49ers vs. Colts: 5 matchups that’ll determine who wins Week 7
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers host the Colts on what should be a rainy Sunday Night Football game in Week 7, and these five matchups will be crucial for the outcome.
It isn’t necessarily a “must-win” game for the San Francisco 49ers, but whatever happens during their Week 7 prime-time Sunday Night Football contest at home versus the 2-4 Indianapolis Colts could say a lot about where head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad is heading.
At 2-3 and coming off a bye week, which happened to follow a three-game losing streak, the Niners have to feel a little better about the added rest and preparation in their attempt to get out from underneath their recent schneid. Shanahan’s offense has been frustratingly inconsistent. And while San Francisco’s latest losses have come against playoff-hopeful teams, turning things around will have to be a prime objective.
This might not necessarily be easy, though, as Indy enters this game with the No. 11-ranked scoring defense, albeit one heavily influenced by surrendering just three points to the lowly Houston Texans a week ago.
Still, games are won and lost by matchups, and the 49ers will want to be sure they’re on the winning end of these five matchups on Sunday night.
No. 5: 49ers K Joey Slye vs. Colts K Michael Badgley
Almost never would anyone take a kicker-versus-kicker battle seriously, but that could easily be the case in Week 7.
A rainy storm is rolling into the Bay Area over the weekend, and Sunday’s game is expected to be heavily influenced by the weather, ultimately hindering offensive output and likely putting more pressure on both teams’ place-kickers. On top of that, the wind is expected to be southerly at 16 miles per hour.
Interestingly enough, both the Niners and Colts are fielding reserve kicking options, San Francisco’s Joey Slye in place of the injured Robbie Gould, while Indy has Michael Badgley in place of the injured Rodrigo Blankenship.
Kicking woes have been a theme for much of the 2021 NFL season already, and it wouldn’t be a shocker if this game’s outcome was determined by a botched kick, missed extra-point attempt or clutch last-second field goal despite the weather challenges.
Who would have thought?