Besides coach Jim Harbaugh, no one has been the face of this season of doom for the 49ers like quarterback Colin Kaepernick, writes Jarrett Bell of USA Today Sports. Kaepernick’s play has regressed in each season since his 2012 breakout campaign and even though San Francisco’s stumbles aren’t all on his shoulders, the pressure will be on him to perform this week. More from around the National Football League..
- In today’s mailbag, a reader asked Bill Williamson from ESPN.com if he thinks that Tony Sparano will be the Raiders‘ next permanent head coach. Williamson feels that the odds are against Sparano to be Oakland’s next head coach, but feels that he could be in the mix if they win out. The Raiders players like him, but owner Mark Davis is looking to make a splash.
- Roger Goodell’s reign as NFL commissioner has never been stronger, writes Alex Marvez of FOX Sports. Goodell is not only staying put after a rocky year at the helm of the league, but he has as much power as ever. Goodell’s ultimate authority over disciplinary matters was reinforced Wednesday with the unveiling of the league’s new player/employee conduct policy. Further reaffirmation came Friday when an arbitrator upheld Goodell’s decision to indefinitely suspend Vikings running back Adrian Peterson. Goodell has survived a lot of criticism and bad publicity and after eight years in charge, Marvez doesn’t expect that he’ll be going anywhere.
- Top talent scout Scot McLoughan helped build two Super Bowl champions but he’s now exiled from the game and working on his farm. In a very comprehensive and interesting read, Seth Wickersham of ESPN.com brings us McLoughan’s story.