<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Sports News, Sports Teams, and Scores for the Sharks, 49ers, Raiders,Giants, Bears and More]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:35:03 -0700 Tue, 23 Sep 2014 05:35:03 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[49er Ray McDonald's San Jose Home Burglarized: Source]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:23:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP13080214223.jpg

The home of San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was burglarized over the weekend, a police source told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

San Jose police would not confirm the name of the homeowner who was burglarized, as is standard protocol for victims of a crime.

But police did send out a news release over the weekend stating that officers responded to a report of a residential burglary on Saturday at 10:47 p.m. in the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive. Public records show McDonald lives on that street, in that same block.

In the statement, Officer Albert Morales said the person who called police reported "someone forced entry into the home and stole personal items." Those personal items were not disclosed.

At the time of the burglary, McDonald was in Arizona ahead of Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

The unidentified suspect or suspects remain at large, Morales said, and the investigation is ongoing.

McDonald made headlines recently over an August arrest in connection with an alleged domestic violence incident. The player, who has not been charged by the Santa Clara County district attorney and was released on $25,000 bail, called the arrest a "crazy situation" in a brief interview with NBC Bay Area. He has maintained his innocence.

The 49ers have said McDonald will remain active while he goes through the legal process.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Reality Check: NFL Player Arrests on Rise?]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 20:45:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/goodell-ray-rice.jpg

During the past few weeks, it feels like a day hasn't passed without a new allegation or revelation involving a NFL player and off-the-field misconduct. But a review of a few analyses shows that the recent flood of media coverage isn't the result of an uptick in the number of NFL players experiencing run-ins with the law – there’s been no such uptick. Yet when it comes to domestic violence arrests, NFL players do seem to have a problem.

The New York Times analyzed data compiled by USA Today and found that NFL player arrests for 2014 are actually on track to be the lowest since 2000. As the Times noted, "Arrests peaked in the mid-2000s, and are way down this year. The peak year for arrests of NFL players was 2006, followed closely by 2007 and 2008."

FiveThirtyEight, a respected numbers-crunching website, also looked at the USA Today dataset and found that "arrest rates among NFL players are quite low compared to national averages for men in their age range."

However, FiveThirtyEight's analysis found that NFL player arrests for one particular crime did stand out -- domestic violence, the very crime that is at the center of the ongoing controversy surrounding the NFL.

According to FiveThirtyEight, "domestic violence accounts for 48 percent of arrests for violent crimes among NFL players, compared to our estimated 21 percent nationally."

The numbers show that domestic violence is a serious problem among NFL players, but the notion that players are getting arrested more often than before, or at higher rates than the general public, simply isn’t true.



Photo Credit: AP Images]]>
<![CDATA[49er Ray McDonald's San Jose Home Burglarized: Source]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:35:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP13080214223.jpg

The home of 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald was burglarized over the weekend, a police source told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

San Jose police would not specifically confirm the name of the homeowner who was burglarized, as is standard protocol for victims of a crime.

But police did send out a news release over the weekend stating that officers responded to a report of a residential burglary on Saturday at 10:47 p.m. in the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive. Public records show McDonald lives on that street, in that same block. NBC Bay Area is not posting a photo of that house online, as it is also standard not to show images of homes that have been burglarized, especially high profile ones that can be easily recognized.

At the time of the burglary, McDonald was in Arizona ahead of Sunday's game against the Cardinals.

In the statement, Officer Albert Morales said the person who called police reported "someone forced entry into the home and stole personal items." Those personal items were not disclosed.

The unidentified suspect or suspects remain at large, Morales said, and the investigation is on going.

McDonald was arrested in August on a domestic violence charge, but has not been charged by the Santa Clara County District Attorney, who postponed the case.

In a brief interview with NBC Bay Area as he was released on $25,000 bail, McDonald declined any comment, other than to say "it's a crazy situation." He has maintained his innocence.

Three months earlier, on May 25, San Jose police went to his home after a woman allegedly grabbed a gun in an argument with her fiancé, according to a police report released last week.

This report also does not name either McDonald or the woman, but mentions an engaged couple living at the Bentley Ridge Drive home.

According to the one-paragraph report, the two were arguing about 8 p.m. when the woman "became upset, grabbed a firearm (handgun) registered to the male subject and held it at her side."

When the man told her he was going to call 911, the report said, she "put the firearm away and fled without incident." It noted she "did not make any threats or point the firearm" at him. The report said officers spoke with the couple and left. It did not say who called police or why the two had argued.

No arrests were made that night.

The 49ers have said McDonald will remain active while he goes through the legal process.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Niners Playing With a Different Personality]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:23:24 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/166*120/ninersdropinariz.jpg

Where are the 49ers, and what has the NFL done with them?

So far, San Francisco’s professional football team has very little resemblance to the three previous teams coached by Jim Harbaugh.

The Niners, now 1-2 after consecutive losses to the Bears and Cardinals, used to be a run-first, power-blocking team that relied on its physical defense and offensive personality to take a toll on opponents in the second half.

In reaching three straight NFC title games and a Super Bowl, the 49ers also played smart, disciplined football.

But against the Bears and Cardinals, the Niners have collapsed in the second half. In three games, the 49ers have been outscored in the second half, 52-3.

