It's a short week, which is both good and bad for the 49ers. Good that we have the opportunity to get a bad taste out of our mouth, but bad in the sense that it's less time for certain players to return from injury, and less prep time. But that's no excuse, because the other team has it the same way. Right now, this is what I see as the way to beat St. Louis, looking at the way they've played in the first few weeks...
1. Make running the ball a top priority
The Rams gave up almost 100 yards in a single half to DeMarco Murray, who finished with 175 yards. We have two outstanding runners, and one in particular who has great outside quickness and speed. Feed them the ball early and often to gash and wear down their prone-to-over-pursue defensive ends and average interior.
2. Attack their young safeties
TJ McDonald is a rookie, and Rodney McLeod is in his 2nd year -- his first time ever as a starter. Tight ends in particular have been a problem for the defense - both Dallas TEs had plays on STL last week. Their CBs are quick, fast, and physical. Star WRs did do well against them (Fitz and Julio), but we don't have anyone quite like that. Our best bet is to utilize the TEs on the seams, and try to work size mismatches against their short, but quick, strong corners. Baldwin may not play, but this really, really would be a good time to use him now.
3. Attack the right OT side of their line on defense
Aldon Smith is out, but their starting RT Saffold is likely out as well. That's Brooks' side, so we need to work stunts and crash that side to work his replacement who did not fare well last week against Dallas.
4. Stress that Kaepernick protect the ball and get any sort of positive play possible
It is imperative that we not turn the ball over and do not take negative plays. Thursday games are often ugly, and we need to establish time of possession, control the ball, and maintain the best field position possible. He MUST understand that every game cannot be played and/or won in a shootout fashion. Jim must stress to Colin to be DECISIVE and either release the ball to his final read in the flat/outlet if the other options are not there OR run FORWARD for positive yards instead of laterally, because running side to side only serves to eliminate almost all his options on field and is often a dangerous play and a potential turnover or injury if the defense is chasing you from behind.
5. Zone blitz often
Bradford struggles severely at times when pressured and hit often. I saw him rolling around in agony against Dallas a couple times at least on Sunday. It affects his effectiveness, and we need to do our best to disrupt him.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on Sep 24, 2013 at 9:10 PM ]