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Game Preview: San Francisco 49ers

Today Big Blue View takes a look at the San Francisco 49ers in preparation for their game against the Giants.


49er logo circa 1946

2008 Record: 2-4 (3rd place, NFC West)

Scored 141 points (23.5/g), 9th of 32 in the NFL.
Allowed 167 points (27.8/g), 32nd.

Takeaway/Giveaway Differential -5 (-0.8/g), 30th.

Head Coach: Mike Nolan

Last time they met:



KEY ADDITIONS: QB J.T. O'Sullivan (from Lions), RB DeShaun Foster (from Panthers), WR Bryant Johnson (from Cardinals), WR Isaac Bruce (from Rams), T Qasim Mitchell (from Cardinals), T Barry Sims (from Raiders), G Chilo Rachal (2nd Round, USC), DE Justin Smith (from Bengals), DT Kentwan Balmer (1st Round, North Carolina), DT LaJuan Ramsey (from Eagles), LB Dontarrious Thomas (from Vikings), LB Takeo Spikes (from Eagles), DB Reggie Smith (3rd Round, Oklahoma), RS/CB Allen Rossum (from Steelers)

KEY DEPARTURES: QB Trent Dilfer (released/retired), QB Chris Weinke (not tendered), RB Maurice Hicks (to Vikings), WR Darrell Jackson (to Broncos), WR Bryan Gilmore (not tendered), RS/WR Michael Lewis (not tendered), T Kwame Harris (to Raiders), G Justin Smiley (to Dolphins), G Larry Allen (not tendered), DE Marques Douglas (to Buccaneers), DE Bryant Young (retired), LB Derek Smith (to Chargers), LB Brandon Moore (to Cardinals)


  • If the 49ers lose the final two games heading into the bye week, club sources expect general manager Scot McCloughan to meet with John and Jed York to discuss their options, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported. Nolan's job performance and his future will be Topic No. 1.
  • When asked if he has talked with the Yorks about his job status, Nolan answered, "I have not had any conversations whatsoever about anything other than just trying to win games."
  • Left tackle Joe Staley says he wanted the rematch with Giants defensive end Michael Strahan after Strahan got the upper hand when they met last season. Staley said that game, in which he surrendered 3.5 sacks, was the biggest learning experience of his young career.
  • Staley said when Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora sustained a season-ending injury in the season-opener; he was rooting for Strahan to come out of retirement."I wanted that rematch to redeem myself," Staley said. "I knew I wouldn't do what I did in that game again. I'm a different player now - more confident now than I was then. But it would be good to go against one of the best D-ends in the league again."
  • DeShaun Foster has not gotten much action with the 49ers, so he does not figure to have a huge role in Sunday's game. However, in 2006 when he was with the Carolina Panthers, he rushed for 151 yards on 27 carries in a victory over the Giants in the NFC Championship game.
  • Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan ranks 37th in the league with a 48.1 passer rating in the fourth quarter. He has completed just 48.9 percent of his passes (23 of 47) with two touchdowns and four interceptions.
  • The 49ers rank 31st in the league in third-down efficiency.
  • O'Sullivan's passer rating of 54.2 on third downs ranks him 26th in the league.
  • Overall, O'Sullivan's numbers are not bad. He has completed 58.2 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions. His passer rating is 76.4, ranking him 20th in the NFL.
  • Former 49ers running back Lenvil Elliott, a key member of the team's 1981 championship season, died Sunday in Richmond, Mo. He was 57.
  • Elliott was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals and played from 1973 to '79. He played three seasons under assistant coach Bill Walsh. When Walsh became 49ers head coach in 1979, he acquired Elliott in a trade. Elliott retired after the Super Bowl-winning season.

BY THE NUMBERS: 3-15 -- The 49ers' record since 2005 when playing East Coast games that start at 10 a.m. (PT). In those games, the 49ers have been outscored 511-242.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm looking for us to play better. I think the players we've got on the field are competent, quality players, and we have got to do a better job. We need to be confident in the things we're doing. That comes, obviously, with success" -- 49ers coach Mike Nolan on why he does not envision making any lineup changes.

NFC West Standings

Arizona 4 2 0 177 144
San Francisco 2 4 0 141 167
St. Louis 1 4 0 62 164
Seattle 1 4 0 100 151

(updated 10.14.2008 at 4:27 AM EDT)

Team Stats - Game Averages

Pts Yrds Pass Rush
Off 23.5 307.2 (19th) 193.5 (19th) 113.7 (17th)
Def 27.8 350.5 (26th) 226.3 (20th) 124.2 (22nd)

Injuries: San Francisco 49ers


Player Injury Type Injury Date
Mark Roman knee 10.17.2008
Manny Lawson hamstring 10.17.2008
Donald Strickland hip 10.17.2008

Out (IR / Out / Suspended / Physically unvailable)

Player Injury Type Injury Date
Zak Keasey biceps 10.13.2008
Damane Duckett knee 8.10.2008
Jeb Terry foot 8.2.2008
Alex Smith right shoulder 9.10.2008
Shawntae Spencer knee 10.16.2008
Jay Moore biceps 8.30.2008