No. 4: 49ers Run Defense vs. Texans’ Lamar Miller
Houston’s record indicates its offense has been playing from behind quite often, meaning the running game has taken a back seat to the passing offense.
San Francisco 49ers
This has meant less opportunities for Texans’ No. 1 running back Lamar Miller, who is still averaging just shy of 60 yards per game.
A week ago, the Bears had all kinds of issues sustaining offensive drives and chewing up clock, easily allowing the Niners defense to rest, making it more than an effective unit over the course of 60 minutes.
The Texans understand this, and they’ll look to maintain possession by offering up Miller a few more touches than usual.
San Francisco’s run defense, while still ranked 29th in fewest yards allowed (1,487), has done remarkably well on a per-rush basis. Opponents are averaging just 3.9 yards per carry against the 49ers, which is eighth best in the NFL.
And Miller’s per-carry average is less than that (3.7).
If you’re hoping the Niners can win one side of the possession battle, here’s a matchup to watch.