By: Barry Barnes, Founder/Senior Writer
The San Francisco 49ers smell blood and are dead set for a playoff berth. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the Niners’ next victim and they did not disappoint as they slow walked the Bucs with solid defense and long drives for a 33-14.
The Bucs made things interesting early in the fourth quarter to make it a 20-14 game. However, a long drive orchestrated by 49ers’ quarterback Colin Keapernick and a miss-handled exchange on a reverse during a kickoff that led to a touchdown fumble recovery later, San Francisco (10-4) finished out the Bucs at Raymond James Stadium.
“They played keepaway, which is what you worry about with that offensive football team,” said Buccaneers’ head coach Greg Schiano. “The opportunity is there. All week we talked about making it a fourth-quarter game, heavyweight fight, get to the fourth quarter and find a way to win. That’s why it’s very disappointing to players and coaches alike is that we felt like we had the opportunity and let it go.”
By Courtesy of the San Francisco 49ers
-The 49ers reached the 10-win mark for the third consecutive season under head coach Jim Harbaugh, marking the first time San Francisco has accomplished that feat since 1996-98.
-Harbaugh became just the second head coach in franchise history to win at least 10 games in each of his first three seasons at the helm [George Seifert: 14-2 (1998), 14-2 (1990) and 10-6 (1991)], and the only active head coach in the NFL to do so.
-The 49ers improved to 16-7 on the road since head coach Jim Harbaugh took over in 2011, which is tied for the best win percentage (.696) in the NFL during that span.
-The 49ers improved their all-time record against TB to 17-5, and 5-3 against the Buccaneers on the road.
-The 49ers improved their record to 16-6 in the final four games of the regular season since 2008, which is tied for the 3rd best win percentage (.727) in the NFL during that span.
-Harbaugh improved his record against the NFC South to 3-2.
-Harbaugh improved his record as a head coach to 9-3 in the month of December.
-The 49ers offense held the ball for 39:50 at TB, which was the highest time of possession for the team since 11/20/11 vs. Arz. (44:16).
–With 86 yds. rushing on 22 carries, RB Frank Gore eclipsed 1,000 rushing yds. for the season (1,017 yds.), marking the 7th time in 9 seasons that he has rushed for 1,000 yds. Gore has the 2nd most 1,000-yd. rushing seasons among all active players (Steven Jackson, Atl. – 8), and he became just the 20th player in NFL history to register at least 7 career 1,000-yd. rushing seasons.
-With a start against the Buccaneers, Gore has now started 42 consecutive games, which is the longest current streak among active RBs.
-QB Colin Kaepernick completed 19 of 29 passes for 203 yds. with 2 TDs and a passer rating of 108.8. When Kaepernick starts and registers a passer rating of 90.0 or higher, the 49ers are 13-0.
-WR Michael Crabtree notched his first TD recept. of the season, 22nd of his career, on a 4-yd. TD pass from QB Colin Kaepernick.
-TE Vernon Davis hauled in 4 recepts. for 77 yds. and 1 TD. He now has 12 TD recepts. on the season.
-Davis became the first TE in NFL history to register at least 12 TD recepts. in two different seasons (13 TDs in 2009).
-Davis has now registered a TD in 5 straight games for the first time in his in career. The last time the 49ers had a players register a TD recept. in 5 consecutive games was in 2001 (WR Terrell Owens – 5 games).
-With 52 career TD recepts., Davis now ranks t-7th in NFL history for the most TD recepts. by a TE with Dave Casper.
-The 49ers defense registered 4.0 sacks on Buccaneers QB Mike Glennon.
-LB Aldon Smith registered 2.0 sacks at TB, giving him 8.5 for the season and 42.0 for his career. This marked Smith’s 12th game with 2.0 sacks or more.
-DT Justin Smith brought down Glennon, giving him 5.5 sacks on the season and 81.0 sacks for his career.
-Since sacks became an official statistic in 1982, Smith became just the 20th player in the NFL to register at least 5.0 sacks in 11 seasons.-LB Patrick Willis notched his 3rd sack of the season as he sacked Glennon late in the 4th qtr. He now has 20.5 career sacks.
-K Phil Dawson connected on all 4 FG attempts on the day. He has made 24 consecutive FGs, the longest streak of consecutive FGs made in 49ers franchise history.
-RB Kendall Hunter picked up a fumble by Buccaneers WR Eric Page on the kickoff return and returned it 2 yds. for a TD. It marked Hunter’s first return for a TD.
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