Patriots game draws viewership over 23 million (CSN Bay Area)
Week 16: 49ers at Seahawks
We need all the help we can get against the suddenly explosive Seahawks and Justin Smith's help is the best kind. Coach Harbaugh is sounding optimistic that Smith will play this weekend against Seattle. | Harbaugh sounds optimistic about Justin Smith's injury (Inman)
Here's Matt Maiocco on the Smith injury. He has some info on how well Ray McDonald played and Ricky-Jean Francois filling in superbly. | Harbaugh expects to see Justin Smith (Maiocco)
And just a little Seahawks' promo news to get the noise started for this weekend's division clash. | Seahawks dominating like no NFL team in more than 70 years (Pro Football Talk)
Can Seahawks follow Rams' lead this week? (Sando)
Assorted 49ers News
BASG takes a look at Michael Crabtree's improved footwork, crediting it for his increasing success. I had always been critical of Crabtree, but Sunday night made it official. Not only do I take back everything bad I ever said, I praise him for his clutch play on third downs and against the Patriots. There's plenty of GIFs here of his handiwork, er....footiwork. | Crabtree's footwork key to recent success (BASG)
More Crabtree love, this time from Eric Branch. Some good stats about Crabs' emergence as Kaepernick's favorite weapon and the ridiculous number of targets he's received since Kap took over. | Kaepernick-Crabtree connection producing big numbers, coach crowing (Branch)
How long do we have to wait before Kaepernick and Vernon Davis make some noise together? Vernon has been non-existent over the last 4 weeks, to the tune of 4 catches for 29 yards. He played well against Chicago in CK's first start. | 49ers notebook: Vernon Davis, Colin Kaepernick need to work on chemistry (Bonagura)
Cam Inman has a list of playoff scenarios for us and all teams that stand in our way. | Playoff scenarios for 49ers and all those in their Super Bowl path (Inman)
Who was the hero in Week 15? LaMichael James' kickoff return, as well as his staying in bounds on run plays late in the game were crucial to the team's success. | James wins Week 15 rookie honor (49ers.com)
Here's some more on Vernon Davis and his lack of chemistry with Kap. There's some transcripts from an interview. | Davis on chemistry with Kaepernick: "We don't have it" (Branch)
49ers have late momentum after win at New England (Yahoo!)
49ers next goal: First-round bye in playoffs (Press Democrat)
Coach's notebook: Dec. 17 (49ers.com)
Little girl lays down rap for Kaepernick (SF Gate)
Kaepernick working on rapport with Jonathan Goodwin, Vernon Davis (Inman)
Vernon Davis has to re-take chemistry (Barrows)
Demarcus Dobbs: Knee injury won't require surgery (Branch)
49ers gear up for playoff run (49ers.com)
49ers notes: Jonathan Goodwin not worried about fumbles (CSN Bay Area)
Aaron Rogers hints Alex Smith is unappreciated (CSN Bay Area)
League / Division / Power Rankings
Who's No. 1? Take a guess! We are! There really wasn't any other option for the voters in this week's ESPN power rankings. Although John Clayton has the Falcons 1st and us 3rd. I really hope that's who we meet in the NFC Championship game. They've been talking a lot about how good they are, and the only decent team they've beaten all season is the NYG last weekend. | NFL Power Rankings: How they voted (Sando)
Both Colin Kaepernick and Michael Crabtree make an appearance on Mike Sando's risers list, but what two 49ers are on his sliders? | NFC West stock watch (Sando)
Niners now one spot from top in AP power poll (Scout.com)
Videos / Assorted Media
BASGcast (Episode 13) (BASG)
CEO Jed York on the Jim Rome show (49ers.com)
Locker room speech: 49ers at Patriots (49ers.com)
Press pass: Frank Gore (49ers.com)
Press pass: Vernon Davis (49ers.com)
That's all guys. What a week. Another massive one coming up. I get to watch the next two games as well because my factory closes for a week and a half around the holidays. Go me!
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