While watching the 49ers demolish the Jets in the second-half last week, the Patriots were simultaneously starting a historical comeback against the Bills that would end with them scoring 45 second-half points. After going up 21-7 early in the third quarter, the Bills were outscored by the Patriots 51-7. They would end the game by giving up the second-most yards in franchise history (580 yards) and committed a season-high six turnovers, including four interceptions. The defeat was infamously historic for the Bills and it could affect them this weekend against the 49ers as they will go up against San Francisco’s third ranked rushing attack in the NFL.
Against the Jets the Niners rushed for a season-high 245 yards. The 49ers offense averages 5.4 yards per carry and 167 rushing yards per game. The running game has been led by Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter and both could have big games against a Bills defense that allowed 247 rushing yards and four touchdowns last week against the Patriots. All of this was given up at a home game for the Bills. Throw in Colin Kaepernick, who showed last week defenses will have to prepare for him from now on, and the possibility of Brandon Jacobs making his regular-season debut for the 49ers, the offense will be even more forceful on the ground.
The head coach of the Bills, Chan Gailey, said on Wednesday the defense is preparing not only for Gore, Hunter and Jacobs, but also Kaepernick who had 50-yards on five carries and one touchdown last week.
That puts a lot of stress on your defense to prepare for that week in and week out. He’s (Kaepernick) done a good job of running what they’ve put in and they’ve done a good job of keeping it varied, so it’s not just the same all the time.
With Jim Harbaugh working Kaepernick into the game plan last week, the Bills are forced to prepare for an array of offensive packages that are not on film other than last week’s game. This means the Bills defense will have less time to practice for Gore and the rest of the 49ers rushing attack. On the conference call, Gailey said they are using backup QB Tyler Thigpen in practice to impersonate Kaepernick on offense. However, even Gailey acknowledged they are not the same player.
(Thigpen) can’t mimic exactly what Colin is able to do because of his size and speed. But it’s like all the rest of the players. We can’t mimic all the players either. You come as close as you possibly can.
The 49ers are looking to win their sixth straight home game over an AFC opponent this Sunday, while the Bills have lost five straight road games against NFC teams. The last time San Francisco lost to a team from the AFC at Candlestick Park was against the Titians in 2009. The 49ers will certainly look to take advantage of the Bills flaws defending against the rush, which could mean another big win for San Francisco and another huge loss for Buffalo.