The 49ers play the St. Louis Rams Sunday at Candlestick Park. In the meantime, I’ll break down a couple of key matchups every day.
CB Cortland Finnegan (5-10, 188 pounds) vs. WR Michael Crabtree (6-1, 214 pounds)
Finnegan is the kind of cornerback that gives Crabtree problems. But regardless of matchup, Greg Roman wants to feature Crabtree in the 49ers pass game. Crabtree has received at least five targets in every game this season. Don’t expect that number to go down on Sunday just because he’s facing Finnegan.
Finnegan is small, but he’s strong and jams receivers at the line of scrimmage. Crabtree tends to struggle against physical corners who press.
Crabtree is the clear underdog in this matchup. The 49ers receivers who have advantages against the Rams are Vernon Davis, Mario Manningham and Randy Moss. This should be the game Roman starts calling deep passes for them.
Roman’s playing with fire if he chooses to the force the ball to Crabtree. Finnegan already has three interceptions this season.