2009 San Francisco 49ers season
|2009 San Francisco 49ers season|
|Head coach||Mike Singletary|
|Home field||Candlestick Park|
|Division place||2nd NFC West|
|Playoff finish||did not qualify|
|AP All-Pros||Patrick Willis (1st team)
Andy Lee (2nd team)
The 2009 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 64th season, 60th in the National Football League, and the first full year with Mike Singletary as head coach after being named interim head coach in 2008. It is the seventh year in which the 49ers have their seventh offensive coordinator. They were looking to improve upon their 7–9 record from 2008 with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft,
The 49ers started the 2009 season hot by winning three of the first four games. Their only loss in that span was against the Minnesota Vikings on a last-second, 32-yard touchdown from QB Brett Favre to WR Greg Lewis. With that, and a week-5 blowout loss against the Atlanta Falcons, the team got a bad omen for the remainder of the year. The 49ers' defense, led by linebacker Patrick Willis, kept the 49ers in games, while their offense was inconsistent. Most of the blame was due to their weak offensive line, namely, the injury of left tackle Joe Staley in a week 7 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
The 49ers won a week 12 home game over the Jacksonville Jaguars, 20–3. The win helped keep the 49ers' season alive. Going into week 13 against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers were heavily favored to win the game; however, critical mistakes in the game cost them the win and gave the team a huge blow of any chances of making the playoffs. The following week on Monday Night Football, the 49ers played the Arizona Cardinals, who were trying to clinch the NFC West. The 49ers' defense came out and exploded on the Cardinals top-ranked offense, causing them to turn over the ball 7 times. This was the first time San Francisco caused 7 or more turnovers in a game since forcing eight against the New Orleans Saints on September 14, 1997. The 49ers won the game 24–9, keeping their very slim playoff hopes alive. The next week they were defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles. The loss officially wiped out the 49ers from playoff contention.
Despite being benched for 5 and a half games, Alex Smith came in and threw for a career-best 2,350 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions. Frank Gore rushed for 1,120 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was awarded his second Pro Bowl appearance. Tight end Vernon Davis turned his career around by leading the team with 965 yards and 13 touchdowns – which tied the single-season record for most touchdowns by a tight end. Rookie wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who held out the first four games of the season, was able to put up solid numbers, with 625 receiving yards, 48 receptions, and 2 touchdowns. On defense, Patrick Willis, for the second time in his first three seasons in the league, led the NFL with 152 tackles and helped the 49ers become one of the best defensive units in the NFL. He was awarded his third straight Pro Bowl appearance.
- 1 Offseason
- 2 Personnel
- 3 Schedule
- 4 Regular season summaries
- 4.1 Week 1: at Arizona Cardinals
- 4.2 Week 2: vs. Seattle Seahawks
- 4.3 Week 3: at Minnesota Vikings
- 4.4 Week 4: vs. St. Louis Rams
- 4.5 Week 5: vs. Atlanta Falcons
- 4.6 Week 7: at Houston Texans
- 4.7 Week 8: at Indianapolis Colts
- 4.8 Week 9: vs. Tennessee Titans
- 4.9 Week 10: vs. Chicago Bears
- 4.10 Week 11: at Green Bay Packers
- 4.11 Week 12: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
- 4.12 Week 13: at Seattle Seahawks
- 4.13 Week 14: vs. Arizona Cardinals
- 4.14 Week 15: at Philadelphia Eagles
- 4.15 Week 16: vs. Detroit Lions
- 4.16 Week 17: at St. Louis Rams
- 5 Standings
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The 49ers released Mike Martz on December 30, 2008. One day following the firing of Martz, the 49ers released quarterbacks coach Ted Tollner and running backs coach Tony Nathan. "To get where we needed to go, I felt those decisions needed to be made at this time," said Mike Singletary. Tony Nathan's replacement came on January 7, 2009 when former 49ers' fullback Tom Rathman agreed to become the new running backs coach.
