The 49ers are one scary team right now

881167.jpg

The 49ers are one scary team right now

From Comcast SportsNetSAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The San Francisco 49ers stymied 2011 NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers in Week 1, then record-setting Matthew Stafford in Week 2.This stingy, opportunistic defense is again making its mark as one of the league's best facing the top offenses and most prolific passers -- and that you can shake on.The Niners denied Stafford another milestone, Vernon Davis caught touchdown passes of 21 and 23 yards from Alex Smith, and San Francisco beat the Detroit Lions 27-19 on Sunday night in a September showdown of NFC powers that hardly lived up to its hype.Smith completed 20 of 31 throws for 226 yards and extended his franchise-record streak of passes without an interception to 216. He led the reigning NFC West champion Niners (2-0) to their ninth straight win in the series since the Lions' last victory on Sept. 25, 1995. Smith took a hard hand to the helmet from John Wendling late and bloodied his nose.The 49ers ran their home winning streak against the Lions to 12 games since Detroit's last victory at Candlestick Park on Nov. 2, 1975.And no heated greeting after this one. Coaches Jim Harbaugh and Jim Schwartz met each other with a friendly hello and handshake during pregame warmups, then an uneventful shake and half-hug when time expired.Frank Gore carried 17 times for 89 yards and a 1-yard touchdown, just missing his fifth 100-yard game in as many career meetings with the Lions.Calvin Johnson caught eight passes for 94 yards, but that was hardly enough as the Lions (1-1) never got closer than the 20 until their final drive on a cool, windy night by the bay. San Francisco's secondary kept Megatron from catching a touchdown pass for the second straight matchup, forcing Stafford to rely heavily on the running game.Another impressive outing by a defense that shut down Rodgers in a 30-22 win over the Packers last week at Lambeau Field.Stafford finished 19 for 32 with 230 yards, one touchdown and an interception, missing a chance to become the first player in NFL history to throw for 350 yards in five straight games. Drew Brees of the Saints also did so in four consecutive games last season.Stafford threw for 355 yards in last week's 27-23 win over St. Louis at home but also had three interceptions before halftime for the first time -- and said he couldn't do that again for the Lions to win. He never got in sync.The 49ers dominated on both sides of the ball 11 months to the day after rallying for a 25-19 win at Ford Field to hand Detroit its first defeat following a 5-0 start. It ended with excitable Harbaugh's firm handshake and backslap that ignited Lions coach Schwartz -- and they had to be separated leaving the field.There were some hot tempers Sunday, too. After Davis and Delanie Walker drove Cliff Avril to the sideline while blocking on a running play, Avril kicked Walker in the helmet. Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus and 49ers cornerback Tarell Brown pushed and shoved after a big hit by Patrick Willis on Johnson in the first quarter.Smith exploited Detroit's depleted, frustrated secondary at every opportunity. On his TD, Davis easily beat Wendling, starting as regular safety Louis Delmas recovers from knee surgery.Smith hit Michael Crabtree on the left sideline for a 17-yard gain, then Davis scored on the next play. The Lions were without rookie cornerback Bill Bentley because of a concussion sustained last week and cornerback Chris Houston with an ankle injury.David Akers kicked field goals from 36 and 48 yards for San Francisco a week after connecting from 63 yards to tie an NFL record.Jason Hanson finished with field goals of 38, 41, 40 and 48 yards. He also missed one off the right upright on a 40-yard attempt late in the second quarter. The Lions scored their lone touchdown on Stafford's 9-yard TD pass to Brandon Pettigrew with 1:29 remaining.The 49ers ended their streak of 26 quarters spanning six straight regular-season games without a turnover, and 36 consecutive quarters without a lost fumble since Davis lost one Nov. 6 last year at Washington. San Francisco was trying to match the 2010 Patriots for the NFL record of seven games without a turnover.After Hanson's first field goal, Kendall Hunter fumbled the kickoff return after being stripped by Tahir Whitehead and Kassim Osgood recovered. It marked the first career lost fumble in 18 games for the second-year halfback.But Ahmad Brooks batted down a pass on third down in the ensuing series as the Lions had to settle for another field goal.San Francisco's defense delivered again on Detroit's next series. On third-and-6 from the 20, Stafford threw down the middle of the field with nobody even close and safety Dashon Goldson jumped in for an interception.A special teams blunder hurt the Lions late in the first quarter when Drayton Florence, another fill-in cornerback, was flagged for running into Akers. That gave the Niners first down at the 12, and Gore scored three plays later 3 seconds into the second quarter.San Francisco's defense kept Detroit out of the end zone on the Lions' first drive despite a big penalty. Chris Culliver received a debated pass interference from the replacement officials when he tipped a pass intended for Titus Young for a 33-yard penalty.

