This Sunday, the San Francisco 49ers will face another serious playoff contender from the AFC division (Houston Texans). Both the 49ers and the Texans are (2-2) going into the second quarter of the regular season. After the Texans’ surprising loss to the Seattle Seahawks in (OT), they now face an almost similar defensive assignment against the Niners. This will be another classic bout between the first and fourth top-ranked defenses in the NFL league today.
The 49er defense needs to click on all cylinders if they want the opportunity to get the “W” against (QB) Matt Schaub and company. Uncertainty still surrounds the 49er locker room on whether or not (ILB) Patrick Willis will be ready to return to the field against the Texans on Oct. 6. If the 49ers decide to keep the six time pro-bowler on the sidelines, (ILB) Michael Wilhoite will have to deliver another stellar performance alongside veteran (ILB) Navarro Bowman. It is up to this dynamic duo to decipher the Texans’ offensive attack that mainly concentrates on the “ground game”, the play-action, and their entrusted tight-end receivers. Containing both (TE) Owen Daniels and (TE) Garrett Graham will be a key factor leading into this competitive match-up. Running backs Arian Foster and Ben Tate both rushed for a total of 146 yards against the Seahawks, so stopping the run will be another contributing factor to this football game. If Wilhoite, Bowman and the defensive front are failing to stop Foster’s “ground-and-pound”, the 49er defense will be in a “world of trouble”. On a side note, the 49ers’ corners and safeties have to also be competing at the same level, making all the necessary tackles (especially
against the huge linebacker tight-ends).
Bowman had six tackles, three of them for loss, and two sacks against the Rams’ (QB) Sam Bradford. Wilhoite recorded a career-high seven tackles against the Rams, and is proving to be quite an asset to the 49ers’ defensive depth at (ILB). These two players have to exude leadership and strong communication around their teammates in order to add another quintessential “pick-six” to Schaub’s resume.