Wednesday, November 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

49ers back in same place, different settings

By
From page B7 | January 18, 2013 |

They’ve already been here.

That’s pretty much the attitude that the San Francisco 49ers must have heading into Sunday’s NFC Championship game, but there’s subtle changes heading into this year’s matchup.

Alex Smith is pretty much done as the 49ers quarterback. Colin Kaepernick cemented his status as San Francisco’s long-term quarterback solution with a record-setting performance in their divisional round blowout victory over the Packers. The 49ers are playing at Atlanta, no home crowd this time to cheer them on, but no outdoor elements with the protection of the Georgia Dome’s roof.

So it should be a little easier to win the NFC title this year as compared to the last.

Though the 49ers are favored by Vegas oddsmakers to beat the Falcons, the road to New Orleans isn’t that easy. They’ll have to stop Atlanta’s passing attack, featuring Matt Ryan, along with receivers Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. They’ll need Justin Smith and Aldon Smith to pour on the pressure to hurry throws from Ryan. Stopping the Falcons passing attack will be the key thing for the 49ers defense, but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio doesn’t want to center on that.

“You talk about defending the receivers you have to know how does that affect Gonzalez, how does that affect the running game,” Fangio said. “So you got to have a good plan in place to stop this offense. It’s not just a receiver driven offense although they are two of the best receivers in the league. They have good weapons all over the place and obviously a really good quarterback in Ryan.”

The 49ers now have a quarterback who Harbaugh actually trusts. That trust will be put back on the spotlight again to see if Kaepernick can repeat last week’s performance on a bigger stage. Kaepernick said he hasn’t rushed for as many yards in a game of similar significance at any level of his playing career after Saturday’s victory.

The question this Sunday is whether Kaepernick can put points on the board rather than yards against a Falcons defense that ranked fifth in points allowed per game in the regular season, but 24th in yards allowed. He certainly didn’t have a problem with that against the Packers.

In re-reading some of my older columns, I used to come down hard on Harbaugh for being too conservative, but that seems to have disappeared with Kaepernick under center. The question now is whether a second-year quarterback is poised enough to lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl in his first real season? He’s already shown he can win a playoff game. He’s shown how dynamic Harbaugh’s offense can be with a quarterback that can run wild and throw the ball decently. Can he now get the 49ers over the hump Super Bowl XLVII?

“I don’t think there’s any hump we have to get over, but it’s a must-win game,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said.

There’s a sign right outside the door to the 49ers locker room. It says, “You are either getting better or getting worse. You never stay the same.”

If the 49ers lose Sunday, what will it mean?

Reach Peter Fournier at pjf94533@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/p_fournier.

Peter Fournier

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Groups distribute Thanksgiving food

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A1, 3 Comments | Gallery

     
     
    County fair proposal, budget topics of scrutiny

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Police: Vehicle burglaries not new for Fairfield

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Fairfield police offer free gun locks

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

     
    Fairfield police investigate shooting

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Library schedules soap-making program

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
    Science comes to libraries – for all to see

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

    Soroptimists seek award applicants

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

     
     
    Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

    Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 2 Comments

     
    Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Suisun City police log: Nov. 24, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

     
    Weather for Nov. 26, 2014

    By Daily Republic | From Page: B12

    .

    US / World

     
    Anger at Ferguson case based on emotion, evidence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 11 Comments

    Tough to make a case against police in shootings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

     
    Protesters return to riot-scarred Ferguson streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 8 Comments

    In Seattle, tofu turkeys get Thanksgiving pardons

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Los Angeles freeway sign unveiled with typo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Heirloom ring flushed; sewer workers retrieve it

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Ohio family recovers missing Sasquatch statue

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Auction fetches $28K for 1st batch of new bourbon

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Agreement: LA jails to improve wheelchair access

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Window washer fights for life after 11-story fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Lawmakers target Golden Gate Bridge sidewalk fee

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Cosby philanthropy shadowed by sexual allegations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    Oakland police arrest more than 40 protesters

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

    Arkansas, Mississippi gay marriage bans overturned

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

     
    Calorie count to appear with many prepared foods

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    8 shoes of Holocaust victims stolen in Poland

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    Activists: Syrian strikes kill 60 in IS-held city

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    AP sources: Top candidate for defense job bows out

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

     
    WWII Museum opening new pavilion in New Orleans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Police: Students ran high school prostitution ring

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

     
    Wet basements in Buffalo as flooding fears ease

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Soldiers to spend Thanksgiving in Ebola isolation

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

     
    2 teen female bombers kill more than 40 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

    Official: Afghan president orders military review

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

     
    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 26, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

    Today in History: Nov. 26, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Horoscope for Nov. 26, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

    The man I’m seeing makes no effort to get to know my kids

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B5

     
    A do-ahead cornmeal biscuit to sop up your gravy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Fresh take on an herb-roasted Thanksgiving turkey

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Turn turkey leftovers into a healthy dinner salad

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Entertainment

    TVGrid

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    ‘Birdman’ leads Spirit Awards nominations

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    .

    Sports

    Vacaville Christian wins 3-0, advances to state quarterfinals

    By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Curry powers Warriors past Heat 114-97

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    49ers rookies shine in big roles, out of necessity

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Cousins, Kings beat Pelicans 99-89

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Red Sox bring in Sandoval, Hanley Ramirez

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    NFL, union discuss personal conduct policy

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Bama, FSU, Oregon, Miss St keep playoff rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Messi sets European record with 74 goals

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Judge OKs Hernandez trial delay in 2012 killings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Kurt Busch wins delay of Delaware court hearing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Giants third base coach Tim Flannery retires

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    AP source: Left-hander Jon Lester, Giants to meet

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Pats are unanimous No. 1 in AP Pro32 rankings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    .

    Business

    New iPhones push Apple’s market cap past $700B

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Twitter lets merchants offer deals to its users

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    US economy posts even stronger growth in Q3

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Thanksgiving travel woes? There’s an app for that

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    US home price gains slow for 10th straight month

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Barbie dethroned by Team Elsa

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Rain, snow could mess up Thanksgiving travel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Glenita Reyes McLaughliin

    By Daily Republic | From Page: A4

     
    Leslie “Esi” Gros

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    For Better or Worse

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Beetle Bailey

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Peanuts

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Baby Blues

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Pickles

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Sally Forth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Frank and Ernest

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    B.C.

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Blondie

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Garfield

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Wizard of Id

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Bridge

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Word Sleuth

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Cryptoquote

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Sudoku

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5