Before the 49ers found a new quarterbacks coach, they introduced two new coaching positions on January 12, 2009. Mike Singletary's nephew Vantz Singletary became the 49ers' inside linebackers coach, while Al Harris was signed as the 49ers' pass rush specialist coach.
One month after the firing of Martz, Jimmy Raye was finally hired as offensive coordinator, making him the seventh offensive coordinator in seven years for the 49ers. Along with the hiring of Raye, Ted Tollner's replacement Mike Johnson was signed as the 49ers' quarterback coach.
Offensive coordinator search
Two days after Mike Singletary was hired as San Francisco's head coach, Singletary fired offensive coordinator Mike Martz. "I am not what he is looking for offensively. I understand that," said Martz in a statement released by the club. With the firing of Martz, the 49ers guaranteed themselves their seventh offensive coordinator in seven years. Possible replacement candidates included Colts wide receivers coach Clyde Christensen, former Rams head coach Scott Linehan, Browns offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski. After a second interview with the 49ers, Linehan was offered the position; however, he declined the position stating that it was not right for his family. Soon after, Linehan accepted the offensive coordinator position for the Detroit Lions. Following, the 49ers interviews Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, former Boston College coach Jeff Jagodzinski, and Ravens quarterbacks coach Hue Jackson. In the same day as the interview with Jackson, the 49ers flew in former Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Reeves for an interview for the position. Following the Reeves interview, the 49ers interviewed Hue Jackson a second time.
One day after Jackson was interviewed, former New York Jets' running back coach Jimmy Raye II was interviewed, making him the eighth offensive coordinator candidate to be interviewed by the 49ers. After interviewing with the 49ers, Raye was named the new offensive coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers; coincidentally, Raye’s first NFL job was the wide receivers coach for the 49ers under Ken Meyer in 1977. Raye stated that he and Mike Singletary shared a belief on how football should be played, that being a ground-based, physical football team. Raye has had successful years as a run-based offensive coordinator, namely with the 1984 Los Angeles Rams, when Eric Dickerson rushed for a league-record 2,105 yards. However, his recent success has been questionable. While being the Oakland Raiders' offensive coordinator from 2004 to 2005, the Raiders were 32nd and 29th in rushing offense, respectively. Nonetheless, while Raye was running backs coach for the New York Jets over the past two years, Jets' running back Thomas Jones has finished each season with over 1,000 yards rushing. In the 2008 season, Jones finished the season with the 5th most rushing yards, behind only Adrian Peterson, Michael Turner, DeAngelo Williams, and Clinton Portis.
In 1996 the 49ers changed their uniforms to a darker cardinal red, with the most recent change being updating their pants back to gold in 1998. Eleven years later, the 49ers decided to once again modify their uniform. The uniform change rumors were confirmed by Andy Dolich at the 49ers' State of the Franchise. When asked when they were going to change their uniforms "back to normal", Dolich replied, stating, "Stay tuned. Don’t be surprised if you see championship colors back". The uniforms were revealed on April 25, 2009 during the first day of the draft. 49ers players Patrick Willis, Josh Morgan, Dashon Goldson, Joe Staley, and Moran Norris displayed the new jerseys and pants at the 49ers draft party. The new jerseys are very similar to the classic design, with minor changes to the sleeve stripes, the moving of secondary numerals to the top of the shoulders, and the inclusion of a "49ers" ligature below the neck. The shade of red is also arguably slightly darker than the scarlet of classic jerseys, but significantly lighter than the cardinal red used in the 1996–2008 designs.
