Rain May Mean Run
December 14 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The Bay Area is expecting a tremendous amount of rain this weekend, and while the roads and parking lots surrounding the 49ers stadium are supposed to be ready for the task, the field, known for its poor drainage should prove challenging. The rain is expected to linger on threw the game, and as such it could alter both teams game plans quite significantly.
Despite what should be a passing showdown, the rain may force both teams to run for most of the day. While the 49ers running backs are pretty banged up, the 49ers should have the edge in this department, because of their run blocking. Of course, with Gilbert Brown returning to the defensive tackle spot for the Packers, running may not come as easily as the team may anticipate against the 29th ranked Green Bay run defense.
Running backs have the propensity to make defenses look foolish when a field gets sloppy. Long cleats or not, traction in the mud is hard to come by, which makes the shiftiness of a running back ever so deadly. We may see evidence of that this week when the two teams clash.
The game however may not come down to who can stop the run better though. It may actually come down to which quarterback can throw in the rain better. The balls will be slippery, and the receivers will have a hard time cutting out of breaks, but somehow both quarterbacks will have to get the job done.
A game that once had shoot out written all over it, may now come down to the true west coast offense type game. Short passes and some good rushing could ultimately make the difference in this playoff implacable game.