The 49ers enter week 3 atop the lowly NFL West at 1-1 after a devestating loss at home to the Cowboys. The 49ers fanbase has become restless with first year coach Jim Harbaugh’s conservative approach thus far in the season. Going into Cincinnati vs a young Bengals team starting a rookie Quarterback what should we expect to see out of the 49ers.
More of the same really….
Do not expect the 49ers to suddenly flip the switch and abandon the current approach. We are still very much in phase 1 of the Jim Harbaugh era here in SF. The team will not suddently have Alex Smith drop back for 40 passes per game with multiple personnel sets changing up to confuse the opposing defense on every play. Nope, that won’t happen. Sorry to disappoint you.
The defense on the other hand may show a little more agression this week as they welcome the returns of Cornerback Shawtae Spencer and Free Safety Dashon Goldson to the starting lineup. Both will be welcome additions to the 49ers 25th ranked pass defense. While the teams front 7 has done a tremendous job stopping the run ranking #1 in the NFL through 2 weeks much like recent past the pass defense has been suspect at best. It’s obvious the team needs help at safety after starting Madeui Williams the first 2 weeks of the season he and Tarell Brown have been over their heads as starters. Adding Goldson and Spencer to the lineup will finally make the 49ers defense whole and give Defensive Coordinator Vic Fangio the confidence in the backfield to send extra pressure from the front end. Expect Fangio to send an extra man or 2 to test rookie QB Andy Dalton and the fragile Bengals Offensive Line. This is the week I expect Aldon Smith to arrive with his first big day in the NFL.
At the end of the day this 49ers team is far more talented than the one in Cincinnati. They should win and they will win with a combination of lights out special teams play, a great run defense and patient not too risky offense that will evolve a little from the one we saw week 2.
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