The following are players signed by the 49ers in the 2009 off-season:
† College football team
‡ Arena Football League team
The following are players who were released by the 49ers in the 2009 off-season:
|Date Released||Position||Player||Contract left||2009 Team|
|02-10||LB||Tully Banta-Cain||1yr / $1.275 mil||New England Patriots|
|02-10||S||Keith Lewis||1yr / $0.85 mil||Arizona Cardinals|
The following are players whose contracts expired at the end of the 2008 season:
|2009 Team||Date Signed||Contract|
|TE||Billy Bajema||UFA||St. Louis Rams||March 30, 2009||TBA|
|T||Damane Duckett||UFA||New England Patriots||March 24, 2009||TBA|
|DL||Ronald Fields||UFA||Denver Broncos||March 3, 2009||2yrs / $5 mil|
|WR||Bryant Johnson||UFA||Detroit Lions||February 28, 2009||3yrs / $9 mil|
|QB||JT O'Sullivan||UFA||Cincinnati Bengals||March 6, 2009||2yrs|
|RS||Allen Rossum||UFA||San Francisco 49ers||March 10, 2009||TBA|
|TE||Sean Ryan||UFA||Kansas City Chiefs||April 21, 2009||TBA|
|LB||Takeo Spikes||UFA||San Francisco 49ers||March 4, 2009||2 yrs|
|CB||Donald Strickland||UFA||New York Jets||March 25, 2009||3yrs|
2009 NFL Draft
|Draft order||Player name||Position||Height||Weight||College||Contract||Notes|
|1||10||10||Michael Crabtree||WR||6 ft 2 in||214 lb||Texas Tech||6 yrs|
|2||11||43||Traded||Traded to the Carolina Panthers|
|3||10||74||Glen Coffee||RB||6 ft 0 in||209 lb||Alabama||4 yrs|
|4||11||111||Traded||Traded to the Carolina Panthers|
|5||10||146||Scott McKillop||ILB||6 ft 1 in||244 lb||Pitt||4 yrs|
|35||171||Nate Davis||QB||6 ft 1 in||226 lb||Ball State||4 yrs||Compensatory Pick|
|6||11||184||Bear Pascoe||TE||6 ft 5 in||261 lb||Fresno State||4 yrs|
|7||10||219||Curtis Taylor||S||6 ft 3 in||204 lb||LSU||4 yrs / $1.8 mil|
|35||244||Ricky Jean-Francois||DT||6 ft 3 in||281 lb||LSU||4 yrs||Compensatory Pick|
Surprisingly, the Oakland Raiders opted to choose WR Darrius Heyward-Bey at the 7th pick instead of WR Michael Crabtree, who was considered the top wide receiver in the draft. Because of this, the 49ers were able to pick Crabtree at the 10th selection. "Once we got to 10 and Crabtree was there, it was over," said general manager Scot McCloughan, "... this is great, this is outstanding." Additionally, the 49ers traded their 2009 2nd- and 4th-round picks to the Carolina Panthers for their 2010 1st-round pick.
At the start of the 2008 season, JT O'Sullivan was named the starting quarterback of the 49ers, beating out the injured Alex Smith and third-string Shaun Hill. However, after a performing poorly for the first half of the season, O'Sullivan was benched and Hill became the starting quarterback. By the season's end, Hill's numbers were solid; however, even with a career passer rating of 91.6 going into 2009, Mike Singletary has stated that Hill will not be named the starting quarterback for the 49ers. "There’s going to be competition for that spot," said Singletary the 49ers' State of the Franchise Meeting, "If Alex is back, there will be competition for that spot."
Just hours after Kurt Warner decided to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, the 49ers signed a one-year deal with quarterback Damon Huard. The signing of Huard brings veteran experience to the 49ers' quarterback corp. On March 10, Smith accepted a pay cut to stay with the 49ers. On top of the release of JT O'Sullivan, last year's starting quarterback, to the Cincinnati Bengals, Hill, Smith, Huard, and draft pick Nate Davis will be competing for the starting quarterback position.
Chasing Kurt Warner
Heading into the 2005 season, Arizona Cardinals' quarterback Kurt Warner became a free agent. After being offered a two-year, $20 million contract by the Cardinals, Warner declined. Following, Warner decided to take a visit to the 49ers on March 2, 2009. The 49ers sent a private jet for Warner and his wife Brenda; a limousine brought the couple to Silicon Valley, where the 49ers' training complex is located. However, on March 4, Warner resigned to the Cardinals for a two-year, $23 million deal. Many believe that the visit to California was a way to gain leverage on the Cardinals in order to raise the contract deal; although Warner and his agent insists that was not the case.