And in all three games this season, the mistakes and penalties committed have not been of the genius variety. In the defeat in Arizona Sunday, the 49ers went to a wide-open passing scheme, with four- and five-receiver sets, and virtually ignored running back Frank Gore. Gore had just 10 yards rushing on six carries.

Though the 2013 49ers also started out 1-2, they rebounded to finish 12-4 and came within one play of going to the Super Bowl. But as longtime Bay Area columnist Tim Kawakami pointed out, this year’s start feels different.

“We should have two wins,” 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepnerick told Kawakami. “Last year when we had two losses, we didn’t play well at all. These games were close games that we should have won.”

Veteran receiver Anquan Boldin drew a costly unnecessary roughness penalty for head butting a defender, two roughing penalties helped the Cardinals put together their game-winning drive and Chris Culliver committed a taunting penalty. The 49ers were flagged nine times overall for 107 yards. Through three games, the 49ers are the most penalized team in the NFL, with 36 for 305 yards.

The 49ers now have to quickly regroup in time for Sunday’s game at Levi’s Stadium against the 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles.

After Sunday’s game, Harbaugh talked to the media, but his answers were short and not very illuminating.

He said, “We’ve got to eliminate those,” when he was asked about taunting and roughness calls against his team, and said he didn’t have an answer for why the 49ers have played well in the first half but not in the second.

“Just gotta play better,” he said. “We’re not playing good enough right now.”

Without stalwart linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith and with a secondary of new faces in starting spots, the 49ers obviously were going to face a transition period early in 2014.

But second-half collapses, self-defeating penalties and an abandonment of the running game weren’t on the agenda.

Boldin, for one, admitted his mistake with the head butt. But he and other Niners have claimed San Francisco has been unfairly targeted. That too many questionable calls have pulled the rug out from under the 49ers.

“Look at the amount of calls we got, and the times we got them,” Boldin told Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. “The crap’s costing us games.”

He’s right about that. Some calls have been questionable. But so far, this 49ers team hasn’t played smart enough to overcome those calls. If it doesn’t raise its football IQ this Sunday, the Niners could dig themselves a hole that’s much too deep, too early.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Defense May Have Turned a Corner]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 09:20:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/patsnorun.jpg

The Raiders lost their third straight game Sunday. There’s no getting around that.

As they head toward England for Sunday’s clash vs. the Miami Dolphins, Oakland is 0-3 and one of just three NFL teams without a victory.

But after being run over by the Jets and Texans the first two weeks of the season, the Raiders defense now appears to have turned a corner.

Against a strong Patriots offense, the Raiders held their own.

Oakland – which gave up a combined 400 yards rushing in its first two games -- allowed just 76 yards on 32 carries (just 2.4 yards per carry) and held No. 1 running back Stevan Ridley to just 54 yards on the ground.

And, overall, Tom Brady & Co. managed just 297 total net yards.

After two rough outings, the defense – which was supposed to be this team’s strength – may finally have come together.

Veteran safety Charles Woodson, who had said after the Texans loss in Week 2 that “we suck,” was much more positive after Sunday’s loss to the Patriots.

“No doubt about it, it was a much better effort,” Woodson told the Bay Area media after the game. “We still came up short, which is disappointing for us because we all fought our hearts out. We just came up a little short.”

Rookie outside linebacker Khalil Mack had by far his best game, with seven tackles and a hard hit on Brady in the third quarter after getting a strong rush past solid veteran left tackle Nate Solder.

Afterward, Solder told Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group that Mack is “a good player” and “an incredible talent.”

Though the Raiders lost safety Tyvon Branch during the game, the defense played tough throughout – and that was even without linebackers Nick Roach and Sio Moore, who were ruled out with injuries before kickoff.

Though he was disappointed his team couldn’t pull out a victory on the road, Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was encouraged by the way his team played against a well-coached and talented team.

“That’s the type of effort, I told the guys after the game, we have to have every week,” Allen told McDonald. “That type of effort, that type of intensity, that type of focus, that type of concentration. We’ve proven that we can do it, now we’ve got to be consistent in doing that every week.”

The Raiders will get their chance Sunday vs. the 1-2 Dolphins.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[U.S. Sen. Boxer Writes New NFL Exec on "Glaring Omissions"]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 11:34:33 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Barbara+Boxer_110173914.jpg

On the heels of U.S. senators writing the NFL commissioner  a letter asking him to adopt a "real zero tolerance policy" for domestic violence, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer penned another piece on Monday - this time to the newly named female senior vice president of Public Policy and Government Affairs for the football league.

Specifically, Boxer (D-California), expressed to Cynthia Hogan that she found Commissioner Roger Goodell had two "glaring omissions" in his much-criticized news conference on Friday - the first time he publicly addressed the host of domestic violence arrests that NFL players have been charged with recently. While Goodell admitted he "got it wrong in the handling of the Ray Rice matter," many still blasted Goodell after the conference citing his lack of substance and emotion, and haven't let up on their social media campaign to oust Goodell, using the hashtag #GoodellMustGo.

Those omissions, according to Boxer, were that Goodell never mentioned the NFL would have a "zero tolerance" policy for violence against woman, and the fact that many women never report violence to law enforcement, which must be taken into account.

