Week 5: 49ers take on Houston looking for a Sunday Night "Make Good"
When: Sunday, October 6th at 5:20pm PT (7:20pm CT)
Where: Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Ca.
TV: NBC (National)
Northern & Central California: KNTV 11 San Jose/San Francisco; KCRA 3 Sacramento; KSBW 8 Salinas/Monterey; KSEE 24 Fresno
Houston and Southeast Texas Area; KPRC 2 Houston; WOAI 4 San Antonio; KBMT 12 Beaumont; KXAN 36 Austin
Broadcasters: Al Michaels, Chris Collinsworth
49ers Looking to Make Good on Sunday Night Football- The San Francisco 49ers have appeared on Sunday Night Football three times since last December. The first time was memorable but hectic win over the Patriots in New England. The last two times have been at Seattle. There is absolutely no need to rehash either one of those games here, we all know what happened. The 49ers this week are not only looking to show a national audience that they are every bit as good as the team that appeared in the franchises sixth Super Bowl last February, but they also have the wherewithal to appear on a big stage and perform at a highly competitive level. The 49ers will get another crack before Al, Chris and a national television audience Sunday Night. Unlike the last three Sunday Night appearances, the 49ers this time are at their friendly confines with a week of full rest after a convincing win at St Louis a week ago Thursday Night. In there win over the Rams, the 49ers finally unleashed their running game and it paid strong dividends all game long. Frank Gore had his best game of the season to date with 153 rushing yards and a touchdown. Kendall Hunter also had a decent game as well. The 49ers ability to run on the Rams opened up more opportunities for the offense to move the ball effectively. Colin Kaepernick only threw 23 passes in the game and was able to navigate fine as the offensive line for the most part upheld their end of the bargain. The Houston Texans are a better team than the Rams and their defense will create problems for the 49ers. At the same time it's really nothing the 49ers have not already seen though their first four games. It took a few games for the 49ers to make the needed adjustments and just turn the running game loose. If the 49ers can run the ball, it will open up their ability to stretch the field and do so much more. This means more participation for Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin, Jon Baldwin, Kyle Williams. (Quinton Patton, broken foot and all is out indefinitely.) The offense last week helped the defense out to as they kept the ball for almost 32 minutes of game time giving the defense time to rest and refresh. This allowed players such as NaVarro Bowman, Tarell Brown, Donte Whitner, Ahman Brooks, Glenn Dorsey, Tramaine Brock, and Michael Wilhoite to have huge games. If the offense can navigate effectively against the Texans defense, this will also allow the 49ers defensive unit to be just as effective Sunday as they were against the Rams last week.
The Houston Texans Story- Houston comes into the game with a 2-2 mark. Their two wins came on the games' last play against the Chargers and Titans. In Baltimore two weeks ago the Ravens had their way with the Texans. Last week Houston exploded against the Seahawks for 20 points in the second quarter and led by 17 at halftime. Seattle however picked up a great deal of momentum and started to win the battle of wills against Houston on both sides of the ball in the second half. The Texans however were maybe a first down or two away from putting the game away late when an inexpiable play call basically handed Seattle the game on a silver platter. However don't look for the Texans to be dragging their knuckles or for this team to be down. The Texans know they are also on a national stage and have plenty to prove to both their fanbase and also themselves, and are desperate to make good from their loss last Sunday. Matt Schaub when he his on his game can compete at a high level. The 49ers defensively will need to find a way to contain him and limit his ability to get the ball to players such as Andre Johnson, DeAndre Hopkins, Owen Daniels and Garrett Graham, Out of the backfield the Texans possess a pair of impressive running backs in Arian Foster and Ben Tate. The Texans offense ranks in the top 10 in three different team categories. Defensively Brian Cushing is the team leader however is status is questionable for Sunday night after suffering a concussion last week against the Seahawks. Even if Cushing were not to play, the 49ers offensive line must deal with the likes of J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, Brice McCain, Kareem Jackson, and former Raven Ed Reed amongst others. The Texans are also ranked tops in the NFL against the pass and passing yards allowed. Last week the Texans defense held Seahawks QB Russell Wilson to only 123 yards passing. The 49ers offense will be playing statistically against a better defense than they did two weeks ago versus Indianapolis and need to bring their A-game and sustain it for four full quarters.
Kingshark Line Prediction- The loser of this game falls to 2-3 and may have a long road the rest of the season if they are hoping the make the post season later on, with a wild card maybe their only realistic goal. Both teams were amongst the favorites in their respective conferences and so far overall have had disappointing results centered around successes. This could come down to who has the ball last. It will come down to who's offense can do the most against a very tough defense unit. The 49ers gained confidence as the game went on last week. Houston just did too little to secure a winnable game and could easily be 1-3 if not for some breaks earlier in their campaign. The 49ers are at home and well rested. They also have good momentum going for them here as well. 49ers 27 Texans 20.
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