Restructuring Smith's contract
Alex Smith, the number one overall pick of the 2005 NFL Draft by the 49ers, was scheduled to make $9.625 million going into the 2009 season. However, with one-and-a-half seasons on the Injured reserve list, the 49ers asked Smith to renegotiate his contract. After returning from his honeymoon in the Maldives, Smith agreed to a pay cut at an undisclosed amount. With the cut, Smith says that he is ready to compete for the starting quarterback spot, primarily against Shaun Hill. "I’m glad it’s against Shaun," Smith said, "He’s a great guy. I can’t think of a better guy to compete against."
On September 11, 2009, head coach Mike Singletary announced the 2009 season captains for the 49ers. They were center Eric Heitmann and tight end Vernon Davis for the offense; linebacker Patrick Willis, linebacker Takeo Spikes and defensive end Justin Smith for the defense, and running back Michael Robinson for special teams. The captains were chosen by Singletary himself.
Davis' selection as captain represented a turnaround after he was benched during Singletary's first game as head coach in 2008.
|2009 San Francisco 49ers final roster|
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||Friday, Aug. 14||7 p.m. PDT||Denver Broncos||W 17–16||1–0||Candlestick Park||KPIX||Recap|
|2||Saturday, Aug. 22||5:15 pm PDT||Oakland Raiders||W 21–20||2–0||Candlestick Park||KPIX||Recap|
|3||Saturday, Aug. 29||5 p.m. PDT||at Dallas Cowboys||W 20–13||3–0||Cowboys Stadium||KPIX||Recap|
|4||Friday, Sept. 4||7 p.m. PDT||at San Diego Chargers||L 7–26||3–1||Qualcomm Stadium||KPIX||Recap|
|Week||Date||Kickoff||Opponent||Results||Game Site||TV||NFL Recap|
|Final score||Team record|
|1||September 13||1:15 pm PDT||at Arizona Cardinals||W 20–16||1–0||University of Phoenix Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|2||September 20||1:05 pm PDT||Seattle Seahawks||W 23–10||2–0||Candlestick Park||Fox||Recap|
|3||September 27||10 a.m. PDT||at Minnesota Vikings||L 24–27||2–1||Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome||Fox||Recap|
|4||October 4||1:15 pm PDT||St. Louis Rams||W 35–0||3–1||Candlestick Park||Fox||Recap|
|5||October 11||1:05 pm PDT||Atlanta Falcons||L 10–45||3–2||Candlestick Park||Fox||Recap|
|7||October 25||10 a.m. PDT||at Houston Texans||L 21–24||3–3||Reliant Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|8||November 1||10 a.m. PST||at Indianapolis Colts||L 14–18||3–4||Lucas Oil Stadium||Fox||Recap|
|9||November 8||1:15 pm PST||Tennessee Titans||L 27–34||3–5||Candlestick Park||CBS||Recap|
|10||Nov. 12 (Thursday)||5:20 pm PST||Chicago Bears||W 10–6||4–5||Candlestick Park||NFLN||Recap|
|11||November 22||10 a.m. PST||at Green Bay Packers||L 24–30||4–6||Lambeau Field||Fox||Recap|
|12||November 29||1:05 pm PST||Jacksonville Jaguars||W 20–3||5–6||Candlestick Park||CBS||Recap|
|13||December 6||1:15 pm PST||at Seattle Seahawks||L 17–20||5–7||Qwest Field||Fox||Recap|
|14||Dec. 14 (Monday)||5:30 pm PST||Arizona Cardinals||W 24–9||6–7||Candlestick Park||ESPN||Recap|
|15||December 20||1:15 pm PST||at Philadelphia Eagles||L 13–27||6–8||Lincoln Financial Field||Fox||Recap|
|16||December 27||1:05 pm PST||Detroit Lions||W 20–6||7–8||Candlestick Park||Fox||Recap|
|17||January 3, 2010||10 a.m. PST||at St. Louis Rams||W 28–6||8–8||Edward Jones Dome||Fox||Recap|
|NOTE: Division games are in bold text.|
Regular season summaries
Week 1: at Arizona Cardinals
The 49ers flew to Arizona for a week 1 opener against the team that had swept them the previous season. 49ers quarterback Shaun Hill made his season-opening debut, hoping to redeem himself for letting a close game slip through his fingers the previous year. The first half was largely a defensive struggle. With 5:26 remaining in the first half Frank Gore, the 49ers feature back and offensive focal point the last three seasons, had been held to negative one yard rushing on six carries. Arizona's offense, known in 2008 for their great passing attack, was forced to punt after going 3 and out on three separate occasions, was held to only 3 first downs, and turned the ball over once on an interception by Patrick Willis at this point in the game. After trading field goals, the 49ers were up 6–3 when Frank Gore pounded his way through for a 6-yard score. Cardinals kicker Neil Rackers would kick a 45-yard field goal to close out the first half to make the score 13–6.
