Ok, let me start by saying I am not predicting nor expecting a Niners win on Sunday. I think Indy is right there at the top of the league right now and should win this game because of the talent they have on the roster. That said, I've been mulling a couple things over and there are a few aspects of the game that could bounce the ball the Niners way for a BIG upset.
First, Alex Smith...Yes, we are all excited from what we saw from him last week. Does that mean that he has turned the corner to meet the expectations from several years back? No. However, one thing the Colts don't have is film on Smith and his CURRENT tendencies. They have one half of football in which the Niners were playing catch up and spreading the ball around. If he can get the ball down the field quickly and accurately, it may take the Colts some time to figure out how to disrupt his timing. Of course, the O-line has to give him time, but Alex may have the advantage of no way to really prepare for him right now.
Second, the defense matches up pretty well with the Colts. With Donald Brown likely out, the game will be all Addai (who hasn't exactly lit it up this season). If the Niners can stifle the run game and just turn it into a passing game, then we have to hope our secondary can make some plays. I like the idea (though not confirmed) of Clements covering Dallas Clark, because Clark is a beast. Waynes is gimpy with a groin injury, so hopefully that will slow him a step. The other receivers are quick and fast, but match up well with our smaller, quick CBs. I could be wrong, but I'm not trembling from this matchup.
Third, the Niners will try to run the ball to control the clock. If Gore gets his holes, we could have some big runs against the NFL's #17 rush defense. Again, goes back to the O-line doing their job, but I do like this matchup. Yeah, the Colts lost the ball control battle to Miami like 15 min to 45 min and still won, but controlling the clock with a solid run game can only help.
Finally, and this is based on nothing but a gut feeling...the Colts are due for a loss. They are almost halfway through the season, have already had their bye, and have not had any REALLY tough games. History would say they will eventually lose a surprising game or two, so why not this week? We will see.
I will never count out Peyton Manning. I love watching him and am always in awe of just how good he is. That said, if the things I stated happen and we lay some wood to Manning a couple times, I really could see a Sunday shocker happening. Let's hope.