San Francisco 49ers vs. Buffalo Bills Game Day Open Thread

Oct 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs onto the field during a NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi
Oct 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) runs onto the field during a NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at Levi /

The San Francisco 49ers are in Buffalo to take on the Bills today in a game featuring two teams that appear headed in different directions – this is your open thread to discuss it all.

The day a lot of people have been waiting for is finally here. The San Francisco 49ers will have a new quarterback under center as Colin Kaepernick takes over for an ineffective Blaine Gabbert. Half of the people tuning in will want to see Kaepernick succeed and get back to the form that helped him lead the 49ers to consecutive NFC titles and a Super Bowl appearance.

The other half of course will be tuning in to see Kaepernick if Kaepernick falls on his face and continues the trend of poor play that led to his benching in the first place.

Kaepernick’s first game straight out of the gate isn’t going to be an easy one. It might be easy for some to write off Buffalo as a mediocre team fronted by an obnoxious, loud mouthed head coach. And while Rex Ryan may indeed be obnxious and have a loud mouth, the fact of the matter is that he has Buffalo playing some decent football right now.

After an 0-2 start and questions swirling around Ryan’s job status, the Bills have run off three straight wins. In consecutive weeks, they’ve defeated the Cardinals, Patriots, and Rams. While certainly not a murderer’s row of opponents, they certainly weren’t cupcakes, either.

The combined record of Buffalo’s last three opponents is now, 9-6 and the Bills beat them all convincingly.

Buffalo has done it with a powerful running game that is currently ranked third in the league and checking in with an average of just over 137 yards per game. He also has Buffalo playing very aggressive, solid defense.

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The Bills are currently among the league leaders in sacks, interceptions, and total turnovers.

All of which, bodes ill for this 49ers unit. San Francisco currently ranks in the lower levels of the league in turnover differential. They’ve also given up ten quarterback sacks – which, puts them in the middle of the pack.

What the 49ers do have going for them though, is a strong running game led by Carlos Hyde. Behind Hyde’s 377 rushing yards and six touchdowns, San Francisco currently boasts the league’s eighth best ground game.

Buffalo gives up a shade under 100 yards a game, good for thirteenth in the league. It’s not ideal and running room may be a bit hard to come by, but given that San Francisco is currently near the bottom of most relevant passing statistics, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to lean on Hyde and the running game a bit more.

Especially as Kaepernick settles in and tries to get comfortable under center again.

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San Francisco isn’t loaded with weapons, but they do have some. Hyde, Torrey Smith, Jeremy Kerley, and Quentin Patton. It’s going to be up to Kaepernick to find them and use them effectively. He’s also going to need to find a way to stay out of trouble with Buffalo’s relentless, attacking defense.

It’s a tall order for Kaepernick and the 49ers. But they can’t afford to let too many more games get away before their season is completely lost. 1-4 looks back, but it’s not an insurmountable hole they’re in. With solid play on both sides of the ball, they could still find a way to climb out of it.

But that has to start today.

16. 13. 42. Final. 31

What do you think, 49ers fans? How is this game going to play out? Will Kaepernick be able to resurrect the season – and his career along with it? Or will Ryan and the Bills be able to steamroll a team that has as many question marks and issues as the 49ers do?

This is your place to talk about the game and all things 49ers. So step on up, speak out, and be heard.