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Week 7 needs to be the turning point of the 49ers season

Posted By Jason Rossi On Oct 23 2010 @ 1:59 pm In San Francisco 49ers | No Comments

After 5 straight loses to begin the season, the feeling of “will they ever win one?” began to set in.  The 49ers got the monkey off their backs against the Raiders in Week 6 and now have a real chance to start a winning streak when they travel to Carolina to face the 0-5 Panthers.

This weeks game is a must win for several reasons; first, the 49ers need to start building momentum; two, Carolina is a struggling team and the 49ers must take advantage of that now; and three, it’s much more fun writing post game reviews of a win the it is for a loss.

What will the 49ers need to do to win on Sunday?  The same thing they did in Week 6.  Frank Gore needs to continue running the ball well.  His 149 yards rushing is his highest rushing total for the year; Carolina ranks 26th in the league in rush defense.  So if Mike Iupati and the two Davis’ (Anthony and Vernon) run block like they did last week, Gore should have another big game.

Another key to victory will be Alex Smith repeating his performance from Week 6. He threw for two touchdowns in the game, one to take the lead and one to cement the victory.  But the stat that jumps out the most is he didn’t throw one interception, the first time he has done that this year.

The biggest task for the 49ers defense will be shutting down the Panthers rushing tandem of DeAngelo Williams (317 yards rushing and 1 TD on the year) and Jonathan Stewart (119 yards rushing and 1 TD).  Even with Steve Smith starting on Sunday, the Panthers passing attack should not be a big threat.  Expect to see Taylor Mays playing closer to the line to help stop the run.

Every game is important in the NFL, but this one is extra important.  A two game winning streak will give the 49ers the boost they need for when they pack their bags to fly to the UK to face Denver in Week 8.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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