We're back for another week of the #Channel49 Twitter Q&A. If you're on Twitter, you can take part every Friday at 2 p.m. PT.
Those game plans are in the rear view mirror. Last week was coined a "get back on track game", as the 49ers went back to their smashmouth football approach. This game plan has the ability to work week in and week out, depending on if the offensive line can win the battle up front. The 49ers O-Line looked like it's usual butt-kicking self last week against the Rams, and if that continues, the run game should continue to have success and wear defenses out in the process. The Colts game was a wake up call for the 49ers to go back to what they do best, and until the receiving corps is at full strength, don't expect a pass heavy approach to the game plan.
#Channel49 How much does the extra rest benefit the Niners, and which team is "more motivated" to win this game?— Jason (@BayAreaFan2) October 4, 2013
The extra rest is a benefit to the 49ers, as Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis have been a bit dinged up. That has allowed them more time to get healthy. From a game planning perspective, the 49ers have also had more days to study the Texans and implement their game plan. It's also a benefit because the Texans just played the Seahawks in a physical matchup a week ago, I'm sure the 49ers feel a bit more fresh.
It's hard to say who is more motivated to win this game. Both teams need to win, as they are behind the eight ball in winning their respective divisions. We'll find out tonight who was more focused and motivated. I know J.J. Watt and Brian Cushing are going to play like mad men for them, so the 49ers offensive line will need to have some extra focus and nastiness to combat them.
#Channel49 Whats the key to getting the W vs. Houston?— Cynthia Zenteno (@CynthiaZ_ESPN) October 4, 2013
The key you say? Well, if I am to pick just one, it's pressure Matt Schaub. At one point in his career, Schaub was a top tier quarterback in this league, now he is a poor man's Tony Romo. Occasionally he will make some good throws, keep his team ahead in a game, then he'll do something crazy. His interception to Richard Sherman last week, that allowed the Seahawks to come back and win the game was simply crazy. Under no circumstance should that ball have been thrown, but why did he throw it? He was being pressured (Tre has a breakdown of all Schaub's INT's this year here).
Schaub has taken some big hits in his career, and they have taken their toll on him psychologically, leaving him a bit gun shy. There were a couple times last week at the end of the game where he panicked when the pocket was collapsing, stopped looking down the field whatsoever, and one of the times he just fell to the ground before a Seahawks defender was even near him. Look for the 49ers to dial up some blitzes this week and make him feel highly uncomfortable, if they can get to him the 49ers will win this game.
Do you think we see Baldwin line up as a wing or in the backfield at all? I thought he was@going to be playing the joker TE #Channel49— scottz46 (@scottz46) October 4, 2013
Expect to see Jonathan Baldwin getting more playing time as a receiver, but he won't be playing a joker tight end. Look for Kansas State rookie Chris Harper to get some snaps at joker before seasons end. Right now Harper is still learning the offense.
LaMichael is going to have to do a better job when he gets his opportunities if he wants to see his role expanded. They can't really use him a a Sproles-like manner until he starts making people miss. He has to become more elusive and not go down as easily. LaMichael was a tremendous talent for Oregon in college, and has shown flashes of his big play ability as a pro, but he must become more consistent. In fairness to James (although he had a lackluster preseason), last week was his first game back from injury, so he needs to see the field to produce and get better. He had three carries for 0 yards. The best case scenario is the 49ers start blowing teams out and they are able to give James more reps when they know every play isn't crucial.