Kathleen Krenek, executive director of Next Door Solutions to Domestic Violence in San Jose, was skeptical of Hogan's role. She acknowledged she was "cynical" and thought Hogan might just be a "token" because she is a woman. "I think she's there with the title to smooth out the public," she told NBC Bay Area on Monday.

Boxer's  letter follows a similar letter Boxer and 15 other female senate colleagues wrote on Sept. 11, calling on Goodell to institute a real zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence.

Boxer made mention of the fact that she and Hogan, once the chief counsel at the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and counsel to Vice President Joe Biden, both worked on the Violence Against Women Act.

In a piece Hogan penned for Politico, she said she took the NFL post on Sept. 16 to "educate others, and reduce future violence.... The NFL can be a powerful voice for progress and has committed itself to that goal. I want to be part of that effort."

 

Read Boxer's  full letter:

September 22, 2014
Ms. Cynthia C. Hogan
Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Government Affairs
National Football League
1201 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Suite 645
Washington, DC 20004

Dear Cynthia:
I well remember the days when we worked together on the first Violence Against Women Act and I know how hard you have worked throughout your entire career to combat domestic violence. I was heartened to hear that you will be starting your job with the National Football League today and that you will be there to help the NFL change its domestic violence policies. You arrive at this job at a pivotal moment in history, and have the chance to make lasting and lifesaving changes in the days and months ahead.

As you well know, more than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

I listened with great interest to Mr. Goodell's press conference and was concerned about two glaring omissions that I wanted to write to you about today.

First, I never heard Mr. Goodell mention "zero tolerance" for violence against women. Last week, 16 women in the United States Senate wrote to Mr. Goodell and asked that he institute a zero-tolerance policy for domestic violence in the NFL.
Mr. Goodell talked about a process to change the NFL's policies regarding domestic violence, but he never mentioned zero tolerance as a goal or guiding principle. You need to have zero tolerance as a stated goal in order to have policies that achieve it.

Second, Mr. Goodell referred often to the role of law enforcement and our overall judicial system. However, as you know, most of these incidents are never reported to law enforcement. It is therefore imperative that the NFL make a real commitment to prevent domestic violence in its ranks, encourage victims to come forward, and punish all those responsible, regardless of the level of involvement by law enforcement officials.

I look forward to hearing back from you and to working together again to combat violence against women in the NFL and throughout our society.
Sincerely,
Barbara Boxer
United States Senator



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Seahawks Player Proposes to Girlfriend After Victory]]> Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:33:07 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/DeShawnShead.jpg

Seattle Seahawks defensive back DeShawn Shead walked off the field with not one, but two wins Sunday night when he proposed to his girlfriend following an overtime victory against the Denver Broncos.

About 30 minutes after the winning game 26-20, Shead changed into a dress shirt and slacks, and asked his girlfriend, Jessica Martinez, and some family members to join him on the CenturyLink field, ESPN reported.

Shead then popped the question on the 50-yard line, with Bruno Mars’ “Marry Me” playing on the stadium’s speakers.

When Martinez said yes, a dozen of Shead’s teammates, including cornerback Richard Sherman and linebacker Mike Morgan, ran out on the field to congratulate the couple.

Both Shead and Martinez took to social media to spread news of the engagement.

"She said yes!" Shead tweeted along with a link to a picture of the couple.

"Best day of my life," Martinez added on her own Instagram account.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LL Coach Killed by Baseball]]> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 03:58:00 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/richard+becher.jpeg

A 50-year-old Little League coach died after he was hit in the head with a baseball during warm-ups before a game on Long Island over the weekend, authorities said.

Richard Becher, of Holbrook, was hit with the baseball while pitching batting practice to his 12-year-old son's team before a game Saturday afternoon at Baseball Heaven, a baseball facility in Yaphank, Newsday reports.

According to police, bystanders were performing CPR on an unconscious Becher when officers and paramedics arrived.

He was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later.



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Niners Flagged With Second Straight Loss]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 16:40:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/181*120/jahbrownvniners.jpg

Officially, the NFL is tackle football.

Unofficially, it feels more like flag football so far in 2014.

The 49ers blew a second straight lead to fall to 1-2 this season, this time to the Cardinals in Arizona, 23-14.

In the process of Sunday’s defeat, the 49ers made plenty of mistakes on their own. In fact, the 49ers continued their tale of two halves, jumping out to a 14-6 halftime lead but then getting outscored over the final two quarters 17-0. They’ve now been outscored 52-3 in the second half of their three games this season after outscoring opponents 59-16 in the first two quarters.

But it also seemed as if the officials were throwing more often than Colin Kaepernick.

A couple of questionable roughing calls aided Arizona’s go-ahead touchdown drive just a week after a long TD run by Frank Gore vs. the Bears was negated by a questionable flag.

Already this year San Francisco has been assessed nearly 300 yards in penalties, including nine for 107 yards Sunday in the loss to the Cardinals, who now are 3-0 and atop the NFC West.

The penalties certainly have been a huge factor in the consecutive defeats. Yet disciplined, veteran teams often overcome those obstacles.

So far, this one has not.

As Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweeted late in Sunday’s game, “Taunting, head-butts, personal fouls. #49ers not acting like veteran team that’s gone to three straight NFC title games.”