In the third quarter, Kurt Warner led the Cardinals on a long drive capped off with a quick touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, a score that would tie the game at 13–13. Despite the small momentum the 49ers had gained by the end of the first half, in the third quarter the 49ers were held to all of 4 yards total Offense. All of the momentum was going Arizona's way after forcing the 49ers to zero first downs and three punts in as many drives. Not long thereafter, the Cardinals took the lead with a Rackers field goal to get the score to 16–13. In 4th quarter, Shaun Hill lifted his demons by responding on the following drive leading the 49ers offense on a long drive lasting 15 plays that was capped off with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Frank Gore. More tension was yet to come as the 49ers defense stopped the Cardinals hurry-up offense on two consecutive drives, one ending on a failed 4th and 5 from the 49ers 33 yard line with 1:51 left in the game. After forcing the Cardinals to burn up their final two time outs with consecutive runs the 49ers were forced to punt giving Arizona one last chance with only 43 seconds left to play from their own 12. Defensive end Justin Smith would make the game winning sack. With the win, led primarily by the 49ers outstanding defensive effort, the 49ers started their season 1–0.
Week 2: vs. Seattle Seahawks
Coming off their upset road win over the Cardinals, the 49ers would play their Week 2 home opener against another NFC West foe, the Seattle Seahawks. San Francisco would get off to a fast start in the first quarter as kicker Joe Nedney got a 37-yard field goal, followed by running back Frank Gore getting a 79-yard touchdown run. The Seahawks would answer in the second quarter as kicker Olindo Mare made a 36-yard field goal. The 49ers would reply with Nedney making a 42-yard field goal, while Seattle closed out the half with quarterback Seneca Wallace completing a 1-yard touchdown pass to running back Julius Jones.
On the first play of the 3rd quarter, the Niners struck back as Gore would break an 80-yard touchdown run. Afterwards, Nedney closed the game out in the fourth quarter as he nailed a 39-yard field goal.
With the win, the 49ers improved to 2–0.
Week 3: at Minnesota Vikings
Coming off an impressive divisional home win over the Seahawks, the 49ers flew to the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome for a Week 3 duel with the Minnesota Vikings. San Francisco would trail early as Vikings quarterback Brett Favre completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Sidney Rice. Minnesota would increase their lead in the second quarter with kicker Ryan Longwell's 40-yard field goal. The 49ers would answer with quarterback Shaun Hill's 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis. The Vikings struck back with Longwell's 52-yard field goal, yet the Niners would take the lead prior to halftime as cornerback Nate Clements returned a blocked field goal 59 yards for a touchdown.
San Francisco would increase their lead in the third quarter with kicker Joe Nedney's 37-yard field goal, but Minnesota replied with wide receiver Percy Harvin returning a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, the Niners got the lead again Hill hooking up with Davis again on a 20-yard touchdown pass. However, the Vikings would snatch victory from the jaws of defeat as Favre completed a 32-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Greg Lewis with 2 seconds left in the game.
