Can the Niners avoid 0-4?

After last weeks “performance” against the Chiefs, one has a hard time even summoning up a scenario where the Niners beat the Falcons this weekend in Atlanta. But of course, the Niners can win and it will their defense that can make this happen. Mike Johnson is not going to turn the Niner offense into the Indianapolis Colts in one week.

Defensively, the Niners will have a tall order with the Falcons offense, but here’s the keys to the game in this observers opinion. The Niners need to put pressure on Matt Ryan and make him make quick decisions, not just sit back and pick out who to throw to. The Niners pass rush has been pretty benign in the first three weeks of the season. It’s time for Defensive Coordinator Greg Manusky to let the Travis LaBoy’s, Manny Lawson’s, Parys Haralson’s, Ahmed Brooks’ and Patrick Willis’ loose…… to get after Ryan. Two of the Niners front three are not adept pass rushers, so getting pressure from the linebacking corps is imperative.  A safety blitz here and there wouldn’t be all that unappealing either.

Falcon wide out Roddy White absolutely torched the Niners last time these two teams played. So, either Shawntae Spencer or Nate Clemens is gonna have to buckle up and really have a great game here. Hopefully Manusky can find a way to get his corners some help with White.  Hello…..Dashon Goldson.

Then there the venerable veteran Tony Gonzalez, who still can absolutely get it done. I personally hope to see either Reggie Smith or Taylor Mays at strong safety in the game. Michael Lewis just isn’t making a lot of plays. Perhaps the speed and strength (especially in Mays case) can keep Mr. G. from causing too much havoc. It’s time for a change at strong safety even facing an excellent team like the Falcons. The Niners still have a fine run defense, so I would hope that could keep the relative clamps on Micheal Turner, but if they take more chances attacking the Falcons passing game that could open up some room for Turner. I’m thinking Niners Number 52 will have a close eye on Turner all afternoon.

So, I am really hoping the Niners defense truly rises to the occasion and takes it to the Falcons. It can happen….really.



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