The 49ers came out early Sunday, using four- and five-receiver sets and favoring the passing attack over the running game.  Touchdowns by Michael Crabtree and Carlos Hyde had the 49ers up 14-6 in the second quarter as Kaepernick was 14-of-18 for 116 yards, while also rushing for 45.

San Francisco was following the early script suggested by head coach Jim Harbaugh earlier in the week when he said they were “in the business of winning your next game. Very much want to be about that. That’s the situation we’re in.”

But in the second half, the 49ers couldn’t sustain drives or keep the Cardinals from completing theirs. Once again the San Francisco secondary couldn’t shut down opposing receivers in the second half. Last week it was Brandon Marshall of the Bears. This week it was rookie John Brown.

Two TD passes from backup QB Drew Stanton (playing for the injured Carson Palmer) to Brown gave the Cardinals all they needed for the win, but Arizona also tacked on a late field goal for the final margin.

The 49ers now need to rebound this coming Sunday with a victory over the Eagles at Levi’s Stadium, or all the high hopes for 2014 will be quickly dashed. A loss to Philadelphia, putting the Niners at 1-3, would be devastating.

But right now, all the momentum seems to be flowing against the 49ers, not with them. And all the mistakes are cause for fans to see a giant, red warning flag -- as well as all those penalty flags.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Come Close but Fall Again]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 14:30:09 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/168*120/455878336.jpg

The Raiders made the Patriots sweat and win No. 1 was there for the taking.

New England had just a 10-9 lead late in the third quarter, and Oakland had its chances in the fourth quarter to take the game, but couldn’t execute, especially defensively on third down. With the game still very much in doubt and the Patriots holding a 13-9 lead in the fourth quarter, Tom Brady and the New England offense were able to convert crucial first downs en route to a field goal and a 16-9 lead with 6:20 remaining.

Then, on the Raiders’ next possession, facing third-and-9, quarterback Derek Carr -- who played solid football Sunday, completing 21 or 34 throws for 174 yards  -- threw a pass far off target and Oakland had to punt.

When the Raiders then got the ball back, they drove for an apparent touchdown, but rookie guard Gabe Jackson was called for holding. Then, a final desperation pass from Carr was intercepted to seal the decision.

Now 0-3, the Raiders now face a long flight to England for Game No. 4 next Sunday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bears' Jared Allen on Peterson Case]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 15:07:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jared+allen+9-20.jpg

Chicago Bears defensive end and former Minnesota Viking, Jared Allen, spoke out about the allegations surrounding his former teammate and Vikings running back Adrian Peterson.

“I’ve said it all along that I have my beliefs and my opinions,” Allen said after practice Saturday, noting his focus has been on the Chicago Bears. “And that’s what they are and I live my life a certain way. I believe good people can make bad decisions. I’m not perfect so I’m not one to cast judgments on others.”

Peterson was booked and released from a Texas jail last week on a charge alleging that he spanked one of his sons with a wooden switch.

Peterson was benched for last Sunday's game against the New England Patriots. The Vikings initially decided to allow Peterson to play while the legal process plays out in Texas, the team quickly reversed course and benched Peterson indefinitely. The organization put Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, meaning he is off the active roster while he deals with his legal affairs. 

“Obviously, they’ll have to deal with those circumstances,” Allen said. “Adrian and everybody [with the Vikings] will have to deal with that going forward. It’s a tough deal and it’s sad. I guess that’s my best answer. It was sad to hear.”

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

]]>
<![CDATA[Raw: Hundreds Line Up to Exchange Rice Jerseys]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 14:17:17 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ray_rice_baltimore_ravens.jpg Hundreds and hundreds of people lined up outside of M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland Friday to exchange the jersey of running back Ray Rice.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pa. School Board Bans Boys From Field Hockey Team]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:42:53 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/field+hockey_generic.jpg

No boys allowed. A school board in Lehigh County confirmed a committee's decision to ban boys from its field hockey team after concerns they caused injuries to girl players.

The Allentown School Board ruled 8-1 that boys would be prohibited from playing on school-sponsored teams that are usually all-female in the United States.  The vote upheld a decision made by a school committee in the Pennsylvania county Sept. 4.

"We had an injury where there was an incidental collision between a boy and a girl," Russell Mayo, Allentown School Board president, told NBC10 earlier this month. "Upon legal counsel, we decided that we would err on the side of safety."

The PIAA - the state's governing body of high school sports -- decided earlier this summer that boys who do play on girls' teams are not allowed to participate in post-season games.

But not everyone in the Allentown School District, which includes William Allen High School and Louis E. Dieruff High School, is in agreement with the decision.

"The girls were disappointed because [the boys] were a great part of the team," Inez Seyler, Dieruff's field hockey coach, told LehighValleyLive.com. "I'm disappointed because they don't really have a sport that is comparable to field hockey for boys."

"It's going to be heartbreaking to them," added Karen Nilson, William Allen's coach.

Mixed gender teams are allowed under the PIAA's rules, but only under special circumstances that protect girls on the team from injury or disqualification for size differences from potential male teammates.

Other standards for Pennsylvania schools, under the Pennsylvania Department of Education, support the right to a "physical environment for safety." This includes physical standards along with social, emotional and intellectual. These policies are intended to protect students' wellness and physical health.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area

]]>
<![CDATA[All Eyes Will Be On Kaepernick vs. Cardinals]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 10:09:22 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/kaepgame3.jpg

A number of factors will come into play Sunday to determine the outcome of the 49ers-Cardinals game.