With the loss, the 49ers fell to 2–1.
Week 4: vs. St. Louis Rams
The 49ers stayed home and looked to continue their undefeated streak against their divisional opponents with the St. Louis Rams coming to San Francisco. In the first half both teams would sputter offensively. Finally, the 49ers would receive some encouragement from special teams as rookie linebacker Scott McKillop recovered a muffed punt for a touchdown. After halftime, the 49ers were finally able to get some headway offensively as Shaun Hill completed an 18-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis. Not long after that, the 49ers defense cemented the victory with an interception returned for a touchdown by third-year linebacker Patrick Willis, and a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Ray McDonald. Shaun Hill put the final touches on as he completed a 28-yard touchdown pass to Josh Morgan to complete the blowout of 35–0.
With the win, the 49ers improved to 3–1 for the first time since 2002.
Patrick Willis had an excellent day, getting 2.5 sacks and an interception returned for a touchdown.
This also was the 49ers' first shutout win since 2002.
Week 5: vs. Atlanta Falcons
Coming off their shutout home win over the Rams, the 49ers stayed at home for a Week 5 duel with the Atlanta Falcons. The Niners would trail early in the first quarter as Falcons running back Michael Turner got a 7-yard touchdown run, followed by quarterback Matt Ryan's 31-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Roddy White. San Francisco would answer with a 2-yard touchdown run from running back Glen Coffee. After starting the second quarter with a 39-yard field goal from kicker Joe Nedney, Atlanta took over with Ryan hooking up with White again on a 90-yard touchdown pass and Turner's 3-yard & 1-yard touchdown runs. The Falcons would then close out the game with kicker Jason Elam's 40-yard field goal in the third quarter and Ryan's 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
With the loss, the 49ers entered their bye week at 3–2.
Week 7: at Houston Texans
Coming off their bye week, the 49ers flew to Reliant Stadium for a Week 7 interconference showdown with the Houston Texans. San Francisco would find itself trailing early in the first quarter as Texans running back Steve Slaton got a 1-yard touchdown. Houston would add onto their lead in the second quarter with quarterback Matt Schaub hooking up with Slaton on a 9-yard touchdown pass and finding tight end Owen Daniels on a 42-yard touchdown pass.
For the second half, starting quarterback Shaun Hill (6/11 for 45 yards) was benched due to poor performance and replaced with quarterback Alex Smith. It began to pay off in the third quarter as Smith completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis. In the fourth quarter, Smith and Davis would hook up with each other again on a 14-yard touchdown pass. However, the Texans answered with a 50-yard field goal from kicker Kris Brown. The Niners tried to rally as Smith found Davis again on a 23-yard touchdown pass, but that would be as close to a comeback that San Francisco would get as Houston's defense stiffened for the win.
With the loss, the 49ers fell to 3–3.
Wide receiver Michael Crabtree, in his NFL debut, would have 5 receptions for 56 yards.
Week 8: at Indianapolis Colts
Trying to snap their two-game losing streak, the 49ers flew to Lucas Oil Stadium for a Week 8 interconference duel with the Indianapolis Colts. This game would be quarterback Alex Smith's first start since November 12, 2007.
In the first quarter, San Francisco struck first as running back Frank Gore got a 64-yard touchdown run. The Colts would answer with a 38-yard field goal from kicker Matt Stover. Indianapolis would begin the second quarter with Stover's 33-yard field goal, yet the Niners came right back with Smith's 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis. Afterwards, the Colts would close out the half with Stover nailing a 31-yard field goal.
Indianapolis would take the lead in the third quarter as Stover nailed a 40-yard field goal, followed by running back Joseph Addai's 22-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Reggie Wayne to begin the fourth quarter (with a failed 2-point conversion). San Francisco tried to rally, but the Colts' defense would shut down any possible comeback attempt.
With the loss, the 49ers fell to 3–4.
