Coming off 2 big road wins in Cincinnati and Philadelphia the 49ers return home this week to take on the visiting Tampa Bay Bucs. Both teams are 3-1 coming in and both are feeling pretty confident one quarter through the season. The 49ers are coming off maybe their most impressive and perhaps biggest win in almost a decade pulling off a stunning 20 point comback to defeat the Eagles.
The Bucs haven’t played bad themselves but look a little differently this season than they did last year. The biggest difference is in the passing game where the team hasn’t pushed the ball downfield as much. Tampa Bay is a power running team that likes to utilize it’s Tight End, sound familiar? The 49ers and Bucs do have a lot of similarities both teams like to run the ball, both have been doing a ton of “dink and dunk” in the passing game this season.
While Alex Smith may be having a career year thus far the 49ers offense hasn’t exactly taken a ton of chances in many games this season. They haven’t had to, the 49ers have been able to hold onto leads with a conservative approach (cough, Dallas, cough) or open it up and make a dramatic comeback as they displayed last week. Alex is still no Josh Freeman who is one of the best passers in the game. The Bucs hold the advantage in the QB department.
That doesn’t mean the Bucs will be able to pass all over the 49ers either. The 49ers front 7 is among the best in football ranking 4th in the league in rush defense that hasn’t given up a 100 yard rusher in 27 games now, think about that for a minute. The Bucs like to establish the run early and often and wear down defense with their massive Running Back LeGarrette Blount. The 49ers will bring a heavy load of Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter all game long as well, this game will be won in the trenches.
That’s why this game will be won by the 49ers. Quite simply the 49ers are superior on both sides of the ball in the trenches and that will be the eventual deciding factor on Sunday.
Alex Smith throws for 300 yards and 2 TDs
Michael Crabtree has a 100 yard day and his first TD of the year
Aldon Smith records at least 1 more sack in this game
Anthony Davis will be called for a penalty and be responsible for a sack (ok that’s not very bold that’s more obvious)
A win by the 49ers and they could take a commanding lead in the NFC West here’s a look at the standings going into week 5:
Team W L Stk
49ers 3 -1 W2
Seahawks 1 -3 L1
Cardinals 1 -3 L3
Rams 0- 4 L4