Week 3: 49ers Look to Rebound Against the Colts at Candlestick
When: Sunday, September 22nd at 1:25pm PT; 4:25pm ET
Where: Candlestick Park in San Francisco, CA.
TV: CBS (National)
Northern & Central California: KPIX 5 San Francisco; KOVR 13 Sacramento; KION 46 Monterey; KHSL 12 Chico-Redding; KGPE 47 Fresno
Indianapolis and the greater Indiana Area : WISH 8 Indianapolis; WSBT 22 South Bend
Announcers: Jim Nantz, Phil Simms
Seeking Redemption- The San Francisco 49ers are looking to get back on the winning track after another forgettable game in Seattle. This week the 49ers are setting their sights on the Indianapolis Colts in the first of four games they will play this season against the AFC's South Division. Both teams are entering this game with 1-1 marks after two games. The Colts opened the season with two home games, the first of which was against the Oakland Raiders. The Colts there opened up with a 14 point lead before having to hang on for a 21-17 win. Last Sunday in Week 2, the Colts had an even tougher time against the upstart Miami Dolphins and just could not get it done in a 24-20 setback. The 49ers ofcourse won a thriller against Green Bay in Week 1 before last week's flop in Seattle. The 49ers will enter this game as the favorite by those who make those calls. At the same time the 49ers also seemingly have much to prove to their fans and to themselves after last week.
49ers- Colin Kaepernick after a strong effort against Green Bay had arguably his worst game as a 49er last Sunday. However Kaepernick isn't the only 49er on the offensive unit looking to get back on the field and handle their business. Anquan Boldin after 13 catches in week one was held to one catch last week. Vernon Davis despite tweaking his hamstring last week should be ready to go Sunday. Quinton Patton, the 49ers rookie wide receiver who impressed in the pre-season has yet to see much action so far. It may be a good idea at this point for the 49ers to integrate him into the game plan as he is someone who certainly should be able to contribute. In addition, the 49ers also must find there running game too. This is critical. In two games so far the running game has hardly been much of a factor. Last week it was as non existent as the teams' offense. Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, and Anthony Dixon need help from the offensive line not only in protection, but also to create holes and lanes for them to run through. If the running game does not get started soon this could be a major problem for the 49ers going forward. So far Green Bay and Seattle both have stacked up their lines defensively which is part of the reason for the 49ers' running game troubles. Head Coach Jim Harbaugh certainly is aware of these problems and he with the offensive staff are looking to find ways the give the running game a better chance to succeed. The passing game and Kaepernick's ability to improvise are also key as was demonstrated in the Green Bay game. The addition of fullback Owen Marecic who played for Harbaugh at Stanford should at least be of some help. Despite all that happened a week ago, you can still look for the 49ers to come out of the gates charging on offense. They are seeking redemption and are group with plenty to prove and play for once again.
On defense, the 49ers lost Ian Williams for the season last week thanks to a Seattle chopblock. The 49ers have some depth issues with Demarcus Dobbs, Justin Smith and Glen Dorsey truly being the only full healthy men at their positions. However rookie corner Eric Reed has reportedly appeared to doing fine with concussion tests which has to be a relief. Patrick Willis, NaVarro Bowman, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks all of who earned combat pay last week should be all ready to go. The 49ers defense will have the unenviable task of stopping Andrew Luck who makes his first Bay Area appearance as an NFL player in this game. The 49ers defense will need to find ways to limit Luck's game and keep him under pressure for most of the afternoon.
Colts- The Colts have an offense that once they get on track will be a challenge for any defense to stop let alone contain. Luck will have plenty of options in the backfield starting with former New York Giant Ahamad Bradshaw. In addition, the Colts just acquired running back Trent Richardson from Cleveland. Reportedly Richardson will figure into the Colts game plan from the get go. Veteran wide receiver Reggie Wayne is still a prominent factor and is one of the tougher receivers to defend against. In addition to Wayne, Luck also has plenty of receiver options with T.Y. Hilton, former Raider Darrius Heyward-Bey, as well as tight ends Dwayne Allen and Colby Fleener. The defensive front line includes Jerrell Freeman, Robert Mathis who have combined for five sacks in two games. Greg Toler, Darius Butler, Vonte Davis and LaRon Landry will be covering the 49ers receiving core which will be anything but an easy task. In the field goal & extra point department NFL veteran Adam Vinatieri has a history of game winning kicks throughout his career.
Kingshark Line- The good news is that the 49ers probably cannot play any worse than they did a week ago and realized afterward the importance of capitalizing early and often when given the opportunity to do so. This week the 49ers are probably the most anxious of the 28 teams playing Sunday to get back on the field and get to work. Kaepernick still has a solid passing game and many weapons to work with. They key is going to be just settling down and taking care of the tasks at hand (for which there will be no shortage of). The Colts certainly present a lot of challenges on both sides of the football and will not be an easy out. If the 49ers are able to put last week behind them and come out of the gates strong that will bode very well for them. Defensively the 49ers cannot afford to give Luck extra plays or opportunities at any point in the game. The 49ers defense in week two actually played a better game than in week one so they look to be trending up. It will be all hands on deck against Luck. Prediction: 49ers 31 Colts 26. This will be an offensive day for both teams with the 49ers wearing the bigger chip on their shoulders.