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2011 San Francisco 49ers season

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2011 San Francisco 49ers season
Head coachJim Harbaugh
General managerTrent Baalke
Home fieldCandlestick Park
Division place1st NFC West
Playoff finishWon Divisional Playoffs (vs. Saints) 36–32
Lost NFC Championship (vs. Giants) 17–20 (OT)
Pro BowlersRB Frank Gore
OT Joe Staley
DE Justin Smith
ILB Patrick Willis
CB Carlos Rogers
FS Dashon Goldson
P Andy Lee
K David Akers
LS Brian Jennings
AP All-ProsPatrick Willis (1st team)
NaVorro Bowman (1st team)
Justin Smith (1st & 2nd team)
David Akers (1st team)
Andy Lee (1st team)
Carlos Rogers (2nd team)

The 2011 San Francisco 49ers season was the franchise's 66th season overall, and 62nd in the National Football League (NFL). It was the first season under head coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke. The 49ers rebounded from their disappointing 2010 season to end their streak of eight consecutive non-winning seasons. After defeating the St. Louis Rams in week 13 and attaining a 10–2 record, the team clinched the NFC West and made their first playoff appearance since 2002. The 49ers ended the regular season with a 13–3 record, their best since 1997, and earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs. In the Divisional Playoffs they defeated the New Orleans Saints 36–32 and were in the NFC Championship for the first time since 1997- they lost to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants in overtime by a score of 20–17, coming just short of returning to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1994. Despite their most successful season in years, the 49ers were 31st in the league in third-down conversion percentage in the regular season (29.1) and were 17.9 percent in the playoffs.[1]


Coaching changes

Owner Jed York announced that he would hire a general manager and the new GM would make a decision on the new head coach to replace Mike Singletary after the 49ers' loss to the St. Louis Rams on December 26, 2010 that eliminated the team from the postseason.[2] On January 5, the 49ers promoted the vice president of player personnel, Trent Baalke, to the position of general manager.[3] On January 7, the 49ers hired Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh to be the 18th head coach of the San Francisco 49ers.

With the hiring of a new head coach, many of the assistant coaches were replaced. Of the coordinators and position coaches from the previous season, only running backs coach Tom Rathman, defensive line coach Jim Tomsula, and offensive line coach Mike Solari were retained. The coaching staff featured Greg Roman as the new offensive coordinator and Vic Fangio as the new defensive coordinator, both previously assistant coaches under Harbaugh at Stanford. Former Cleveland Browns assistant head coach and special teams coordinator Brad Seely was hired for the same roles with the 49ers. Geep Chryst was the new quarterbacks coach, Reggie Davis was the new tight ends coach. John Morton was the new wide receivers coach, and Tim Drevno was a new offensive line coach to help out Mike Solari. Jim Leavitt was the new linebackers coach and Ed Donatell was the new secondary coach. The staff also featured defensive assistants Peter Hansen and Ehiro Evero, offensive assistant Bobby Engram, and special assistant to the head coach Bill Nayes.

Roster changes

Free agents

Position Player Tag 2011 Team Notes and references
C/G David Baas UFA New York Giants
C Tony Wragge UFA St. Louis Rams
G/T Chris Patrick ERFA Edmonton Eskimos
T Barry Sims UFA Free Agent
QB Alex Smith UFA San Francisco 49ers
QB Troy Smith UFA Omaha Nighthawks
RB Brian Westbrook UFA Free Agent
DE Demetric Evans UFA Free Agent
DE Ray McDonald UFA San Francisco 49ers
DE/LB Travis LaBoy UFA San Diego Chargers
NT Aubrayo Franklin UFA New Orleans Saints
LB Manny Lawson UFA Cincinnati Bengals
LB Takeo Spikes UFA San Diego Chargers
CB William James UFA
S Dashon Goldson UFA San Francisco 49ers
S C. J. Spillman ERFA San Francisco 49ers
K Jeff Reed UFA Seattle Seahawks
Player re-signed by the 49ers

