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The Run for the Playoffs start in Week 4

Posted By Jason Rossi On Oct 1 2010 @ 7:44 pm In San Francisco 49ers | 1 Comment

The San Francisco 49ers are supposed to win the NFC West.  But after 3 weeks of play, they sit with a record of 0-3 and are last in their division. Week 4 has the 49ers travelling to Atlanta to face the highflying Falcons.

This will not be an easy place for the 49ers to get their first win.  The Falcons have the 6th ranked scoring offense, and the 49ers share last place in points allowed.

Nate Clements will have a busy day covering the Falcons top receiver Roddy White.  Last year, White lit-up the secondary with eight catches for a team record 210 yards and two touchdowns.  So far this year White is second in the league with 25 receptions.  At least the 49ers know the ball will be thrown to White.  Now they just need to find a way to stop it.

Unfortunately, Whit is not the only weapon to worry about. The Falcons have the leagues 2nd ranked running attack.  Patrick Willis and the front seven will have to do a much better job then they did week 3 against the Chiefs.  And with the front seven keying on the run first, the secondary will have little help defending the pass.

But it’s not all doom and gloom.  The Falcons have the leagues worst run defense.  While the 49ers running game has been weak, this may present an opportunity for Frank Gore to bust out of his slump.  If they can establish a strong running game, it will lead to a clock management game and keep the Falcons offense on the sidelines.

Alex Smith will have to step up his game as well.  He will have to make better decisions and better throws.  I hope that their new OC, Mike Johnson’s dynamic and innovative offense doesn’t get confusing.  While I completely agree that the offense needs a shot in the arm, all the problems won’t be fixed in 6 days.  Their goals should be to maintain drives, eliminate the turnovers and score touchdowns before the last 10 seconds of the game.

I like Mike Singletary.  I liked him as a player and I thought I would like him as a coach.  He made a big move on Monday when he fired Jimmy Rayes.  He should consider himself on notice.  If a win last week was crucial, this week it is mandatory.

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