This is a matchup filled with intriguing storylines: Jim Harbaugh facing off against Andrew Luck, Vernon Davis playing against his brother, Trent Richardson playing his first game as a Colt, and the aftermath of Aldon Smith’s arrest.
To break down the game and find out a bit more about the Colts, we checked in with Evan Reller of Ink on Indy, Fansided’s site for everything Indianapolis sports, and asked him five questions about the Colts:
1. It will certainly be strange for Jim Harbaugh to be facing his protege in Andrew Luck. How do you think Luck will fare against the 49ers and his former coach at Stanford?
Luck struggled last week against Miami. He missed a lot of receivers and made a number of rookie mistakes. I think he will bounce back with a solid performance against the 49ers. But Harbaugh knows his tendencies, and so will the 49ers defense. I think Luck will play well, but the Colts will struggle against that defense.
2. How does the acquisition of Trent Richardson alter the Colts’ offense? Should the 49ers be concerned about stopping the run?
It shows the Colts are committed to the power run game. Having Richardson is great, but the Colts don’t really have the offensive line to have that sort of rushing attack. Richardson is more of a threat than Ahmad Bradshaw or Donald Brown and opponents will have gameplan against him. What opponents should really be aware of is the play action; Richardson demands that you respect the run and it will open up big passes down field.
3. The Colts are 10-point underdogs in this game. What are the keys for them to pull off the upset?
Discipline on defense is key if they are going to stop the read option. The Colts struggled hard against Terrelle Pryor, but Colin Kaepernick is a different beast. On offense, the Colts have to be sharp and not beat themselves. I think they have to spread the field out and use three receivers, but that won’t happen. The Colts will try to pound the ball up field and it will probably cost them the game. The Colts really need to force multiple turnovers to win this game.
4. Will Anquan Boldin burn the Colts again like he did in the postseason last year?
Yes. Mike Wallace burned them last week, and Boldin is a much better receiver. Vontae Davis is a solid corner, but the Colts lack a lockdown guy. Additionally the Colts will have to blitz Kaepernick to get pressure which will lead to a lot of one-on-one matchups that Boldin will exploit.
5. Final score prediction?