Quick Links

Dylan Bundy's brilliant night ends with 3-1 loss

dylanbundy72716_usatodaysports.png
USA TODAY Sports

Dylan Bundy's brilliant night ends with 3-1 loss

BALTIMORE---Dylan Bundy had a dreamlike five innings. Everything was working. 

Bundy, in just his third major league start, had the Oriole Park fans excited. He was retiring Colorado Rockies, seemingly at will, and through five, he had a perfect inning. 

No one came close to reaching base. 

In the sixth, the dream ended as the Colorado Rockies hit two home runs and instead of something wonderful, Bundy had a painful defeat. 

The Rockies’ 3-1 win before 20,234 on Wednesday night, was just the second time this season the Orioles have lost a series. 

“He was the reason we were in that game,” manager Buck Showalter said. 

While Bundy was perfect for five innings, the Orioles (58-42) could do little against Jon Gray (7-4). 

Bundy (3-3) retired the first 16 Rockies (49-52) before he walked Mark Reynolds. Nick Hundley ended the no-hitter and shutout with a home run to left, his fifth. 

After DJ LeMahieu grounded back to Bundy, David Dahl hit his first major league home run, and Colorado led 3-0. 

“Just two mistakes, changeups that were up in the zone and they were able to tag them for homers. Maybe just a little more focus or location a little bit better in the sixth inning and you get out of that with six innings pitched and no harm done,” Bundy said. 

Bundy was out of the game after 5 2/3 innings. He struck out a career-high eight batters, including seven of the first 12. 

Chris Davis had the first hit off Gray, and his first hit after 24 hitless at-bats when he dropped a bunt down against the shift to start the second. 

Matt Wieters thought he had given the Orioles a 1-0 lead when he hit a long drive to right. It was ruled foul, and the call withstood a crew chief challenge. 

It wasn’t the only call that went against the Orioles. Colorado’s Carlos Gonzalez reached base in the ninth on an overturned call.

"I thought it was a home run. i think everybody felt like it was a home run. I actually thought the guy was out at first, but they overturned that one, too. I was really surprised at that one. He didn't beat the play. At the very best, he tied the play, which is not beating the play,” Showalter said.

In the fourth, Gray hit Adam Jones with a pitch. Jones took third on Hyun Soo Kim’s single, and stayed there on Manny Machado’s short fly to left. Davis walked to load the bases. 

The bases stayed loaded as Mark Trumbo popped out to second nbd Jonathan Schoop flied to center. 

Wieters doubled to start the fifth, but he stayed there. 

Machado hit his 21st home run with one out in the sixth for the Orioles’ only run.

Gray, who gave up one run on five hits in seven innings was replaced by Adam Ottavino for the eighth. 

Jones led off with a single. Kim bounced into what was called a double play, but Showalter challenged the call. Kim was ruled safe, but Jones was called out. Machado struck out, and Boone Logan struck out Davis, who is now 1-for-27.

Carlos Estevez got Trumbo to fly out to left, stretching his hitless streak to 17 at-bats. He quickly retired Schoop and Wieters for his 10th save. 

Trumbo and Schoop have played in each of the Orioles’ first 100 games. But, Trumbo didn’t have an All-Star break, and he doesn’t deny being a bit weary. 

“Doing the best I can to stay fresh. Kind of trying to pick and choose some spots. It’s this time of year where there’s a decent amount of wear and tear. You just have to gut it out. That’s what you have to do every year. You feel fortunate to have the ability to play every game, but this is kind of the grind that they talk about,” Trumbo said. 

