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#Channel49 Twitter Q&A NFL Week Thirteen: Rams vs 49ers, Crabtree's return, Iupati injury, and more

Every Friday, at 2 P.M. PT, Aaron Malone (@GafflezMalone) and I (@Woods49ers) host a Q&A session on twitter using the hashtag #Channel49.This week we talk playoff opponents, Michael Crabtree, teams that cheat, Iupati's injury, 49ers improved offense, and more.


We're back with another edition of the #Channel49 Twitter Q&A. We talk 49ers starting at 2 p.m. PT every Friday. Feel free to join in!

Tavon Austin was an electric player in college, and has shown to be at professional level since he's received more playing time. The 49ers respect the game changing ability he possesses, as any time the ball is in his hands it can be taken to the house. The best way to contain an elusive player such as Austin is to be a sound tackling team, which the 49ers are. As long as there are no lapses is coverage or by the special teams unit, don't expect many yards after the catch.

It shouldn't matter. If you prefer one team over the other, that could mean there is a level of doubt about beating the other one. The 49ers could care less what teams they play in the tournament, they'll have to buckle down and win a football game regardless. Plus, there are reasons the 49ers would like to beat both the Saints and Seahawks. The 49ers and Seahawks hate each other, and both would love to end the other teams season. And the 49ers have a bad taste in their mouth after the Saints loss, a game in which there were missed opportunities, as well as a horrible call to decide the game. As long as the Niners play up to their capabilities, it shouldn't matter who the opponent is.

That does sound nice, but what the media pays attention to and what NFL teams do are two different things. For example, the Redskins are talked about heavily, yet they are covered because of their struggles. Media attention is simply media attention, a lot of the time the coverage isn't warranted. NFL coaches and players are well aware of the defending NFC Champions and what they're capable of when they play their best and are at full health.

To look at the performance objectively, the bad defense of the Redskins must be taken into account. That defense is just bad. Even when admitting that, two improvements were made that should get us excited.

1. Kap's decisiveness - No one can say he was hesitant at all throwing the football, or not going through his reads well. Time and time again Kaepernick got the ball out fast and with torque. It was as good as he's looked since week one against Green Bay throwing the football.

2. Offensive creativity - This game-plan wasn't completely vanilla, and gave Kaepernick and company the chance to let loose. Different formations were used that didn't scream run or pass, more play actions were used when the box was stacked. We saw some of the pistol formation, which hopefully we see more of in the weeks ahead. It was a good day.

This will continue to be a power run offense, but we will see more three wide, and so on sets going forward. With Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham back, and Quinton Patton soon to be, the 49ers should utilize all of their weapons. It just depends on the matchup. If they feel that they can exploit a teams secondary by spreading them out, I don't see why there won't be more three or four wides mixed in at times. Who knows how much of those formations we will actually see, but it's good to know the 49ers will have a good enough receiving corps to go that direction if they want to. It will make them harder to game plan against.

Don't expect Crabtree to play a lot. I suspect he will be on a snap count and that this will be the only week he has one. My guess would be around twenty to twenty five. That would be enough to get him up to speed a bit without overdoing it in his first week back. Click here to be part of the guessing game. Fooch is going with 24, so I'm going to "Price is Right" him and say 23.

That won't happen. For that to transpire, it would mean that the Seahawks were responsible for the drug violations. Obviously the coaching staff has done a bad job of making sure players are substance free, but they aren't the ones giving them the illegal prescriptions/drugs in the first place. It says more about the culture in the locker room among the players than anything else. They should police themselves, instead the continued violations indicate it isn't even frowned upon.

It doesn't look like it. Although his injury isn't season ending, he's going to be out at least a couple more weeks. Our medical expert, SoCaliSteph, has a breakdown of the injury and a timetable for his return, worth a read.

The passing game is going to improve with Crabtree coming back. This will lead to balancing the offense out because defenses will have to play differently. Opponents won't be able to stack the box against the 49ers as regularly, they will have to respect the play action and passing attack. Safeties aren't going to be creeping up as heavily as we have seen. Of course, this all depends on how Crabtree performs, but I expect good things.