As the San Francisco 49ers (4-2) get ready to face the reigning AFC Champion Denver Broncos (4-1), they will undoubtedly need to put on an offensive show. A Broncos passing attack that ranks No. 4 in the NFL, the 49ers will need to match that and more if they hope to have a fighting chance in this much anticipated Sunday Night matchup. A 49ers offensive coordinator who mixes it up game-to-game, it will be up to OC Greg Roman to devise a game-plan that will catch the Broncos defense off-guard, and the no-huddle offense may be just what the doctor ordered.
Conventional wisdom would say, run the ball, win the time of possession and keep Manning on the sidelines. My rebuttal to that ideology is what if the run game is unable to generate positive plays? Last week saw the 49ers unable to run against the 29th ranked run defense in the St. Louis Rams despite going up against a stacked box, and this weekend will be no different as they face the No. 4 ranked rushing defense. If 49ers RBs Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde are unable to make something happen, look for G-Ro to use multiple wide-receiver sets as he spreads them out wide.
A similar philosophy that worked early on against the first-place Arizona Cardinals (4-1), expect the 49ers to come out gun-slinging as 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick’s chemistry with his wide-receivers is getting stronger by the play. Kaepernick who has a plethora of weapons to work with continues to build a strong rapport with 11-year veteran WR Brandon Lloyd as he spoke highly of Lloyd today saying, “It’s a huge asset and I think the last two weeks he’s really built my confidence as far as being able to give him a chance and him making plays,” Kaepernick said.
If not Lloyd, then how about WR Anquan Boldin, WR Michael Crabtree, WR Stevie Johnson, or TE Vernon Davis? See where I’m getting at? And with the 49ers going up against the 16th ranked pass defense, the Broncos secondary has yet to face a wide-receiver core so deep, making this a favorable matchup. Combine that with a small sample-size for Broncos defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio to game-plan for as the 49ers rarely use this tactic, it would do wonders for the team if they were somehow able to muster a consistent opening drive building the team’s confidence.
The element of surprise at it’s finest, I wouldn’t be shocked if the 49ers went to a hurry-up offense in order to create a spark on that side of the ball. And with Kaepernick coming off a career game in which he threw three touchdowns, look for G-Ro to open it up, as they use their stable of reliable wide-receivers to their advantage, all while striking first if they open up with the ball. Why not? Go with the hot-hand and right now Kap is hotter than ever!