Victor Cruz a 49er? Perish the thought. But San Francisco has 47 picks (actually they’ll have 15 after the Alex Smith deal goes through) in the upcoming NFL draft and would certainly hand over one of their two No. 1′s to the Giants in exchange for one of the game’s most exciting and productive wide receivers.
From NFC East blogger Jimmy Kempski:
Let’s assume the Giants tender restricted free agent Victor Cruz at the 1st round level, as expected. If some other team around the league wanted to sign Cruz, they would have to forfeit their first round pick to the Giants, if the Giants chose not to match the offer.
Randy Moss was back on the podium today in New Orleans justifying his claim that he is the best WR in the history of the NFL…..
On Jerry Rice disagreeing that Moss is the greatest receiver of all-time:“Everybody is going to have their opinion. I do not live on numbers. I really do not. If you sit here and just said who is the greatest running back? Statistically it is Emmitt Smith. People would say Barry Sanders, Gale Sayers or Jim Brown. Their numbers do not match Emmitt Smith, but people would say Emmitt Smith is the best running back.”
On how to judge the best receiver:“You make your own judgment. You really do. I know what I think. I am not going to sit up here and tell you how to look at it and how to judge it. I think when it comes to going out there, making plays and helping the team do the things that they are able to do to win the game—I think I am the greatest receiver ever, point blank. Next question.”
On people’s reaction to him calling himself the greatest ever:“I think that it speaks of the impact that I have made on this NFL football league. If Joe Blow would have said it, I do not know if it would have been in USA Today. Since Randy Moss said it, it is front of the sports page. Like I said, I just try to stay humble and do my job. That is what I am able to do. I am able to come out and try to say these things, but I do believe in my heart and my mind I am the greatest to ever do it.”
The ever-unpredictable National Football League, always replete with interesting storylines, took a couple more surprising twists to yield a footnote first on Championship Sunday.
Forget that the NFC’s top-seeded Atlanta Falcons led 17-0 at home, that future Hall of Famer Tom Brady was a perfect 67-0 on the New England Patriots’ home fields when leading at halftime, or that the road teams in each conference title game hadn’t won on the same day since 1997.
And, nevermind that the San Francisco 49ers made a starting quarterback change as late as Week 10, or that the Baltimore Ravens switched offensive coordinators with just three weeks left in the regular season.
A Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh Super Bowl was simply meant to be this year, one year after the same very nearly happened a season ago.
Thus, Jim Harbaugh’s second-seeded 49ers rallied to an improbable 28-24 victory over the Falcons in the NFC championship game just hours before his brother John’s fourth-seeded Ravens overcame a 13-7 halftime deficit at second-seeded New England to capture the AFC crown with a 28-13 win.
And, just like that, the first pair of brothers to ever serve as NFL head coaches, will naturally become the first coaching brothers to compete against each other in the pinnacle of football, in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans, on February 3rd.
Jim, exactly 15 months younger than John (who turned 50 on September 23), has a more fiery personality and was far more accomplished as a player, but each is well-versed in coaching and motivating their respective teams, as evidenced by the way the 49ers and Raven erased second-half road deficits to win conference championships.
While they’ll each be a head coach in a Super Bowl for the first time, the Harbaughs already have a combined five conference title game appearances in seven collective NFL head coaching seasons.
Falcons’ Tony Gonzalez will leave the game the NFL’s most decorated TE. He’d trade it all in for a SB ring.
The NFC Championship Game features the top two seeds for the first time in three years. The second-seeded San Francisco 49ers (12-4-1) return to the game for the second consecutive season. They lost, 20-17, to the Giants last year. The Atlanta Falcons (14-3) clinched the top seed in the NFC and won their first playoff game in the Mike Smith/Matt Ryan era last week vs the Seattle Seahawks.
Kickoff: 3:00pm Eastern Site: Georgia Dome, Atlanta Surface: FieldTurf TV: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver & Erin Andrews (Field reporters) Radio: Dial Global Radio: Dave Sims, James Lofton, Tony Boselli (Field reporter) SIRIUS: 88 (DGR), 92 (SF), 86 (Atl) XM: 88 (DGR), 225 (SF), 226 (Atl) The Line: Niners by 4. OU 49
The 49ers and Falcons meet for 2nd time in postseason. Falcons defeated 49ers 20-18 in 1998 Divisional Playoff (1/9/99). Teams last met in the regular season on Oct 3, 2010. Atlanta won, 16-14. 49ers lead all-time series including playoffs 44-30-1. To read more of this story, click here
For those inquiring about the possibility of RB Brandon Jacobs returning to the Giants, the answer is simple: it ain’t happenin’.
