The San Francisco 49ers knew that they had to send a statement throughout the league, implicating that they are still one of the top contenders in the NFL. Considering the fact that their demoralizing defense is without Pro-bowler (ILB) Patrick Willis, (OLB) Aldon Smith, (NT) Ian Williams, and possibly (DE) Ray McDonald; they still possess the defensive depth to get the
“W” as an end result. Everyone anticipated that this game between the two top-ranked defenses in the league would be “neck and neck”; however, (QB) Matt Schaub’s three interceptions would eventually gift-wrap the easy win for the “red” and “gold”. (CB) Tramaine Brock recorded 2 interceptions; he returned one for 18 yards into the end zone and almost picked off Schaub for a third consecutive time in the first half. Overall, this game is simply about a hungry 49er team taking advantage of a quarterback’s sloppy offensive performance and turning it into a full on walkover.
(QB) Colin Kaepernick made 6 completions out of 15 attempts for a grand total of 113 passing yards. (RB) Frank Gore grinded up 81 yards on the ground and (RB) Lamichael James added 31 positive yards into the mix. Gore had another solid night adding to his 153-yard performance against the St. Louis Rams. Pro-Bowler (TE) Vernon Davis had three receptions for a total of 88 yards; including his 64 yard touchdown in the fourth quarter (icing on the cake). (WR) Anquan Boldin had another rough night only catching 2 receptions for a mediocre total of 21 yards. The 49ers are sitting comfortably with their running foundation, but it is completely evident that the passing attack isn’t providing any productive yardage whatsoever. The Texans defensive secondary did a brilliant job playing
“man-to-man” and “double-team” coverage against the 49ers’ receivers. On the other end of the spectrum, the 49ers’ defense outplayed the Texans; delivering incredible pressure to Schaub in the pocket and outstanding coverage against their tight-ends and wide receivers. (RB) Arian Foster and Ben Tate had a total of 126 yards against the 49ers’ defensive front seven against the run. This
issue has to be addressed as soon as possible, so the Niners can reclaim their identity as being one of the best in the “biz” to defend against the run.
Speaking on behalf of the 49ers’ offensive weapons, (WR) Mario Manningham will be able to be activated of the PUP list in a couple of weeks, and (WR) Michael Crabtree is set to return from his Achilles injury maybe in either mid or late November (reinforcements are on their way). Furthermore, trade rumors are still circulating around the league on whether or not the 49ers will trade their second round draft pick for Cleveland’s (WR) Josh Gordon. Stay tuned.
Defensive lineman Ray McDonald sustained a bicep strain and will undergo surgery at the end of the season, depending on how long he can manage the soreness in his right arm. Let’s hope the muscle strain doesn’t fully affect his ongoing performance in the future; look at happened to (DE) Justin Smith last year in the play-offs. Losing McDonald will be another huge loss to the defensive front, already losing (NT) Ian Williams to a season-ending ankle injury. Mcdonald will have viable replacements consisting of Demarcus Dobbs and Tony Jerod-Eddie who are ready to take on his position whenever possible. Rookies (DT) Quinton Dial and (DE) Tank Carradine will be ready to be added to their already bolstering defensive depth, possibly within the month. If (ILB) Patrick Willis decides to sit out the next game because of his “groin” injury, reserve (ILB) Michael Wilhoite and veteran (ILB) Navarro Bowman need to step up once again under the bright lights. The same scenario applies to veteran (CB) Nnamdi Asomugha whose coverage duties will most likely be covered by (CB) Tramaine Brock thanks to his breakout performance against the Texans. Moreover, free-agent signee (CB) Eric Wright will be ready for practice in the next upcoming weeks; highlighting serious competition for the No.3 cornerback position.
The 49ers are now (3-2) and will face another team within their NFC (West) division against the Arizona Cardinals who are also (3-2). Both the 49ers and Cardinals currently possess a 2-game winning streak, can the 2nd ranked pass- defense stop (QB) Carson Palmer and the dynamic (WR) Larry Fitzgerald?
Let’s find out.