2011 NFL Draft

San Francisco 49ers 2011 NFL Draft selections
Draft order Player name Position Height Weight College Contract Notes
Round Choice Overall
1 7 7 Aldon Smith DE 6'4" 263 lbs. Missouri
2 4 36 Colin Kaepernick QB 6'4" 233 lbs. Nevada [e]
3 12 80 Chris Culliver CB 6'1" 201 lbs. South Carolina [f]
4 11 108 Traded to the Denver Broncos [e]
4 18 115 Kendall Hunter RB 5'8" 190 lbs. Oklahoma State [a]
5 10 141 Traded to the Denver Broncos [e]
5 32 163 Daniel Kilgore G 6'3" 308 lbs. Appalachian State [g]
6 9 174 Traded to the Green Bay Packers[g]
6 17 182 Ronald Johnson WR 6'1" 190 lbs. University of Southern California [f]
6 25 190 Colin Jones S 5'11" 200 lbs. Texas Christian University [b]
7 8 211 Bruce Miller DE 6'1" 254 lbs. University of Central Florida
7 28 231 Traded to the Green Bay Packers[c][g]
7 36 239 Mike Person OT 6'4" 299 lbs. Montana State [d]
7 47 250 Curtis Holcomb CB 5'10" 184 lbs. Florida A&M [d]

Draft notes

^[a] The 49ers acquired this fourth-round selection from the San Diego Chargers along with a 2010 third-round selection (#91 overall; used to select LB NaVorro Bowman) and a 2010 sixth-round selection (#173 overall; used to select RB Anthony Dixon) in exchange for a 2010 third-round selection (#79 overall).[4]
^[b] The 49ers acquired this sixth-round selection from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for DT Kentwan Balmer.[5]
^[c] The 49ers acquired this seventh-round selection from the Detroit Lions in exchange for QB Shaun Hill.[6]
^[d] Compensatory selection
^[e] The 49ers acquired this second-round selection from the Denver Broncos in exchange for their second-round selection (#45 overall), a fourth-round selection (#108 overall), and a fifth-round selection (#141 overall).
^[f] The 49ers acquired this third-round selection (#80 overall) and this sixth-round selection (#180 overall) from the Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for their third-round selection (#76 overall).
^[g] The 49ers acquired this fifth-round selection (#163 overall) from the Green Bay Packers in exchange for their sixth-round selection (#174 overall) and a seventh-round selection (#231 overall).



2011 San Francisco 49ers staff
Front office

Head coaches

Offensive coaches

Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Strength and conditioning

  • Head Strength and Conditioning – Mark Uyeyama
  • Assistant Strength and Conditioning – Kevin Tolbert


2011 San Francisco 49ers final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics


Wide receiver Braylon Edwards was released after nine games.



Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site
1 August 12 at New Orleans Saints L 3–24 0–1 Louisiana Superdome Recap
2 August 20 Oakland Raiders * W 17–3 1–1 Candlestick Park Recap
3 August 27 Houston Texans L 7–30 1–2 Candlestick Park Recap
4 September 1 at San Diego Chargers W 20–17 2–2 Qualcomm Stadium Recap

Candlestick Park incident

  • The NFL has officially canceled all future preseason games between the two teams. They can now only meet in the regular season every four years when the NFC West plays the AFC West, or in the Super Bowl.

