Programming note: Vic Fangio and Greg Roman are scheduled to address the media starting at 1:00 p.m. this afternoon. Watch the live stream right here.
SANTA CLARA – Stevie Johnson’s role as an “X-factor” in the 49ers’ offense is no surprise to him.
But what is a bit shocking was the revelation that his streak of catching a pass in every game in which he has appeared since 2010 came to an inglorious end on Sunday. Johnson had caught a pass in his past 70 games. On Sunday, he had one pass thrown his way, and it was nearly intercepted.
“Oh, my goodness,” Johnson said. “That’s news. Got to start another one now. Wow.”
Johnson is the 49ers' third-leading receiver with 32 catches for 407 yards and three touchdowns.
Anquan Boldin is having a strong season with 65 receptions for 825 yards and four touchdowns. But every other 49ers’ pass-catcher is experiencing a down season, including Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Brandon Lloyd and Johnson.
“For the most part, yeah, I feel like my position is get in where you fit in and take advantage of the strengths I have,” Johnson said. “Like an X-factor, me and Brandon Lloyd are X-factors or weapons they have in their back pocket. For the most part, we’ll see what happens as the season goes on.”
Lloyd has just 11 receptions for 262 yards on the season. He has not caught a pass since his one-catch, 10-yard showing on Nov. 2 against the St. Louis Rams.
The 49ers acquired Johnson in an offseason trade from the Buffalo Bills. In a late-season 2012 game against the Seattle Seahawks, Johnson had eight catches for 115 yards in a 50-17 loss to the Seattle. When he was matched against cornerback Richard Sherman, Johnson had four catches for 69 yards and a touchdown.
At the time, Johnson was in the midst of three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Now, he is the third option at wide receiver and getting approximately 20 snaps per game in his first season with the 49ers.
“That was years ago,” Johnson said of his previous matchup against Seattle. “It’s different now. It’s not going to be the same team out there, the same mentality. You learn from it. I’m pretty sure they learned from it. I’ve taken things from that game, but for the most part that’s in the past.”