Bills vs. SF 49ers: 5 matchups that determine Week 13 outcome

Wide receiver T.J. Graham #11 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Wide receiver T.J. Graham #11 of the Buffalo Bills (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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Raheem Mostert, 49ers
Raheem Mostert #31 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

No. 4: SF 49ers’ Raheem Mostert vs. Bills run defense

It’s a good thing the Niners got their top running back, Raheem Mostert, back in time from an ankle injury to make this late playoff push. San Francisco’s ground attack simply wasn’t the same without him, as the offense failed to reach 60 yards rushing in the three games prior.

Mostert was stymied by Los Angeles aside from a first-quarter touchdown, but the good news is Buffalo’s defense isn’t exactly prolific against the run and is prone to giving up chunk plays.

Case in point, there have been four games this season where the Bills have allowed 150-plus yards on the ground, and in two of those games, the Bills have surrendered over 200 yards rushing.

Sounds like an opportunity for Mostert, who is still averaging 5.2 yards per carry despite the Rams’ best efforts against him in Week 12.

On the flip side, Buffalo’s 4.7 yards-against average on the ground is sixth worst in the league, presenting an opportunity for the SF 49ers to exploit one of their better offensive assets while maintaining ball control to help keep the Bills offense off the field.

Even then, the Niners defense will have to do its job.