The team arrived at its
I’m heading out to see some of the sights, such as
Niners right guard Chilo Rachal vs. Bills defensive tackle Marcus Stroud: Rachal made his first NFL start a week ago against the Cowboys. Singletary gave a blunt assessment of his play.
“Chilo did not play well,” Singletary said. He’ll have to play a lot better today, as he’s going up against an eight-year veteran who is adept at clogging the middle. Stroud has 54 tackles on the season – and that’s a significant amount for a defensive tackle.
Running back Frank Gore vs. middle linebacker Paul Posluszny: It’s Running Back U vs. Linebacker U. Gore, who hails from the
Right tackle Adam Snyder vs. defensive end Chris Kelsay: Snyder is an improvement in pass protection over Barry Sims, but his play has been spotty, at best, this season. Kelsay is a sixth-year veteran who is not an All-Pro caliber player but very solid nonetheless. He has 47 tackles and one quarterback sack on the season.
Defensive end Justin Smith vs. left tackle Jason Peters: Smith will get a few cracks at Peters, as might Parys Haralson and Manny Lawson. Peters is considered one of the best left tackles in the game. He got off to a slow start after a protracted contract holdout, but now he’s back in All-Pro form. Smith’s good season has been wasted this season. He does everything well, especially playing hard from snap to whistle. Smith will probably move inside quite a bit, too, where he’ll be up against Derrick Dockery.
Linebacker Patrick Willis vs. running back Marshawn Lynch: This matchup is similar to the Gore-Posluszny showdown. Lynch is every bit as important to the Bills’ offense as Gore is to the 49ers’. But Willis is more important to the 49ers’ defense because he does not have the kind of line in front of him that Posluszny has. The Bills will probably try to run right at Willis, and Lynch does not shy away from contact. Therefore, there could be some nice collisions featuring these second-year players.
Cornerback Nate Clements vs. receiver Lee Evans: Clements will be needed in run support to help on Lynch, but he can’t get sucked in too far when he has to keep tabs on the Bills’ top wideout. Evans is one of the top game-breaking receivers in the game. He 19.3 yards per reception. Clements is coming off his worst day with the 49ers, as Terrell Owens abused him a week ago. Clements dearly wants to bounce back with a strong game against his former team.
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