Regular season


Week Date Opponent Result Record Game site
1 September 11 Seattle Seahawks W 33–17 1–0 Candlestick Park Recap
2 September 18 Dallas Cowboys L 24–27 (OT) 1–1 Candlestick Park Recap
3 September 25 at Cincinnati Bengals W 13–8 2–1 Paul Brown Stadium Recap
4 October 2 at Philadelphia Eagles W 24–23 3–1 Lincoln Financial Field Recap
5 October 9 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 48–3 4–1 Candlestick Park Recap
6 October 16 at Detroit Lions W 25–19 5–1 Ford Field Recap
7 Bye
8 October 30 Cleveland Browns W 20–10 6–1 Candlestick Park Recap
9 November 6 at Washington Redskins W 19–11 7–1 FedExField Recap
10 November 13 New York Giants W 27–20 8–1 Candlestick Park Recap
11 November 20 Arizona Cardinals W 23–7 9–1 Candlestick Park Recap
12 November 24 at Baltimore Ravens L 6–16 9–2 M&T Bank Stadium Recap
13 December 4 St. Louis Rams W 26–0 10–2 Candlestick Park Recap
14 December 11 at Arizona Cardinals L 19–21 10–3 University of Phoenix Stadium Recap
15 December 19 Pittsburgh Steelers W 20–3 11–3 Candlestick Park Recap
16 December 24 at Seattle Seahawks W 19–17 12–3 CenturyLink Field Recap
17 January 1 at St. Louis Rams W 34–27 13–3 Edward Jones Dome Recap
Note: Intra-division opponents are in bold text.

Game summaries

Week 1: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Week One: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Seahawks 0 0 71017
49ers 0 16 01733

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

With the win, the 49ers started the season 1–0.

Week 2: vs. Dallas Cowboys

Week Two: Dallas Cowboys at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34OTTotal
Cowboys 0 7 710327
49ers 0 14 73024

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

With the loss, the 49ers fell to 1–1.

Week 3: at Cincinnati Bengals

Week Three: San Francisco 49ers at Cincinnati Bengals – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 0 31013
Bengals 3 0 058

at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Game information

With the win, the 49ers improved to 2–1.

Week 4: at Philadelphia Eagles

Week Four: San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 3 14724
Eagles 7 13 3023

at Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

  • Date: October 2
  • Game time: 1:00 pm. EDT/10:00 am. PDT
  • Game weather: 54 °F (Cloudy)
  • Game attendance: 69,144
  • Referee: Alberto Riveron
  • TV announcers (Fox): Ron Pitts and Jim Mora, Jr.
Game information

With the comeback win, the 49ers improved to 3–1.

Week 5: vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Week Five: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Buccaneers 3 0 003
49ers 7 17 101448

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

With the win, the 49ers improved to 4–1.

Week 6: at Detroit Lions

Week Six: San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 12 31025
Lions 10 0 3619

at Ford Field, Detroit, Michigan

  • Date: October 16
  • Game time: 1:00 pm. EDT/10:00 am. PDT
  • Game weather: Played indoors (dome stadium)
  • Game attendance: 62,061
  • Referee: Mike Carey
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa
  • Recap
Game information

With the win, the 49ers went into their bye week at 5–1.

Week 8: vs. Cleveland Browns

Week Eight: Cleveland Browns at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Browns 0 3 0710
49ers 10 7 0320

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

With the win, the 49ers improved to 6–1.

Week 9: at Washington Redskins

Week Nine: San Francisco 49ers at Washington Redskins – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 13 3319
Redskins 0 3 0811

at FedExField, Landover, Maryland

  • Date: November 6
  • Game time: 1:00 pm. EST/10:00 am. PST
  • Game weather: 56 °F (Sunny)
  • Game attendance: 78,032
  • Referee: Gene Steratore
  • TV announcers (Fox): Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Tony Siragusa
Game information

With the win, the 49ers improved to 7–1.

Week 10: vs. New York Giants

Week Ten: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Giants 3 3 7720
49ers 3 6 31527

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

With the win, the 49ers improved to 8–1.

Week 11: vs. Arizona Cardinals

Week Eleven: Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Cardinals 0 0 077
49ers 6 3 14023

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

  • Date: November 20
  • Game time: 1:05 pm. PST
  • Game weather: 52 °F (Light Rain)
  • Game attendance: 69,732
  • Referee: Pete Morelli
  • TV announcers (Fox): Thom Brennaman, Brian Billick and Laura Okmin
Game information

With this win, the 49ers improve their record to 9–1, securing them their first winning season since 2002.

