Game #9 of the season is here, the bye week and break is over, and the team has re-tooled with the addition of Aldon Smith, Mario Manningham, Eric Wright, and Tank Carradine. Aldon Smith likely comes in as a situational pass rusher, so he’ll get some snaps on defense. 15-20 I’d think. Unless Carolina gets pass happy. The rest? Not sure. I’d like to think super Mario gets some serious playing time as the Niners are going to need to throw the ball to get the run game going. And they need more than VD and Boldin to get the passing game going. If the Niners can get the passing game going early, that should open up the run game.
Carolina for their part plays defense much like the Niners. They rely on their front seven to control the game. They don’t blitz very much, and they stop the run an good as anyone without having to stack the line. They maintain their gaps and fill the running lanes. Which is why I think the Niners need to pass early to open things up. Carolina often only rushes 4 and covers with 7 so it is imperative that the Niners get people open. Miller has been serving well as a check down safety valve type guy recently, and we have Manningham back. Carol hasn’t faced a mobile QB like Kappy, and Carol’s star LB Luke Keuchly has been burned a couple times on seam routes, so the chances should be there.
I don’t think this one will be easy, but we are coming off our break, and they are traveling across the country. Niners win going away.