Monday, December 2, 2013

5 Burning Questions Answered

The 49ers dominated the Rams on Sunday to pick up a 23-13 win.  The 10 point margin of victory does not show just how convincing the win was.  The 49ers defense held the Rams to 108 total yards of offense through the first 3 quarters while building a 23-6 lead.

On the flip side the 49ers did not go 3 and out until their first possession of the second half.  The did this despite losing Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley on the 6th play of the game and having to reshuffle their line.

Here are the answers to the 5 burning questions I asked on Friday.

1)  What impact will Michael Crabtree have? - 2 catches for 68 yards.  Played 42 of 67 snaps (63%).

After a rough start in which he was called for a blocking in the back and pass interference, Crabtree settled down and played a good game considering it was his first live action since the Super Bowl in February.

His 60 yard reception in the 3rd quarter was vintage Crabtree, a quick stop and go that could have gone for 6 if not for the safety taking a good angle and cutting him off around the 10 yard line.

2)  Can the 49ers get the run game going? - No.

The 49ers could only muster 83 yards on 30 rushes (2.8 ypc), and those numbers are helped out by 2 Colin Kaepernick scrambles.  The key though is that the 49ers coaches continued to try to get it going, which kept the play calling balanced leading to 69 passing yards and their only passing touchdown off play action from their 22 personnel package.

3)  Can the 49ers defense contain Zac Stacy and Tavon Austin? - Yes.

The 49ers run defense held Stacy to 3.8 yards per carry (19 - 72yds) which is over half a yard less than he was averaging coming in.

Austin was a non-factor in the passing game with 4 receptions for only 25 yards.  He was slowed down in the return game as well as he averaged only 16.8 yards per kick off return and 1 punt return for 10 yards.

4)  Can the 49ers offense repeat? - Yes.

The 49ers offense put up 23 points and 338 total yards.  These numbers are similar to what they did the week before against Washington, however doing that against the Rams is a much bigger accomplishment.

5)  Can the offensive line hold up in pass protection? - Split Decision.

The 49ers offensive line lost Joe Staley on the 6th play of the game forcing Alex Boone to move over to his natural left tackle position and Joe Looney to step in at right guard.  This resulted in the line giving up 4 sacks during the 49ers first 3 possessions of the game, however they gave up none over the next 9 possessions.

Robert Quinn and Chris Long came into the game as two of the top 10 pass rushers in the NFL and were held to no sacks yesterday by Boone and Anthony Davis.

Prediction Time:

49ers 23  Rams 17, missed by 4 points.

A nice win, now it's time for Seahawk week.

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