The San Francisco 49ers edged out the Seattle Seahawks thanks in large part to the contributions of kicker Phil Dawson. And now, Dawson is getting some respect for his strong performance. Dawson has been named NFC special teams player of the week for Week 14. Dawson finished the game 4 of 4 on field goals, including a 52-yarder and the game-winning 22-yarder.
The 49ers added Dawson in free agency this past offseason, and Trent Baalke and company nailed this one. He has set the 49ers franchise record for consecutive field goal makes. Dawson actually missed the first regular season field goal he attempted as a 49er, but that might have helped him to some extent. Not so surprisingly, he misjudged the wind at Candlestick Park and drove the ball left instead of right as he wanted. That has led to him paying extra close attention every time he is out there. I recommend checking out this Dawson article over at the Chronicle.
The 49ers have also done a solid job on kickoffs. Dawson does not boom kicks out of the end zone as frequently as some kickers, but the entire coverage unit has been strong. We saw it in particular this past weekend against Seattle. Robert Turbin had one 27-yard kick return, but other than that no return was more than 15 yards. That is more to do with the coverage units than Dawson, but I felt it was worth a mention as the 49ers special teams units have been quite strong this season.