I guess Bay Area sports fans should thank the NFL schedulers in their putting the Niner bye week right in the middle of the Giants World Series run. Worked out very well.
With that said, lets’ get back to football. There are 9 weeks left and this team has some work to do. The #12 issue with the team is their health. Willis is a game-time decision, Bowman still has a week or two of recovery, Dorsey will be back soon, and Aldon Smith should be joining the ranks at some point, irregardless Mike Florio’s unsubstantiated statements of him coming off the susp list early. Losing Kilgore was a killer, and they can’t take another hit on the O line.
The other issues remain the same. For some inexplicable reason, the 49ers run multiple WR formations between the 20s. When they get into the red zone, it’s back to the jumbo formations, and stagnation. This team struggles wildly in the red zone. If they can fix this, it’ll go a long way to actually getting double-digit leads. Something Jim Harbaugh seems to be adverse to. Along with this is the fact that the Niners tend to go away from things that seem to be working. If they find something to exploit, force the other team to stop it, don’t merely move on to something else.
Defensively, I simply was perplexed at how they tried to attack Manning. Playing off his WRs and rushing 4-5 out of their base defense was asinine. That absolyutely plays to his strengths. The Ram game the previous week saw stunts, blitzes from different LBs, and a lot of movement along the line to dsiguise blitzers. I was excited to see how that worked against Manning, as I noted that it was the way Singletary and Co did a good job of containing Manning and the Colts a few years back. As above, they went away from something successful and it failed.
The Rams? Their pass rush seems revitalized in weeks, but they are struggling offensively. This SHOULD be a tune-up game. Let’s hope we can get on top and coast for a change.