The Niners are going to have to be creative and efficient to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night.
Here’s what I want to see from them.
It’s a given the Steelers are going to blitz, blitz, blitz the Niners offense. They will bring extra rushers up the middle and other times they’ll overload the right side of the Niners’ O-line – the Anthony Davis side – and run four-man zone blitzes the Niners haven’t been able to pick up all year.
I don’t want to see the Niners try to pick up those blitzes. I want the offense to use all that pressure against the Steelers. I want to see more than a few screen passes to Kendall Hunter out of the backfield. I want to see more than a few quick slant passes to Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams.
I want to see Colin Kaepernick play some snaps at quarterback. I want to see what he can do with his legs on a read option, especially in the red zone.
I want to see a Niners quarterback take shots at the end zone when they’re in the red zone – not a bunch of runs up the middle complimented by a fly sweep. If the windows are too small for Smith and he won’t pull the trigger, let Kaepernick play QB when the team gets inside the opponent’s 20. He’s got a hose – he can fit passes into tight spaces.
On defense, I want to see the Niners hurry the quarterback, whomever the Steelers start, Ben Roethlisberger or Charlie Batch. They registered just one sack on John Skelton last week, and overall they barely bothered him. Aldon Smith and Justin Smith and Ray McDonald and Ahmad Brooks have to hit Roethlisberger and hit him lots of times. I want to see him hurried, hit, and sacked.
If the Niners pass rush is a slow, methodical push as it’s been the last few weeks, the Niners will have a hard time slowing down even an injured Roethlisberger.
These are the things I want to see from the Niners. What do you want to see?