But No. 1 on the list is 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Will he be the bad Kaepernick who turned the ball over four times in a loss to the Bears this past Sunday night? Or the good Kaepernick who was so efficient in a Week 1 victory on the road over Dallas?

Though the Cardinals are 2-0, atop the NFC West, and the 49ers are 1-1 and on the road, NFL oddsmakers are betting that San Francisco and Kaepernick will rebound for the game, which kicks off at 1:25 p.m. Sunday. They’ve made the 49ers 3-point favorites.

Though Kaepernick had major problems against the Bears in the second half, the Cardinals are preparing for the strong-armed, quick-footed Kaepernick who can take over a game.

To contain him, Arizona’s defensive coaches are preaching responsibilities and containment. They want to put pressure on Kaepernick, but not so much that they forget about his running ability.

“He’s a tall, fast, rangy guy,” said Arizona defensive end Kareem Martin this week. “Watching film, I’ve seen where guys collapse the pocket and even get a hand on him, but he still finds a way to escape. When you have a guy like that, you have to rush as a team. Everybody has to be where they’re supposed to be, so if he’s flushed you’re where you need to be.”

In fact, the Cardinals cite stats that show how dangerous Kaepernick is when flushed from the pocket. In 2013, he threw 12 TDs and 10 interceptions from the pocket, but had 12 TD passes and just one interception when he was outside the pocket.

The 49ers have won their last four meetings with Arizona, including the regular-season finale of 2013 when they needed a last-second field goal by Phil Dawson.

The 49ers are likely to face backup quarterback Drew Stanton on Sunday. No. 1 QB Carson Palmer is still dealing with a shoulder injury. Stanton was solid last week, committing no turnovers, in completing 14-of-29 throws for 167 yards in a victory over the Giants.

But the 49ers have their own injury issues, too, with tight end Vernon Davis looking unlikely to play because of an ankle injury sustained against the Bears.

But even without Davis, Kaepernick will have plenty of options to throw to against Arizona. With a full stable of wide receivers, a solid running game and an offensive line that now has Aaron Boone back, the 49ers should be able to move the ball.

The question is, will Kaepernick have trouble with turnovers again? If he does, the 49ers could be in trouble.

But if he tightens his game Sunday, San Francisco should be able to come away with victory No. 2.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Face Huge Challenge in New England]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 08:35:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/183*120/AllenvsPats.jpg

The good news for the Raiders Thursday was that three key players were back at practice.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, cornerback Carlos Rogers and defensive end Justin Tuck, who had all been nursing injuries, will be ready to play the Patriots in New England on Sunday.

The bad news, however, is that middle linebacker Nick Roach, who has yet to play this season, and outside linebacker Sio Moore – who has played very well – are in danger of missing the game.

That’s not good news for a defense that has given up 400 rushing yards in back-to-back losses to the Jets and Texans and now must face a 1-1 Patriots team that likes to run the football.

Oddsmakers have made the Raiders 14-point underdogs, certainly understandable for a team that has so far had no consistent running game, a porous defense and has lost 14 straight trips to the Eastern time zone.

Oakland head coach Dennis Allen – who some speculate is already in trouble after his 0-2 start – told reporters this week that the Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady are a formidable foe.

He noted that the Pats are 11-1 in openers at Gillette Stadium and that Brady is 49-3 in his last 52 starts at home.

“This is a good football team,” said Allen. “They’re well coached, they’re good on offense, they’re good on defense, they’re very sound in what they do special teams-wise and they’ve been that way for a long, long time. So we understand that it’s a great challenge.”

In order to beat the Patriots Sunday, Allen’s team is going to have to do all the things it has yet to do: stop the run, put pressure on the quarterback and put together long scoring drives early in the game. The Raiders have consistently played from behind so far.

Can they do all those things on Sunday? Based on the first two games, it seems unlikely. But the Patriots’ Brady and coach Bill Belichick have been saying all the right things this week, saying they respect the Raiders.

“They’re off to a start they obviously didn’t want to get off to, but they’ve got a lot of really good players, especially on defense,” Brady told reporters. “I think we’re going to get their best shot. It’s a very good defense. They’re hungry for the ball.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sacramento River Cats Ink Deal for Giants' Minor League Team]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 23:43:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/455345110.jpg

Going down to the minors now means a trip to Sacramento for San Francisco Giants players.

The Sacramento River Cats, long the Triple-A affiliate for the Oakland Athletics, dismissed the A's and inked a deal to become the AAA squad for the Giants on Thursday, according to reports.

The Sacramento Bee noted that the Giants are just more popular than the A's in Sacramento and the surrounding environs. A "wealth of fan feedback" precipitated River Cats management to pursue the change.

And with the Giants' old farm team in faraway Fresno, the decision may have been easy.

Most things for the River Cats will remain the same from an outsider's perspective: same team name, logo, uniforms and same Raley Field in downtown.

The Giants had sent top prospects and struggling starters alike down to Fresno for 17 years, the newspaper noted.

Meanwhile, the A's will now have a farm team in Nashville, the newspaper reported.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Police Called to McDonald's House After Female Held Gun]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 05:57:36 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP13080214223.jpg

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Ray McDonald on Thursday night provided no comment when NBC Bay Area asked for a reaction to a new report released by San Jose police.

