49ers vs. Browns Five Key Observations


49ers need to be careful with Frank Gore, use Kendall Hunter more.
Frank Gore is probably the hottest running back in the NFL over the last 4 weeks. He’s had 4 straight 100 yard games and at least 1 rushing TD all 4 weeks. He is and should be the workhorse of the 49ers offense. His 31 carries on Sunday were still too many considering speedy rookie Kendall Hunter was limited to just 3 carries. Gore has played just 1 full 16 game season in his career and being worn down by overuse has been given as a common reason why season after season. The 49ers finally found a perfect RB to compliment Gore’s bruising power style. Time to give Gore the breather he needs to stay healthy. After all it’s not just this season the 49ers need to worry about with Gore after giving him a new 3 year extension in training camp.

Delaine Walker needs a new contract today: Walker does so many things for the 49ers it’s easy to miss him on the field due to his versatility. Walker plays TE, WR, HB and FB and is a huge contributor in the run game as well as providing miss matches for defenses as a TE that runs like a WR. Walker signed a 6 year $5.5 million deal which expires after next season. It’s time for the 49ers to extend one of the truly unique players in football.

Page 2: The rest of my week 8 observations

Braylon Edwards is healthy: Given the annual Michael Crabtree injury saga when a 49er WR comes back from an injury let’s just say I’m a little skeptical until I see him on the field. Edwards looked crisp, quick and ready on Sunday, a sign that he is 100% healthy and ready to contribute for the 49ers. Edwards’s role will be huge in determining how far this team can go in the playoffs.

Michael Crabtree is the #1 WR, for now: Crabtree has long had the “diva” label, some of it warranted some of it not. Whether you like Crabs or not his ability cannot be denied. Crabs has been exceptional all year in the run game with great downfield blocking. He and Alex Smith have long struggled to find chemistry with one another. That all seems to be changing as Crabtree has been Smith’s favorite target the last couple weeks and has had by far the most passes come him way. Crabtree’s development into a true #1 WR would be a huge development for the offense. For right now it’s clear, Crabtree is the teams #1 WR that is until Braylon Edwards gets accustomed to the offense then it’s anyone’s guess that will be #1.

Another week, another win: It wasn’t pretty, especially in the 2nd half. But 6-1 is 6-1; a 4 game lead in the NFC West is well a 4 game lead in the NFC West. My biggest take away from the 49ers week 8 game is that the team can win without playing its best football. Aside from the Bucs game the 49ers really haven’t played their best football for 4 quarters this season. The team is only getting better with its young roster and new head coach Jim Harbaugh.

Follow me on twitter @NN_Keepingitheel

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Tags: 10 Key Observations 49ers Front 7 49ers Vs Browns 49ers Vs. Browns 10 Key Observations Braylon Edwards Delaine Walker Frank Gore Front 7 Jim Harbaugh Kendall Hunter Matt Hamm Michael Crabtree Vernon Davis Week 8

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