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Sunday, December 7, 2008
Rapid Reaction: 49ers 24, Jets 14

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Interim coach Mike Singletary and quarterback Shaun Hill made their strongest case yet for returning in 2009.

Beating the Jets after losing workhorse back Frank Gore to an ankle injury will spruce up each resume. The Jets had playoff positioning to gain, but the 49ers' motivation -- continued employement -- might have been greater.

Singletary has won three of his last four games. Victories over the Dolphins, Rams and Redskins to finish the season -- a scenario less laughable after consecutive victories over the Bills and Jets -- would leave the 49ers with an 8-8 record and a dramatically improved outlook.

Singletary's decision to replace J.T. O'Sullivan with Hill while reducing high-risk pass plays has helped the 49ers avoid the self-destructing tendencies that cost Mike Nolan his job after seven games.

Gore's ankle injury becomes a primary concern heading into the Miami game in Week 15. With Hill at quarterback, the 49ers have a better chance at competing without their best offensive player.