McDonald was arrested on Aug. 31 on suspicion of felony domestic violence. A report released by police on Thursday shows that was not the only time officers were called to his home after a dispute involving McDonald and his fiancee.

“An engaged couple (a male and female subject) were in an argument when the female subject became upset, grabbed a firearm (handgun) registered to the male subject, and held it at her side,” according to the report.

The woman fled when the man threatened to call 911, police said. Officers did not make any arrests that night.

"This 911 tape evidence that the police submitted today is going to be a bombshell potentially for the Ray McDonald case," said Steven Clark, a legal analyst.

The incident described in the police report came before McDonald's high-profile arrest last month after a party at his home. Police report that his fiancee had visible injuries.

"If Mr. McDonald can show that on a past occasion he was the one that felt threatened because his fiancee picked up a gun that could explain his conduct in August," Clark said. "It gives credibility to a potential self-defense case."

The McDonald case comes as the National Football League, along with its commissioner, are under heavy scrutiny on how it is handling a number of domestic violence cases involving players.

In addition, Bay Area Congresswoman Jackie Speier spoke out against McDonald on the house floor this week and questioned why the player has not been benched.

"What we have here is merely an accusation and I think the 49ers are being very careful in making sure they don’t rush to judgment," Clark said.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 3]]> Sun, 21 Sep 2014 20:39:41 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455677434.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the third week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Jeter's Rousing NY Sendoff in New Ad]]> Fri, 19 Sep 2014 05:19:13 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Derek-Jeter-Day007.jpg

Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York"  is a soothing sound to Yankee fans, accustomed to hearing it over the Yankee Stadium speakers when the Bombers win a home game.  But another signature Sinatra song may soon take its place in Yankee lore alongside that classic.

A new Gatorade commercial uses  "My Way" to say goodbye to the Captain, as it shows Derek Jeter exiting a cab near the stadium and feeling the love from New Yorkers in the streets of the Bronx before buttoning up his No. 2 jersey and stepping onto the field to the roar of the crowd.

Even the most bitter Mets fans may find themselves wiping away a tear at the rousing commercial shot in iconic black and white, and hardcore Bombers fans may need an entire box of tissues. 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Hope to Make Statement vs. 49ers]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:08:08 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/nynrskardds.jpg

The 49ers go into Arizona with plenty of concerns for Sunday’s game with the 2-0 Cardinals.

After losing to the Bears on Sunday night, the Niners are hoping quarterback Colin Kaepernick can get over his turnover woes and that injuries to tight ends Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, cornerback Tramaine Brock and tackles Anthony Davis and Joe Staley will quickly heal.

But in Arizona, the Cardinals have their own concerns.

Though they’ve started fast with victories over the Chargers and Giants, it appears Arizona will have to turn to backup QB Drew Stanton this week over Carson Palmer (shoulder injury). Plus, the 49ers seem to bring out the worst in the Cardinals.

The 49ers have won nine of the past 10 games against Arizona, and the Cards came close twice in 2013 to beating San Francisco but couldn’t close the deal. Last season at Candlestick Park, Arizona was trailing just 22-20 in the second half when Larry Fitzgerald lost a crucial fumble that helped the 49ers win 32-20. And in the regular-season finale in Arizona, Phil Dawson had to kick a 40-yard field goal at the end of the game to seal the victory.

“Until we finish one, it won’t be a rivalry or anything else,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told reporters this week of the NFC West matchup. “It can’t be a rivalry if you get your ass kicked this many times.”

Added Arizona cornerback Patrick Peterson: “Last year we let those two games get away from us. Now we see that we can compete, not only with those guys, with the best of them.”

Arizona, in fact, beat the Seahawks in Seattle last season and won 10 games overall and has won nine of its past 11 games. Arians has turned the franchise around, and it has some terrific playmakers in Fitzgerald, rookie wideout John Brown, Peterson, safety Tyrann Mathieu and running back Andre Ellington (the cousin of 49ers’ rookie receiver Bruce Ellington).

This is a big game for the 49ers, who need to rebound from last week’s loss to get to 2-1 before hosting the Eagles next weekend. But for the Cardinals, it’s a chance to knock off a nemesis and stay atop the NFC West.

“Any time you go head up against a division opponent, it’s a two-game swing every time,” said Arizona’s veteran center, Lyle Sendlein. “Especially with a team like San Francisco, which has been at the top the past few years.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Hope Brown is a Quick Study]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 09:07:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/178*120/veebrwncharg.jpg

Last season at O.co Coliseum, Vincent Brown had the best game of his young NFL career, catching seven passes for 117 yards.

At that time Brown was wearing a San Diego Chargers uniform. Now he’s a Raider.

What can Brown, who was waived by the Chargers after a calf injury wiped out his training camp this summer, bring to the Raiders?

Brown is neither really big (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) or exceptionally fast. But the third-round pick by the Chargers out of San Diego State has had a knack for catching the ball, running good routes and making plays when healthy. Staying healthy has been the problem. He missed the 2012 season because of a broken ankle and then had injury problems this summer.

But as a rookie in 2011 he caught 19 passes for 329 yards and two touchdowns in 14 games; in 2013, playing all 16, he caught 41 balls for 472 yards and a TD.

