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49ers vs. Colts preview: One reason on both sides of the ball why the Niners will win

The Colts have a bend but don’t break defense and a QB who holds onto the ball. The 49ers have to take advantage of both.

San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

pegasus Despite losing three games in a row, the 49ers are 4-point favorites over the Colts at DraftKings Sportsbook, with the total set at 43. There are light rains in Santa Clara today.

On Sunday, there’s a 100% chance of rain with winds expected to be as high as 20 mph. The 49ers have enough advantages in this game to win, but Mother Nature is another obstacle they must overcome.

Here is one reason on both sides of the ball why the 49ers will beat the Colts in Week 7.

Taking advantage of a weak Colts secondary

Safety Julian Blackmon suffered a season-ending injury during practice this week. In addition, cornerback Rock Ya-Sin re-aggravated an injury. Blackmon has played 98% of the snaps this season, while Ya-Sin has played 48%. Linebacker Darius Leonard is on a bum ankle.

Indianapolis is first in DVOA against the run and 29th against the pass. The Kyle Shanahan-style of offenses has given the Colts’ defense problems this season. They overcommit to stopping the run (good), which makes them susceptible to play-action (bad) at the second level.

Leonard will be tasked with guarding Deebo Samuel and the 49ers wideouts on crossing routes out of the slot. It doesn’t seem like it, but the Niners offense has the third-highest DVOA on first downs when they pass the ball.

Get ahead of the chains early by throwing, run the ball on second down to make it 3rd & 4 or less on third down. That’s the recipe for success this weekend. The style of these two teams favors the 49ers.

An incredible 94% of Jimmy Garoppolo’s passes have come 19 yards and in. Even with the conditions, San Francisco should move the ball. Last week, the Texans drove the ball to the Colts 41, 35, 13, 22, 37, and 23-yard line. Don’t let the score of last week’s game fool you.

Wincing when Wentz holds the ball

During Week’s 1-4, Carson Wentz was pressured on 47% of his dropbacks. In the past two weeks, that number dipped to 28%. I’ll go with the bigger sample size that doesn’t include the Texans. What should give you more confidence is knowing those four teams (Seahawks, Rams, Titans, and Dolphins) are all middle of the pack when it comes to generating pressure as a team.

The 49ers are below average in pressure rate. They don’t often blitz outside of third down. It’s difficult to get pressure when Aaron Rodgers is throwing the ball under two seconds. The same goes with Kyler Murray. Opposing offenses have done an impressive job at getting the ball out of their quarterbacks’ hands quickly.

Murray and Rodgers are playing on another level and are two of the best situational QBs in the NFL. Garoppolo’s DVOA (7.4) is significantly higher than Wentz’s (-2.7). Wentz has had the 12th-most time to throw, but Indy is 22nd in adjusted sack rate. Their quarterback holds onto the ball and does not make good decisions when that happens.

This game, especially in windy and rainy weather, has the makings to be one of those “What are you doing Wentz” games if the 49ers can get after Wentz. Knowing the Colts wideouts are banged up, I’d expect Ryans to be more aggressive than he has been and come to come after Carson.

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