by Kent Sterling
The Indianapolis Colts are preparing for a stiff challenge this afternoon in San Francisco, as the 49ers are still smarting after being waxed last weekend by the Seattle Seahawks.
The 49ers turned the ball over five times in Seattle, and had trouble running the ball in any traditional way. Running back Frank Gore has been less that impressive through two games of the 2013 season with 60 yards and 30 carries.
Defensive pocket wrecker Aldon Smith gave his liver a workout Thursday night and Friday morning, but is ready to go after resting in lockup after being arrested for suspicion of drunk driving and possession of marijuana.
The 49ers are very talented and productive on both sides of the ball, and they will not doubt be on an emotional edge as the game begins in an hour.
There is a lot more good than bad for the 49ers headed into this game, but the Colts have as many reasons for optimism as pessimism.
Five Reasons the Niners can find a way to lose, without mentioning Andrew Luck
- Frank Gore is old at 30. In his first two games, Gore has 30 carries for 60 yards. He’s also carried the ball a bunch, ranking fifth among all running backs in history to olay with one team. The others? Walter Payton, Barry Sanders, Jim Brown, and Tiki Barber.
- Kaepernick has started nine game, and played in 18. Alex Smith beat him out as the starter last season. He may wind up being a hall of famer, but he isn’t there yet. In the opener, he had his best statistical game, and in the second, he had his worst. 50-50 he sucks tomorrow?
- Vernon Davis is questionable, and without him at full strength they have one reliable receiver, Anquan Boldin, who is 33.
- Seattle exposed several weaknesses and forced five turnovers. The Colts have watched exactly what happened, and will try to deliver the same misery.
- Eric Reid is questionable with a concussion. If he sits, Craig Dahl could be the next man up. Dahl couldn’t cover me in my front yard. He can be a hard hitting run stopper, but was beaten over the top so often in St. Louis the last two years, he still sees a counselor twice a week. He’s expected to play, but concussion symptoms can recur.
Five Reasons the Niners can beat the Colts
- They are angry. Being humiliated stings, and the 29-3 loss in Seattle qualifies as humiliating. The 49 ers will look to bounce back.
- Trent Richardson doesn’t know the playbook yet and will be limited tomorrow.
- LaRon Landry is out, Angerer is doubtful. That leaves the Colts thin at safety and ILB.
- Kaepernick is more elusive than Terrelle Pryor and the Colts are still having nightmares about Pryor keeping the sticks moving.
- Aldon Smith will have sobered up by Sunday, and he is tops in the league in pass rush efficiency among outside linebackers in a 3-4.
This smells like an ugly game for the Colts, but with Andrew Luck under center, the Colts always have a chance. They were prone to blowouts last season – five of their six losses were by at least 12 points, and three were by 20 or better.
Anything can happen on Sunday, so Colts fans can watch and hope for luck and Luck.