Week 9: vs. Tennessee Titans
Trying to snap a three-game losing streak, the 49ers went home for a Week 9 interconference duel with the Tennessee Titans. In the first quarter, San Francisco struck first as kicker Joe Nedney made a 40-yard field goal. The Titans would respond with a 21-yard field goal from kicker Rob Bironas. Tennessee would take the lead in the second quarter as quarterback Vince Young got a 7-yard touchdown run, yet the 49ers regained the lead with running back Frank Gore's 3-yard touchdown run and quarterback Alex Smith's 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jason Hill.
The Titans would tie the game in the third quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Chris Johnson. San Francisco would begin the fourth quarter with Nedney booting a 25-yard field goal, but Tennessee would take the lead with Johnson's 2-yard touchdown run, kicker Rob Bironas' 28-yard field goal, and cornerback Cortland Finnegan returning an interception 39 yards for a touchdown. The Niners tried to rally as Smith hooked up with Hill again on a 3-yard touchdown pass, but the Titans' defense would prevent further progress.
With their fourth-straight loss, the 49ers fell to 3–5.
Week 10: vs. Chicago Bears
After a scoreless first quarter, San Francisco would strike in the second quarter with a 14-yard touchdown run from running back Frank Gore. The Bears would close out the half with kicker Robbie Gould getting a 50-yard field goal. Chicago would creep closer in the third quarter as Gould nailed a 38-yard field goal. Afterwards, the Niners would add onto their lead as kicker Joe Nedney booted a 21-yard field goal. The Bears would get a comeback drive going as they got inside San Francisco's redzone, yet safety Michael Lewis got the game-ending interception, which preserved the four-point lead.
With their four-game losing streak snapped, the 49ers improved to 4–5.
Week 11: at Green Bay Packers
With the loss, the 49ers fell to 4–6.
Week 12: vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
With the win, the 49ers improved to 5–6 and within two games of the Cardinals for the division lead. This marked the 49ers first victory over the Jaguars in franchise history.
Week 13: at Seattle Seahawks
With the loss, the 49ers dropped to 5–7.
Week 14: vs. Arizona Cardinals
Once again showing up on MNF, the 49ers came home to face off against the surging Cardinals. It was soon evident however, that the Cardinals were not playing their best, turning over the football 7 times, and to add to their troubles the 49ers capitalized on all of their mistakes. In the end, the 49ers' 3 touchdowns were too much for the Cardinals, and the 49ers not only prevented Arizona from clinching the NFC West, but also avoided getting eliminated from the playoff race, improving to 6–7.
Week 15: at Philadelphia Eagles
With the loss, the 49ers fell to 6–8 and were eventually eliminated from the playoff contention.
Week 16: vs. Detroit Lions
For their last home game of the season, the San Francisco 49ers took on the visiting team the Lions. The Lions took an early lead midway through the 1st quarter with a 27-yard Jason Hanson field goal. The 49ers tied it up at the end of the 1st quarter with a 33-yard field goal by Ricky Schmitt. The only score of the 2nd quarter was a 39-yard 49ers field goal just before halftime. In the 3rd quarter came 2 San Francisco TD's. First a 2-yard catch by Vernon Davis, then a 1-yard run by Frank Gore. The Lions kicked their final field goal of the day in the 4th quarter from 38 yards.
49ers RB Frank Gore finished with 152 total yards (110 alone in the third quarter) and a touchdown. Gore carried 28 times for 71 yards to give him 1,013 for the year, making him the first running back in team history to record four straight seasons of over 1,000 yards rushing.
Also with the win, the 49ers improved to 7–8
Week 17: at St. Louis Rams
With the win, the 49ers were good enough to finish their season 8–8 and 2nd place in the NFC West. It also marked their first non-losing season since 2002.
|(4) Arizona Cardinals||10||6||0||.625||4–2||8–4||375||325||L1|
|San Francisco 49ers||8||8||0||.500||5–1||7–5||330||281||W2|
|St. Louis Rams||1||15||0||.063||0–6||1–11||175||436||L8|
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