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5 Burning Questions For The 49ers in Week 14

Dec 7, 2014 at 8:27 AM


The San Francisco 49ers are coming off the most embarrassing home loss in recent memory and travelling across the bay to take on the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers playoff hopes are hanging by a thread as a result of their 19-3 loss on Thanksgiving night to Seattle, a loss which has hung around a few extra days as a result of playing on a Thursday night, and was punctuated by the owner sending out a tweet about the poor performance in the late stages of the game which only served to fuel speculation around the future of the coaching staff.

On the other side of this matchup, the Oakland Raiders come into this game on the heels of a 52-0 whitewashing at the hands of the St Louis Rams. Nothing has seemed to go right for Oakland this season, but their lone win over Kansas City came at home under circumstances similar to today's game. Kansas City has an offense that is struggling to move the ball through the air and found themselves against a team looking to not be embarrassed in prime time.

With that as a backdrop here are 5 burning questions to which the answers will be key to the outcome of the game.

1) Can Colin Kaepernick bounce back? - Kaepernick had one of the worst games of his career last week against Seattle, and past history shows that he will struggle again today. A season ago Kaepernick followed up poor performances in losses to Seattle and Carolina with poor performances the following week and he has done the same thing again this season.

2) Can the 49ers get the running game going? - The 49ers have seen their yards per rush attempt drop from 4.2 yards per carry to 3.6 yards per carry in the five games since Daniel Kilgore was lost to injury for the season. With Kaepernick struggling, the offense needs to get back the ground game working.

3) Which wide receiver will step up? - A week ago the 49ers wide receivers finished with a combined total of 8 receptions for 62 yards. Those numbers look even worse when you factor in that the highest total, 28 yards from Stevie Johnson, were mostly in garbage time.

4) Can the offensive line protect Kaepernick? - The 49ers offensive line has given up 38 sacks this season which puts them behind only Jacksonville, Washington and the New York Jets in that category. They may catch a bit of a break today because the Raiders defense is last in the league with only 13 sacks on the season.

5) Can the 49ers defense force Derek Carr to beat them? - The Raiders ground game has been almost non-existent this season. They come into this game averaging 3.7 yards per attempt on the ground, a number that is helped out by Latavius Murray's 90 yard run against Kansas City.

The last time the 49ers were in this type of situation they allowed Washington to average 5.0 yards per carry which allowed them to hang around in the game despite holding Robert Griffin III to only 106 yards passing on the day.

Prediction: 49ers 16 Raiders 3

The feeling going into this game is that the first team to score a touchdown will win, and since the 49ers have shown the ability to score touchdowns on their first drive at a high rate this season I'm giving them the nod.
The views within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


5 Comments

  • Bilal
    This is the of the Krappernick experiment. Our offense is trash and we need a complete offensive make over, starting at QB.......... We will lose the next 3 games no debate , putting us at 7-9 and last in the West. It's time to start scouting pocket passers and move pass Kapp! And yes, I've been a Niner fan for over 30 years and Kapp reminds me of a younger JT O'Sullivan!
    Dec 8, 2014 at 6:30 AM
    0
  • Al Seyford
    I predicted 9-7 at the start of the year. remember, we could not score in the preseason. The faithful have been in denial. We can't score TD's. I have followed this team since 1962 but follow with my eyes, not heart. I expect to finish out the season with three more losses and three more smart ass press conferences by Kap and JIm. You may think I'm crazy but I hate to think what Pete has in mind in Seattle. That could get real ugly!!!
    Dec 7, 2014 at 8:21 PM
    0
  • rjpbobp
    Well - we have Bochey and Kerr that can lead teams - this will now leave Roman the chance to interview for all those top coaching jobs that are awaiting him
    Dec 7, 2014 at 5:05 PM
    0
  • lee vogt
    Wtf guys? What was that?! Im a born and raised 9er fan. That was truly one of the worst games that I've seen. Not sure what is going on, but you guys need to work on it. Sincerly, very disappointed.
    Dec 7, 2014 at 4:44 PM
    0
  • Razoreater
    Mr. Crabs is that receiver. Now's the time to drop that chip he's been carrying in his claw on the team that passed him by for DHB....
    Dec 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM
    0

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