49ers Offensive & Defensive X-Factors
No matter how good a team is, there’s always going to be that impact player or players that make the game more exciting.
Here are the 49ers that have the potential to run away with Fridays game, and help their team secure the win.
When quarterback Colin Kaepernick is on his game, its frightening for other teams when it comes to matching him step for step. In his first game back as a starter since mid-season last year, he must come out and make a statement early.
He has to play with confidence and he must leave his apprehension in the locker room. If the offensive line continues to play well then he needs to be a pocket passer, but if the line crumbles, he must be ready to make a play with his legs. His ability to adapt to anything thrown at him will be his make-or break in this contest.
Before preseason started, running back Carlos Hyde said he wanted to be a three-down back. Well, he’s in luck because that’s just what the 49ers need to be successful in the 2016 NFL season.
If your team can’t rely on the running game to move the chains then they won’t be able to extend their lead and kill the clock late in the game. Hyde needs to be a producer and he must stay healthy for this team to win. However, if he doesn’t limit the amount of hits he takes, he won’t be able to do either.
Last week, linebacker Marcus Rush showed up to the party. And for 30 minutes of clock time, he was the guest of honor. His three-sack performance was good enough to give the Denver Broncos quarterbacks happy feet for the remainder of the preseason.
Once again, whether he starts or not, he has the talent and the opportunity to control the tempo of Friday’s game. If he can provide pass rush against the Packers like he did against the Broncos, the 49ers can win on Week 3.
Jimmie Ward has been talked about very little so far, but it’s not because he has played poorly. In fact, it’s the opposite. In the first two games, Ward has seen limited action because of his fantastic coverage ability.
It will be interesting to see if Aaron Rodgers challenges him at all. If he does, and Ward plays at his full potential, the Packers will see why he is pegged as the starting defensive back for Week 1.
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