Ray Lewis has two Super Bowls and two Defensive Player of the Year awards. But is he the best ever?
Middle linebackers are the quarterbacks of the defense, the nerve center of a stop-unit. Many of the game’s greatest players have been the man in the middle who called the shots in the huddle before turning into tackling machines and splash-playmakers from sideline-to-sideline once the ball was snapped. Keeping all aspects of the job in mind, we rank the top 25 greatest middle linebackers in NFL history.
49ers looking for different results in their return to NFC title game; Falcons aiming to finish the job at home
The top two teams in the NFC meet on Sunday to determine who will represent the conference in Super Bowl XLVII, as the San Francisco 49ers and Atlanta Falcons face off in the NFC Championship game at 3 p.m. ET on FOX. The 49ers find themselves in the conference title game for the second year in a row, but this time must get the job done on the road against the Falcons, who have lost just one game in the Georgia Dome this season.
The Green Bay Packers and San Francisco 49ers will get together for the second time this season when Saturday’s NFC Divisional playoff game kicks off at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. The champions of the NFC North and West divisions opened the season against each other, but the stakes aren’t the only things that have changed for this matchup.
49ers look to sew up NFC West title by handing Seahawks first home loss this season
The NFC West could be decided when the San Francisco 49ers take on the Seattle Seahawks at 8:20 p.m ET tonight on NBC. A win would clinch a second straight division title for the 49ers (10-3-1), while handing the Seahawks (9-5) their first home loss of the season. The Seahawks are currently seeded fifth in the NFC playoff bracket, but four teams are right behind them at 8-6, so they still have work to do to secure their postseason berth.
Two of the NFL’s best meet as the 49ers try to end the Patriots’ seven-game winning streak
The San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots face off tonight at 8:20 p.m. ET on NBC in what could potentially be a preview of Super Bowl XLVII. The 49ers (9-3-1) are trying to hold Seattle off for the top spot in the NFC West, while the Patriots (10-3) could potentially knock Houston from the top of the standings in the AFC. This also is a matchup of one of the league’s top defenses in San Francisco trying to slow down a New England offense that’s been lighting up the scoreboard most of the season.
Even the top players fear some of the competition in their game.
We love to watch the fearless nature that many of our favorite sports stars exude in their respective games. But even professional stars have to feel a little scared of their competition from time to time, right? To celebrate Halloween, Athlon Sports asked hundreds of pro athletes, "Which athlete scares you the most?" Here are our favorite responses.
The NFC West rivals will battle for first-place in the division at Candlestick.
Two divisional foes coming off drastically different Week 6 contests will meet on Thursday Night Football, when the San Francisco 49ers host the Seattle Seahawks at 8:20 p.m. EST on the NFL Network. The 49ers were surprisingly “out-physicaled” against the Giants last week, losing the NFC Championship Game rematch 26-3 at home.
The NFC playoff clubs will battle Sunday night at Candlestick Park.
Some of the national attention will be on the two coaches when the San Francisco 49ers host the Detroit Lions Sunday night at 8:20pm EST on NBC, but the real story is a solid NFC matchup between two postseason teams with high goals for this season.
The NFC favorites highlight the opening Sunday around the league.
The marquee matchup of the NFL’s opening weekend will take place at historic Lambeau Field, with the Green Bay Packers hosting the San Francisco 49ers at 4:25pm EST on Fox. These two NFC stalwarts combined for 28 regular-season wins in 2011, and both clubs have Super Bowl expectations in 2012.
The Packers might be undefeated, but the 49ers' combination of a great offense and great defense is convincing
by Josh Kipnis
The San Francisco 49ers are the best all-around team in the NFL. Yes, the Packers are undefeated. Yes, Aaron Rodgers could be the best passer we have ever seen. But teams without the Greek God of Quarterbacks have to have a balanced attack and consistency in all aspects of the game. If we are determining a team with the best offense/defense combination, I have to pick the Niners.