Before the 49ers play the Texans Sunday at Candlestick, I’ll break down a few key matchups.
RG Alex Boone: 6-8, 300 pounds
LE J.J. Watt: 6-5, 289
It’s the best defensive player in the NFL vs. the 12th-best guard according to Pro Football Focus. The 49ers have had success running power off right tackle the past two weeks, especially with Boone as a pulling blocker. Will Greg Roman and Jim Harbaugh have the confidence to run that plays toward Watt’s side on Sunday, or will they run away from Watt?
On Nickel downs, Watt tends to move to defensive end on a four-man line. Against the Seahawks, he played a lot of right defensive end. Against the 49ers it would make sense for him to play some left defensive end and match up against Anthony Davis. That way if Watt pressures Kaepernick, Kaepernick will have to roll out of the pocket to his left, not to his right, and Kaepernick is a better passer when he’s rolling to his right.