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Williams excels in kick-return role

The Sports Xchange
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LINEUP WATCH
Searching for something after going into the half down 17-6, the 49ers put Kyle Williams at kickoff returner instead of Kendall Hunter. Williams immediately ripped off returns of 96 yards and 50 yards and by the start of the fourth quarter, Williams had outgained the 49ers' offense. With Ted Ginn Jr. missing the first three games with an ankle injury, Williams just might have stolen his kickoff return duties away from him. Williams is getting better than he was last year as the punt returner, but he still makes questionable decisions. He called for a fair catch at his own 14 even though there wasn't a defender within 10 yards. However, don't be surprised if Ginn has to earn his way onto the field. Harbaugh greatly favors those who play over those who don't.

BY THE NUMBERS
Quarterback Alex Smith had his interception-less streak snapped. Smith set a team record and was approaching the NFL record, when he threw an interception to Josh Robinson in the fourth quarter. It broke a streak of 249 straight attempts without a pick. The streak goes all the way back to Week 12, when the 49ers lost to the Ravens on Thanksgiving night in the Harbaugh Bowl. The streak doesn't count the 68 attempts without a pick in the playoffs. In Minnesota, Smith was trying to drive the team on a third down before the two-minute warning. He was aiming his throw at wide receiver Michael Crabtree, who ran a post. Smith threw the ball as if it was a deep-in. It was either a horrible throw by Smith or a miscommunication between Smith and Crabtree. That's what makes Smith's streak so impressive; he did it while functioning in a new offense where miscommunications are common place.

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