SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Vernon Davis is giving opposing safeties fits. Whether it’s Davis hurdling over defenders, sprinting by them or easily out-leaping them in the end zone, nobody seems to be able to stop San Francisco’s speedy tight end.
He has produced one of the best stretches of his eight-year career down the stretch for the 49ers.
The Atlanta Falcons certainly have a fresh memory of Davis’ spectacular day from last January’s NFC Championship Game.
Months later, with Atlanta coming to Candlestick Park on Monday night, Davis has caught touchdown passes in five consecutive games and will look for another dominant display against the Falcons.
He caught a pair of touchdown passes and had five receptions total for 106 yards in that 28-24 victory that sent San Francisco back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years.
“He’s the kind of tight end who blocks at the highest level, has speed of the highest level, catching ability, ability to get open,” coach Jim Harbaugh said Thursday. “An all-tool tight end, which is rare.”
Davis’ streak is the longest by a 49ers player since Terrell Owens caught touchdown passes in eight consecutive games from Nov. 8-Dec. 27, 1998.
The 29-year-old Davis needs one more touchdown catch to match his career high of 13 set in 2009.
With last week’s TD catch at Tampa Bay, Davis became the first tight end in NFL history to produce two 12-touchdown seasons.
While Davis said late last season he and quarterback Colin Kaepernick were still finding their timing, there’s no question they have it now – and have had for months.
The chemistry of these two will be a big key to whether the Niners can make a repeat appearance at the Super Bowl.
“I think you saw the same thing last year where there was clickage,” Harbaugh said. “And they’re clicking again. Two great football players.”
Falcons coach Mike Smith puts Davis right up among the best at the position.
At 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Davis presents a major mismatch.
“He has a different skill set in that he’s a burner,” Smith said.
“I can remember watching him at the combine run his 40 and he turned a lot of heads.”
Atlanta tight end Tony Gonzalez needs no convincing of Davis’ abilities.
He has admired Davis from afar while steadily producing his own remarkable career, which will come to a close after the season, he says.
“Vernon’s a great player, scores a lot of touchdowns,” Gonzalez said. “He’s always impressed me since he’s come out with his athletic ability. It’s unparalleled.”