49ers - Buccaneers matchups going forward

In a bit of good timing, after seeing Buc Em predict a big day from Galloway, the Scouts Inc additional preview they ran today for the 49ers-Bucs included a not so unexpected matchup to watch:

Matchup to watch
Tampa Bay WR Joey Galloway vs. San Francisco CB Nate Clements
Galloway is the Bucs' best bet when it comes to challenging San Francisco's secondary deep. He has great top-end speed and can simply outrun most cornerbacks to the ball. He has the uncanny ability to add an extra gear when the ball seems to be overthrown and defenders often misjudge how fast he is running. QB Jeff Garcia did not challenge Atlanta deep last weekend in his first game back in three weeks, but is apt to try and find Galloway down the seam several times in this game.

Clements gives the 49ers their best chance of matching Galloway's speed and is probably going to be matched up with him for most of this game. Clements did a great job of shutting down Cincinnati WR Chad Johnson last week and looks forward to this week's challenge as well. If Galloway can be held in check, San Francisco will definitely have a chance to upset the Buccaneers.

Joey Galloway has always intrigued me as a wide receiver.  He never seems like the dominant #1 receiver you think of when considering the stars of the league.  He had a long stretch where he seemed to under perform in Dallas, and yet since coming to Tampa Bay he has quietly turned himself into an excellent receiving option.  Combine him with former 49er Jeff Garcia and you've got yourselves quite the little tandem.

Aside from Garcia to Joey Galloway, the next big weapon has become Earnest Graham.  Graham is not a dominating back and is only starting because of injuries to Cadillac and Pittman.  However, he has made the most of his opportunity, combining a respectable 877 rushing yards with a solid 313 receiving yards.  For a guy like Jeff Garcia who scrambles a lot and will always be considering check-down options, that creates a very handy weapon that will stiffly test the 49ers defense.

Scout's Inc pointed out what can be expected of Garcia this Sunday:

Expect Garcia to begin the game by handing the ball off most of the time to establish the ground game. Once they find success on the ground the play-action fakes will have more effect and he should come closer to his average of 30 passes a game. He will need to challenge San Francisco's secondary more than he did against Atlanta where his longest pass of the day was good for 13 yards. The 49ers can be susceptible to deep passes down the middle because their safeties lack great cover skills. Expect Tampa Bay WR Joey Galloway to run several deep post patterns in an attempt to challenge FS Mark Roman deep. In order to have any success they must get San Francisco's secondary to bite on the play-action fake.

Based on these comments, stopping the run will be essential.  If they can force Garcia to try and beat them, the secondary will get a chance to make some things happen and try to help spring the upset.

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