Monday, November 25, 2013

5 Burning Questions For Week 12

The 49ers take on Washington later tonight in a must win game to stay in the 6th seed for the NFC playoffs.  Let's jump right into my 5 burning questions for tonight's game.

1)  Can the 49ers get the running game going again? - During their 5 game winning streak the 49ers offense ran the ball on 65% of its snaps.  Over the last 2 weeks, both losses, the 49ers have run the ball on 37% of its snaps.  If the 49ers are going to win they must get that number to a minimum of 45-50%.

2)  Can the 49ers defense contain Alfred Morris? -  Over the last three games Morris has averaged 24.3 carries and 117.67 yards per game.  If he is able to reach those numbers tonight it will be tough sledding for the 49ers.

3)  Can Colin Kaepernick rekindle his Monday Night Magic? - It has been exactly a year and a week to the day since Kaepernick made his first career start on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears.  On that night Kaepernick completed 16 of 23 passes for 243 yards and 2 touchdowns. So far in 2013 Kaepernick has bettered those numbers only two times.

4)  What effect will the Tarell Brown injury have on the 49ers secondary? - At first glimpse the injury to Brown and subsequent promotion of Tramaine Brock into his place doesn't seem like a big deal, however it will have a ripple effect throughout the secondary.

Brown and Carlos Rogers had been the corners in the 49ers base defense with Brock entering and Rogers sliding to the slot in Nickle/Dime situations.  It will be interesting to see how the 49ers handle this tonight, my guess is we will see Brock and Eric Wright on the outside with Rogers still manning the slot.

5)  Turn back the clock to 1988? -  The 1988 49ers entered their week 12 matchup with a 6-5 record coming off back to back losses, the second being a dismal offensive effort in which they could only muster 3 points and 219 yards.  It was the second time that season in which the offense had looked overmatched, including a 10-9 loss a few weeks earlier to the Chicago Bears.

For week 12 the 49ers hosted the defending Super Bowl Champion Washington Redskins.  The 49ers blitzed Washington, taking a 23-7 lead into the half on the strength of a Montana touchdown pass to Brent Jones, a Tom Rathman TD run, and John Taylor's incredible punt return for a touchdown.  That win was the catalyst to a 4 game win streak that set the 49ers up for a post season run that would include avenging that loss to Chicago and culminate in the teams third Super Bowl title.

Prediction Time:

49ers 19 Washington 13

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