“He catches the ball really well and he’s got some vertical threat down the field,” Raiders head coach Dennis Allen told reporters this week. “I think probably the biggest thing when you watch the guy is, when the ball goes in his direction, he generally makes the catch.”

In 2013, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said he had a lot of trust in Brown’s ability to beat cornerbacks on contested throws. Brown proved to him he can go up over defenders to make catches.

“I’ve thrown Vincent a bunch of those balls,” Rivers told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s trusting that he’s going to come in there, and he’s going to go up high and make a good, tough catch. He’s a great route runner and he catches it as well as anybody.”

The Raiders signed Brown to a one-year deal after working him out, and Oakland coaches indicated Brown could play as early as Sunday when the 0-2 Raiders fly to New England to take on the Patriots.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr told the media this week that Brown is getting plenty of action in practice to bring him up to speed.

“We’re throwing a lot at him,” said Carr. “Our goal is obviously, they signed him so we want to get him going. But how fast, I honestly wish I could tell you. I don’t know. Hopefully soon.”

The key to Brown’s success in Oakland may be his ability to stay healthy. Even then, some doubt Brown is a top-flight receiver. ESPN analyst and former NFL scout  Matt Williamson told ESPN.com this week that he “highly doubts” Brown will be an impact player.

Said Williamson: “He isn’t real dynamic and is purely a possession guy.”

Brown, however, is an aggressive pass catcher. He was taught by his father, a former Canadian Football League receiver, to attack the ball when it’s thrown in his direction.

“It was instilled in me in an early age, when the ball’s up in the air, it’s your ball, so you’ve got to do whatever it takes to come down with that,” Brown told the Union-Tribune last year. “When you see it up, it’s like, turn on the jets. Wherever it’s at, I’ve got to make sure I’m in that area.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Angels Beat Mariners, Win AL West]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 23:11:01 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/455630948.jpg

The Los Angeles Angels clinched the AL West title Wednesday night, getting seven dominant innings of one-hit ball from C.J. Wilson in a 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

C.J. Cron hit a three-run homer for the major league-leading Angels (95-57), who wrapped up their first division crown since 2009 when Oakland lost to Texas about an hour after Los Angeles' game ended.

The Angels had already secured a playoff spot Monday. They have won 12 of 14.

Howie Kendrick sparked the Angels' five-run rally in the seventh by scoring from first base when Chris Denorfia misplayed David Freese's single to right for an error.

Los Angeles' surge broke up a pitchers' duel between Wilson and Seattle rookie James Paxton, who traded zeros until the seventh.

Wilson (13-9) earned his third straight victory in intimidating fashion, striking out seven and allowing just four baserunners in a major improvement from recent starts. He escaped his only jam in the seventh, stranding two runners.

Paxton (6-3) yielded four hits and had eight strikeouts for the Mariners, who have lost six of eight. Seattle managed just one hit and is two games behind Kansas City and Oakland for the second AL wild card.

Paxton kept the Mariners in contention until his teammates made two errors and reliever Danny Farquhar flopped in the seventh inning.

After Kendrick's one-out single, Denorfia thought about diving to catch Freese's drive, but instead pulled up and allowed it to roll past him to the right-field wall. Austin Jackson then double-clutched the ball while retrieving it, and Kendrick scored easily.

Farquhar relieved Paxton with two outs and two runners on, but Cron mashed his 11th homer into the fake rock pile behind center field. Kole Calhoun followed with an RBI double as the Angels batted around.

Paxton was even more dominant than Wilson, retiring 17 of the Angels' first 18 hitters. Paxton allowed only two bouncing singles in the first six innings while striking out Mike Trout three times.

Trout also struck out to end the seventh, tying Baltimore's Chris Davis for the AL lead with 173 strikeouts.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: LHP Roenis Elias headed back to Seattle for an MRI after feeling stiffness in his elbow. Manager Lloyd McClendon said Elias is probably done for the season.

Angels: Josh Hamilton was out of the starting lineup after feeling a bit sore following his return from a shoulder injury Tuesday. The cleanup hitter likely wouldn't have started anyway against a tough left-hander.

UP NEXT

Two aces meet in the series finale when Seattle RHP Felix Hernandez (14-5, 2.14 ERA) takes on Jered Weaver (17-8, 3.50).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sports Programs Turning to Crowdfunding After Budget Cuts]]> Thu, 18 Sep 2014 05:59:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/0917-2014-crowdfunding.jpg

Cuts to sports programs in schools have forced some teams to get creative while fundraising. New numbers show more teams are turning to crowdfunding.

The girls volleyball coach at El Cerrito High School is using gofundme.com to raise money for his team.

"So we're trying to be as efficient as we can,” coach Scott Bishop said.

Bishop has coached other teams to state titles before, but this is his first year coaching the Gauchos. He says funding is needed for new balls, nets, and tournament fees. They also need money to hire a Freshman volleyball coach.

“We need quality equipment to be able to train. I'm used to running a successful and competitive program and those are kind of the building blocks to doing that,” Bishop said.

"In the past years we tried to do all the fundraising stuff, it didn't really amount to much,” said senior co-captain Melany Puente.

Instead of selling candy bars to raise money, the team is turning to crowdfunding. New data shows many other teams are doing it too.

