Running Game Key
September 12 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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If the 49ers intend on beating the Broncos this weekend they will have to do something the Rams couldn’t in week one. That of course being, the ability to establish the running game. Despite having Marshal Faulk on their roster, the Rams were unable to get the run game going against the Broncos.
It’s the Broncos speedy linebackers that make running against them so difficult. Much in the same way the 49ers have built the middle of their defense with speed, so have the Broncos. The speed at linebacker is necessary to retain the new style of running back. The running back that not only is a threat running out of the backfield, and catching passes out of the backfield, but when lining up as a receiver too.
The 49ers have a great set of running backs that will certainly be up to the challenge. The ferocious blocking of Fred Beasley and Paul Smith along with the tenacious running of Garrison Hearst and Kevan Barlow, the versatility of Terry Jackson - they wil all be ready.
Winning this game would give the 49es a key advantage in their home division, the NFC West. A win would put them one and a half games up on the Rams who are considered the ‘team to beat’. It will take commitment to the run, and much more in order for the 49ers to start the season with two wins.