Is it me? Why am I not very worried about Detroit? Suh is a beast, and Mergatroid is outstanding. After that? Ehhhh . . . Frankly, I think the Niners can win this game. Not easy, by any means, but something in the area of 28-17. Some shit like that. Stafford, among all his slow starts and comebacks, is fairly inconsistent. Detroit’s running game doesn’t worry me that much, and they haven’t exactly played a boatload of stellar opponents, either. Chicago was their toughest foe, and among all that ineptitude on the Bears’ part, Chicago was in it most of the way. Lost in Detroit’s win were a shitload of penalties called on them, a lot of missed passes, and the home run to Mergs.
Detroit may get another big play out of him, but the key is to take advantage of all the other opportunities they seem to offer up. They are going to pass a lot, so I’m thinking the Niners will play a lot of nickel and also have Aldon Smith in while they primarily run a 4-3 defense. This puts the onus on the linebackers to watch for screens and delays. That being said, Bowman and Willis are both in the top 7 in tackles, and they are doing a great job of staying at home and not overpursuing plays. A vast difference from last year. How they rotate these guys around as they go from 3-4 to 4-3 will be something to watch. The secondary has made geat strides, even from the start of the year. As many yards as the Eagles gained in the air, the DBs were making plays downfield. And they were tackling guys after catches. The TB game was a study in tight coverage.
The Niners defense is gaining a reputation as a tough, hard-hitting unit. Laying the bricks on Mergatroid may slow him down a hair. I thnk they should jam CJ early and often. Culliver has good size to match up with him on the line. Jam him with help over the top, and they can minimize his impact. I have the same feeling about this game as I did about the Tampa Bay game. They are both good, but I think we out-play and out-coach them. God, what a weird feeling. It has been too long.