Has a blueprint been figured out on how to beat the San Francisco 49ers?
After getting blown out on Sunday Night Football last week, many expected the 49ers to redeem themselves today against the Indianapolis Colts. However, that was not the case. The 49ers offense was out of sync all day, and as a result, the team is 1-2 with a divisional game next on the schedule for Thursday night.
The Colts, 2-1, were led by a stellar defensive performance, along with solid games from Andrew Luck and Ahmad Bradshaw. Luck got the better of his college coach Jim Harbaugh in their first reunion. He played mistake-free, often having little time to throw against a vicious 49ers pass rush. Luck’s rushing touchdown late in the fourth made it a two-possession game and he actually out-rushed 49ers dual threat QB Colin Kaepernick.
The Colts rushing attack was led by Bradshaw. He had 95 yards on 19 carries, and his late TD to make it 27-7 was like icing on the cake for Indianapolis. Just like Chuck Pagano said he would, Trent Richardson got some carries in his first game as a Colt. His first carry went for a 1-yard touchdown, but he was mostly bottled up by the 49ers D, getting 35 yards on 13 attempts.
For the first time in the Harbaugh era, the Niners are a sub-500 team. Once considered the NFC favorite to reach the Super Bowl, they will have to go back to the drawing board after two straight blowout losses. Kaepernick missed tight end Vernon Davis today, who was out with a hamstring injury. Once again, the young 49ers QB threw no touchdowns and was under 50 percent passing.
But it is the defense that is more concerning for San Francisco. With stars like Patrick Willis, Aldon Smith and Justin Smith, this team should not be getting blown out in consecutive games. The 49ers have always had an elite defense under Harbaugh, but after two embarrassing performances, there’s nothing about this team that feels elite.
The Colts will head to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars next Sunday, while the 49ers will play the Rams Thursday night in St. Louis for their Week 4 game.