Week 12: at Baltimore Ravens

Thanksgiving Day Game

Week Twelve: San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 3 0 306
Ravens 3 3 01016

at M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, Maryland

Game information

Coming off their divisional home win over the Cardinals, head coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers flew to M&T Bank Stadium for a Week 12 interconference duel with the Baltimore Ravens and their head coach (Jim's brother) John Harbaugh on Thanksgiving.

San Francisco trailed early in the first quarter as Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff got a 39-yard field goal, yet the 49ers answered with a 45-yard field goal from kicker David Akers. Baltimore struck back in the second quarter with Cundiff making a 23-yard field goal.

San Francisco began the third quarter with a 52-yard field goal from Akers, but the Ravens opened the fourth quarter with quarterback Joe Flacco completing an 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dennis Pitta, followed by Cundiff nailing a 39-yard field goal. The Niners tried to rally, but Baltimore's defense held on to preserve the win.

With the loss, the 49ers fell to 9–2.

These two teams would meet again a year later in Super Bowl XLVII with the 49ers falling short 34–31.

Week 13: vs. St. Louis Rams

Week Thirteen: St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Rams 0 0 000
49ers 3 6 10726

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

With the shutout win, not only did the 49ers improve to 10–2, but they also clinched 1st place in the NFC West.

Week 14: at Arizona Cardinals

Week Fourteen: San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 3 9 7019
Cardinals 0 7 7721

at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona

  • Date: December 11
  • Game time: 2:05 p.m. MST/1:05 pm. PST
  • Game weather: Played indoors (retractable roof closed)
  • Game attendance: 60,808
  • Referee: Alberto Riveron
  • TV announcers (Fox): Dick Stockton, John Lynch and Jennifer Hale
Game information

With the loss, the 49ers fell to 10–3.

Week 15: vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Week Fifteen: Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Steelers 0 0 303
49ers 6 0 7720

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

The 49ers traveled home for a game on Monday Night Football against the Steelers. It was delayed due to a power outage in their stadium. The lights went off again in the 2nd quarter when the 49ers were leading 6–0, which eventually became the score at halftime. In the 2nd half the 49ers would go on a 14 to 3 run to make the final score 20–3 and improve their record to 11–3.

Week 16: at Seattle Seahawks

Week Sixteen: San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 0 3 10619
Seahawks 7 3 0717

at CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington

Game information

With the win, the 49ers improved to 12–3 and swept the Seahawks for the first time since 2006.

Week 17: at St. Louis Rams

Week Seventeen: San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams – Game summary
1 2 34Total
49ers 7 13 7734
Rams 7 0 31727

at Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri

  • Date: January 1
  • Game time: 12:00 p.m. CST/10:00 am. PST
  • Game weather: Played indoors (dome stadium)
  • Game attendance: 55,990
  • Referee: Jeff Triplette
  • TV announcers (Fox): Chris Myers, Tim Ryan, & Jaime Maggio
Game information

With the win, the 49ers finished their season at 13–3 as they swept the Rams for the first time since 2009 and captured the NFC's #2 playoff seed.


NFC West
(2) San Francisco 49ers 13 3 0 .813 5–1 10–2 380 229 W3
Arizona Cardinals 8 8 0 .500 4–2 7–5 312 348 W1
Seattle Seahawks 7 9 0 .438 3–3 6–6 321 315 L2
St. Louis Rams 2 14 0 .125 0–6 1–11 193 407 L7



Playoff round Date Kickoff Opponent (seed) Results Game site TV
Final score Team record
Wild Card First-round bye
Divisional January 14, 2012 1:30 p.m. PST New Orleans Saints (3) W 36–32 1–0 Candlestick Park Fox Recap
NFC Championship January 22, 2012 3:30 pm. PST New York Giants (4) L 17–20 1–1 Candlestick Park Fox Recap

