SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Linebacker Aldon Smith loves playing in prime time. It takes him back to how he spent so many Friday nights in high school under the lights.
San Francisco teammate Anthony Dixon and others become similarly nostalgic when they take the field these days with the football spotlight on them.
And the 49ers (10-3-1) sure seem to thrive on the NFL's big stage, going 5-0 this season with another Sunday night game coming up at Seattle and a chance to clinch a second consecutive NFC West crown.
For running back Frank Gore, last Sunday night's surprising victory at New England was another step toward what he hopes is another special postseason run — with one more game, that is: the Super Bowl.
San Francisco is 64-32 in night games, including 26-17 on the road and 13-9 on Sundays.
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL