The San Francisco 49ers face a tough Week 2 matchup against the Houston Texans. The Texans are solid in all three phases of the game and are hungry to repeat as AFC South.
In order to get the victory this week, the Red and Gold must play a close to perfect game. Here are 5 keys the 49ers must follow if they want to be successful on Sunday night.
1. Let Matt Schaub Throw the Ball
The key to forcing the passing game is by stuffing the run early. This won’t be an easy task against the All Pro running back, Arian Foster. He is a dynamic back that will make you miss if the Defense decides to go head up against him. The front seven will have their hands full tonight trying to contain Arian.
Once the defense forces Schaub to start passing the ball we can give our secondary a chance to feast tonight. After Houston’s terrible meltdown last week against the Seattle Seahawks, Schaub has now thrown 3 interceptions that have been returned for a touchdown for three straight weeks. Let’s keep adding to that horrendous streak and return one tonight for six.
2. Establish the Running Game Early
Frank Gore will play an important part in tonight’s matchup against the feisty Houston Defense. From guys like JJ Watt, Brian Cushing, and Ed Reed the Texans have some talent at each level of the defense.
So Frank along with the cast of running backs the 49ers have, must fight for yards in order to open the passing game for Colin Kaepernick. Tonight look for the Niners to break out more of the Option look early as they try to gain the upper hand on the not so fast Defense.
3. Don’t Fall Behind Early
The 49ers are on Sunday Night Football once again. The nation knows what happened the last time they were on National TV against the Seahawks.
There’s no room for unnecessary errors as coach Gary Kubiak will pounce on the mistakes and turn them into points.
4. Be Prepared for any Situation
With the 49ers having a wide amount of players on the injury report, this is a chance for the backups to shine. There’s still a question tonight whether or not Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis will be suiting up for battle tonight.
This gives the 2nd string players in Michael Wilhoite and Vance McDonald the opportunity to shine on the bright lights of Candlestick Park. Also, look for Navarro Bowman to have another big game as he anchors the defense if Willis decides to sit this one out.
5. Pay Attention to Special Teams
It’s time to get the Stick rockin’ in this primetime showdown and there’s no better way of doing that than to return a kickoff or punt for a touchdown.
The Niners have yet to achieve this feat all year. Kyle Williams has been the one returning most kicks all season. Hopefully Coach Jim Harbaugh gives a chance to the speedy Lamichael James to take one to the house. Not only will this rock the Stick, but will also give the team an added boost in morale.
Pay attention to these 5 keys as you are watching the game tonight. There should be no question that the 49ers are going to win the game if all the predictions go as planned.
The season has been choppy throughout the first quarter of the season, but there’s still much football to be played. It’s all about taking it game by game, so the 49ers must seize the opportunity on Sunday Night and keep pushing towards the goal of making it back to the Promise Land.