While this question could apply to the entire team, I think we all know that the issue of making in-game adjustments has fallen primarily on the 49ers offense thus far. Last week after the Bucs game, Coach Singletary mentioned how the 49ers had planned for certain aspects of the Bucs defense and the Bucs had made some adjustments coming into the game that threw threw the 49ers off their game. That has led to all sorts of discussion about the 49ers apparent inability to make necessary adjustments on offense as the game progresses.
In his look at matchups to watch tonight, Matt Maiocco highlighted the battle between 49ers OC Mike Johnson and Cardinals DC Billy Davis. And really tonight's game is that simple: Can the 49ers offense handle what the Cardinals defense throws at them for 60 minutes? There are plenty of intricacies to the matchup that will play into this, but for the most part it really is quite that simple.
I know Greg Manusky has his fair share of detractors on this site. And while you may be frustrated by his defense at times, for the most part they've done enough to put the 49ers offense in a position to win this game. The two-minute defense leaves a lot to be desired, but more often that not the defense has done just enough to put the team in a position where a consistently competent offense could win the game. Of course, the 49ers offense has been far from consistent, so we haven't gotten those wins.
Now we get to see if Mike Johnson and Troy Smith learned there lesson last week. I was going back and forth with Tre9er earlier today on Twitter (direct messages) focusing on the issues surrounding Troy Smith and the game-planning. As Tre put it to me, "How will he [Mike Johnson] account for both in-the-pocket and out-of-pocket situations?"
Although Troy Smith is the focus of these adjustments, it comes down to whether the game plan will adjust on the fly. If Billy Davis throws out some crazy blitz or is consistently keeping Troy in the pocket where he seems to struggle a bit, how will Mike Johnson adjust (assuming the 49ers actually do adjust)?