3 biggest concerns 49ers should have in Week 17 vs. Texans
49ers Worry No. 3 vs. Texans: Establishing the running game
When you’re one of the few teams in the NFL that prefers to run the ball instead of passing it, things go awry very quickly when that part of the game is taken away.
The Titans have a stout defensive front and were able to counter the 49ers’ rushing attack. They dared the Niners to pass their way to victory and the approach worked.
Lance, being the starting quarterback, is an interesting dynamic to add. Being a raw passer with one start may mean the Texans dare San Francisco to pass, but the speed of Lance and the potential for an option offense (at least in part) could allow the 49ers’ rushing game to flourish regardless.
The most important consequence of establishing the running game is, of course, to make room for Lance to throw the ball. If the Texans bite hard on misdirection and play-action plays, that provides more room for the likes of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle.
If the Texans are successful at stopping the ground attack, then Lance will need to pass a lot more when Houston is expecting it. That’s a situation to avoid if possible, even if the Texans aren’t among the NFL elite.