Game summaries

NFC Divisional Playoffs: vs. #3 New Orleans Saints

NFC Divisional Round Playoff Game: New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34Total
Saints 0 14 01832
49ers 14 3 31636

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

Alex Smith's 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left gave San Francisco their first playoff win since 2002 at the end of a wild, back and forth final quarter which featured four lead changes in a span of 3:53. Sports writers and 49ers fans have taken to referring Davis' catch as The Catch III, as it occurred four days after the 30th anniversary of The CatchJoe Montana's famous game-winning touchdown pass to Dwight Clark in the 1981 NFC Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, one of the most famous plays in San Francisco 49ers history as it helped propel the 49ers to their first-ever Super Bowl, with both plays occurring with the 49ers trailing with less than a minute to play and facing 3rd down and 3 yards to go.[7] This game was voted the number 1 game of 2011 by[8] (The Catch II refers to Steve Young's game-winning pass to Terrell Owens in the 1998 NFC Divisional Playoff against the Green Bay Packers.) With the win, the 49ers improved to 14–3 and faced the New York Giants at Candlestick Park in the NFC Championship Game.

NFC Championship: vs. #4 New York Giants

NFC Championship: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers – Game summary
1 2 34OTTotal
Giants 0 10 07320
49ers 7 0 73017

at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

Game information

For the fifth time in conference championship history and for the third time in five years, overtime decided the game, and as it was in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, a field goal by Lawrence Tynes was the winning score as the Giants defeated the 49ers for their fifth NFC Championship Game victory. The Giants became the third team in NFL history to advance to the Super Bowl with fewer than 10 wins during the regular season, joining the 1979 Los Angeles Rams and the 2008 Arizona Cardinals.

With Ted Ginn Jr. injured, Rookie Kyle Williams started at wide receiver and performed punt returns in the NFC Championship Game. He lost two fumbles returning punts, including one in overtime that preceded the game-winning field goal by the Giants. His other fumble in the fourth quarter was followed by a Giants' touchdown to retake the lead, 17–14. QB Alex Smith defended Williams, saying: "Offensively we weren't good enough today. We didn't get it done .... You can't put it on [Williams]". The 49ers did not make a 3rd down conversion until the 4th quarter. The 49ers' season ended with a 14–4 record.

Team statistics

  • Set franchise and NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season (10)
  • Fewest rushing touchdowns allowed in the NFL since 1978 (3)
  • Most consecutive games not allowing a rushing touchdown since 1970 (15)
  • Highest turnover differential in franchise history (+28)
  • Set franchise record of not allowing a 100-yard rusher in 36 consecutive games (dating back to 2009)
  • NFL record set for most field goals made and attempted in a single season (David Akers, 44 out of 52)

Notes and references

  1. ^ Branch, Eric (January 23, 2012). "Third-down disaster helped doom 49ers". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on January 23, 2012.
  2. ^ David White (December 28, 2010). "York says new GM will hire next 49ers coach". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2010-12-28.
  3. ^ "49ers promote Trent Baalke to GM". Retrieved 2011-01-05.
  4. ^ "Draft trade tracker: Let's make a deal: Safety insurance: The Butler did it: Chargers snag linebacker". April 23, 2010. Archived from the original on 25 April 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2010.
  5. ^ "Report: Niners Trade Balmer to Seattle". August 16, 2010. Archived from the original on 2012-07-24. Retrieved August 19, 2010.
  6. ^ "49ers sign Carr, deal Hill to Lions". Associated Press. March 16, 2010. Archived from the original on 17 March 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2010.
  7. ^ Ortiz, Jorge L. (January 15, 2012). "TD could become 'The Catch III' in 49ers lore". USA Today. David Hunke; Gannett Company. Retrieved January 16, 2012.
  8. ^ Harrison, Elliot (June 25, 2012). "Game 1: Saints at 49ers Divisional Game". Retrieved April 6, 2014.

External links

This page was last edited on 13 August 2021, at 17:44
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