Jacobs is under contract to San Francisco and they hold all the cards. He is currently suspended without pay.
The reasons behind the suspension have been stated by the Niners. It is suspected that Jacobs’ frustration regarding how the team was using (or not using) him, which he had continuously and publicly documented via social media, led the team to suspend him for conduct reasons.
Jacobs has filed a grievance for cause and the verdict can go one of three ways:
He remains suspended without pay for the remainder of the regular season.
He remains suspended, but resumes getting paid.
He gets released.
Since the the trading deadline passed in early November, the only way Jacobs can play for another team this season is if he gets released. by San Fran.
Don’t count on the Niners doing that. They don’t wan’t him to be picked up by a contender (especially the Giants, where he’ll fit right back in) for several reasons:
1. Business. He knows their playbook and will spill it to his new team. That intel will be used against them in any upcoming game. If Jacobs lands with Green Bay, the Giants or Falcons, he immediately bolsters their backfields and makes any playoff matchup vs them more difficult.
2. Personal. They want to punish and humiliate him for his behavior as a member of the Niners. They also don’t want to see him have success somewhere else after getting just seven yards on five carries out him this season.
It is actually cheaper for the Niners to keep him. He is making only $950k this year and suspending him either with or without pay outweighs any scenario in which they release him.
“I’m telling you man, I have a really hard time believing there’s no chance Jacobs did something fishy. It straight up LOOKED like they knew our entire gameplan and everything we were gonna do, then when you factor in we have a player who’s been documented as being pissed at the coaching staff for never playing, AND that he used to play for our opponent and is clearly still very buddy-buddy with them based on his post-game actions, it’s very very very very VERY fishy.”
The fan points out Jacobs visited the Giants’ clubhouse after the game, and that players don’t just visit opposing team’s locker rooms. Then again, not every player was such a key component on two Super Bowl-winning teams.
Not only did Jacobs go visit his old teammates, but so did Mario Manningham and Rich Seubert.
Some, however, are still not convinced.
“Like I said, even if you forget about Jacobs for a second, it did look like they knew exactly what we were up to, and we have shown we have an incredibly creative and unpredictable coaching staff so the fact that NYG looked to always be a step ahead of us looked awfully suspicious…then when you throw in the fact that we got a player who used to play for them, is buddy-buddy with them, was kicking it with them/saying how much he misses them in the locker room afterwards, AND has beef with the coaching staff, it’d be foolish to completely dismiss the idea IMO. … Completely dismissing this notion is ignorant.”
For me, I think it’s silly to think Jacobs is so sour about not seeing the field that he’d cost his team a win. I don’t think any NFL player is capable of that.
Most games played at Candlestick Park are affected by the weather. If you’ve ever been there, it’s a strange convergence of wind, sun, fog and dew. Yesterday, after the fog lifted, the weather could not have been more perfect: Sunny with a kickoff temperature of 61° ; Humidity: 80%, Wind: Northwest 7 mph.
DT Rocky Bernard (quad), S Kenny Phillips (knee) and RB Andre Brown (coHe ncussion) did not make the trip. WR Jerrel Jernigan, TE Adrien Robinson, DE Adewale Ojomo and OL James Brewer were inactive. The Giants used all of their active players except backup QB David Carr.
Of the questionable starters who played, the Giants received a mixed bag. TE Martellus Bennett (knee) played 57 snaps (88%) on offense and 8 plays on special teams (29%). He was targeted only twice in the game, catching one pass for 9 yards.
WR Hakeem Nicks (knee, foot) also started and was on the field for 80% of the offensive snaps. He appeared to be struggling to accelerate but still caught three of the five passes thrown in his direction for 44 yards.
CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring) started and played on 59% of the defensive snaps. He also played one play on specials. He recorded three tackles.
LB Keith Rivers (hamstring) did not get much run yesterday (7 plays, 1 tackle) but as it turns out, the Giants didn’t really need him. He actually got to his hamstring for another week.
S Antrel Rolle (knee) played every snap on defense, had six tackles and 2 INTs.