You know, we fought through it. It's hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching's been better, and we've been in more games. That's why we have a lead in our division right now because we've had other parts of the game pick it up."

The Orioles have averaged three runs per game over the past 16, and Showalter knows the offense has been lagging.

“You know, we fought through it. It's hard to keep the pace that we were at. Our pitching's been better, and we've been in more games. That's why we have a lead in our division right now because we've had other parts of the game pick it up,” Showalter said. 

NOTE: Ubaldo Jimenez (5-9, 7.38) faces Kyle Gibson (3-6, 4.67) as the Orioles play a makeup game in Minnesota on Thursday night.  

 

Quick Links

Suggs insists thought of retiring didn't cross his mind during rehab

Suggs insists thought of retiring didn't cross his mind during rehab

OWINGS MILLS – Not only does 33-year-old Terrell Suggs expect to be back on the field soon, the Ravens’ outside linebacker expects to play at a high level for several more seasons after recovering from his torn Achilles injury.

“It’s a fair question,” said Suggs on Wednesday, when asked what can realistically be expected from him in 2016. “This is 14 years for me. I came here a young 20-year-old, really didn’t know anything. I had some of the greatest Jedi Masters teaching me. It’s a fair question. We’ve seen a lot of Ravens come and go, and I’m one of the last few here. It’s a fair question, but in my eyes, premature.”

Suggs will begin training camp on the PUP list, but vows to be back soon.

“It’s not going to be long,” Suggs said. “We’re close to where we want to be. I can’t be timid, but I got to be smart. I feel good.”

Suggs suffered his season-ending Achilles injury Week 1 of last season, and has torn each of his Achilles once. Is it asking a lot for Suggs to still be an every-down player and double-digit sack artist? Yes. Does he sound up for the challenge? Yes.

MORE RAVENS: SUGGS' SHIRT ENDORSES GAME OF THRONES TICKET IN 2016 ELECTION

”Never did it cross my mind that I wasn’t going to come back,” Suggs said. “I got a lot of promises to keep. Many miles before I can sleep.  I love football. I love the locker room. I love my teammates. I love being out here being confrontational.”

Suggs also made it clear he wanted to silence doubters.

“We hear the gossip,” Suggs said. “We hear what y’all are saying. We’re confident, but motivated, too.”

One of the toughest parts of missing last season for Suggs was watching the Ravens go 5-11, and being unable to help.

“It was very tough to watch, and knowing what the guys went through, and for us to not have the success that we expected,” Suggs said. “It just didn’t feel good. Now we get a chance to kind of make it right. Last year’s gone, but we have to make sure that (same) team doesn’t show up Sept. 11 again. We work too hard. Our fans deserve better and we deserve better. We work our tails off. It takes a lot to be considered a Raven. We just got to get back to that.”

How well Suggs plays this year will play a part in determining his future. But as far as Suggs is concerned, it’s too early to start talking about his last ride.

“It’s not something I want to visit at the end of this year, or the end of next year,” Suggs said. “Maybe the year after that we can talk about it. What will I be, 36 then? But I’m not worried about it right now.”

Quick Links

PHOTO: Suggs endorses Game of Thrones ticket with 2016 election T-shirt

PHOTO: Suggs endorses Game of Thrones ticket with 2016 election T-shirt

BY JEREMY FIALKOW (@JeremyFialkow)

Who are you voting for — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Before you answer, let's turn to Ravens' outside linebacker Terrell Suggs for some other options.

Suggs, who's ready to make his triumphant return to football after a couple season-derailing injuries, tossed out his 2016 election endorsement to ... the Stark/Targaryen ticket?

The names, of course, stem from two powerful family names in HBO's hit show 'Game of Thrones.' 

(Screenshot/CSN Mid-Atlantic)

Whether Suggs actually stays up to date with 'Thrones' or if the network gifted him merchandise from all of their shows remains to be seen. Regardless, T-Sizzle is starting a movement, so climb aboard.

RELATED: FLACCO WON'T RUSH KNEE INJURY REHAB