According to fundraising website gofundme.com, nearly $10,000 was raised for teams in 2010. It’s increased every year since, and this year more than $9 million has been donated to teams.

The lady Gauchos are trying to raise $6,000.

"We've got a lot of good momentum going so far,” Bishop said.

They’ve raised $450 so far.

Bishop says if the goal is met, the team will give back by teaching younger kids in the community how to play volleyball.

"Good people make good volleyball players. So the more I can work on both ends of that the better."

The lady Gauchos page can be found here.



Photo Credit: Ian Cull]]>
<![CDATA[Pelosi: McDonald Should Not Be Allowed to Play]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:04:48 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/mcdonald-pelosi.jpg

More pressure is being applied to the San Francisco 49ers as the team continues to let defensive lineman Ray McDonald play and play practice with the team.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that the 49ers, her hometown team, should not have let McDonald play against the Chicago Bears last weekend.

“Our coach says innocent until proven guilty, due process and all of that, but the fact is, he shouldn't have played,” Pelosi said.

McDonald was arrested in August and is being investigated for felony domestic violence involving his pregnant fiance'.

Pelosi said that for now the NFL's investigation into its handling of the domestic violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice is an appropriate response.

Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA) called for the NFL on Wednesday to suspend any players arrested for domestic violence. "We are told to ignore what happens off the sidelines in disciplinary board rooms, or behind elevator doors — all for the sport," Speier said on the House floor. "Well, I refuse to ignore what is happening."

Speier wants the House Oversight Committee to hold a hearing on the NFL's handling of the recent domestic abuse charges.

Niners coach Jim Harbaugh, who has said he has zero tolerance for domestic violence, once again Wednesday defended the team’s position of allowing McDonald to play and to afford him the benefit of due process.

“I believe that our position on the issue has been well-stated, and we’re following that process,” Harbaugh said.

McDonald has been out on bail since his arrest last month and he has still not been charged in the domestic violence case, but Pelosi says pro football players are role models to our kids who should not get special treatment.

"We have to recognize that sports figures are in a special place in our country and young people look up to them as heroes in what they do," Pelosi said.

Pelosi said all the talk about domestic violence in the media is “the silver lining.” "People are getting a better understanding of what is happening,” Pelosi said, “that disrespect, it manifests itself in many ways.”

When asked whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should resign over the way his office handled the incident, the Pelosi sidestepped the question. But she didn't rule out that Congress would reconsider the NFL'S anti-trust exemption, which allows teams to negotiate radio and television broadcast rights together.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

]]>
<![CDATA[Sharks Raise Money for Sierra LaMar Search Effort]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:31:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/06-27-2014-sierra-lamar.jpg

The San Jose Sharks are helping out the search effort to find missing Morgan Hill teenager Sierra LaMar.

Several Sharks players will be at Britton Middle School in Morgan Hill on Wednesday night to sign autographs in exchange for donations. The money will go toward the search for Sierra.

The fundraiser was organized by Sharks forward Logan Couture.

“We are all proud residents of the Bay Area and we want to send a message to Sierra’s family, her friends and the entire community that we have not forgotten about her and we are not giving up hope,” Couture said in a statement.

Couture, 25, is one of the NHL's rising stars. The Sharks hope the event will keep the missing teen on everyone's mind. 

"She's a beautiful young girl," Couture said. "You try not to think about what happened or what possibly happened, but we just want to bring hope that she's out there."

Sierra's father, Steve LaMar, was surprised by Couture's efforts to help.

"It's just amazing how much initiative and maturity he shows," Steve LaMar said. "He's a great hockey player, but he's also a great person."

Couture in return spreads the credit and said many teammates eagerly offered to help. He also points to the many volunteers who have never given up in the search for Sierra.

"They've got a group there that are still going out and searching for her," he said. "I really respect those people."

Sierra disappeared in 2012. A suspect has been charged with her kidnapping and murder, but her body has never been found.

Volunteers still search for Sierra every Saturday morning.

Search director Roger Nelson said Couture and the Sharks reaching out to help is an emotional boost.

"It's a boost because we keep going out and searching for Sierra to bring her home and bring closure to the family," Nelson said. "And to have Logan Couture reach out like this and make this generous offer to the LaMar family is just amazing."

More information on Wednesday night's fundraiser can be found on FindSierraLamar.com or on the San Jose Sharks official website. All proceeds will go toward food, supplies and equipment for the search center.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Bay Area



Photo Credit: LaMar Family]]>
<![CDATA[Vikings Bar Peterson From All Team Activities]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:30:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/186722617.jpg The Minnesota Vikings have reversed course and placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the exempt-commissioner's permission list, a move that will require him to stay away from the team while he addresses child abuse charges in Texas.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Charles Barkley Throws "Turrible" First Pitch]]> Wed, 17 Sep 2014 09:35:28 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/Barkley_Cubs.jpg

Everyone knows Hall of Fame NBA player Charles Barkley has an ugly golf swing. Now you can add baseball to the sports Barkley has yet to master.

Barkley threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Tuesday's Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field, and let's just say it was a bit outside. Way outside.

One of the MLB announcers couldn't resist using a Barkley-ism to call it: the pitch was just "turrible."

Move over 50 Cent and Carl Lewis, you have company.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>