1. The 49ers have, depending on your viewpoint, surprisingly drafted three or four weapons on offense right now with Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, Alex Smith (?) and Michael Crabtree (?).....is this a team trending upwards for the future or do you see them stuck at the .500 level like the Texans (who the Colts play next week)?
I think they have Frank Gore and Vernon Davis. I think Crabtree is so messed up in his marble box it might be 3 years before he can contribute proportional to the hype. I think Alex Smith lost his jarb. This team has something. They have some players, they seem to be prepared for games psychologically and then fall apart over the course of the game. With Seattle deteriorating before our very eyes and Arizona with a very narrow window of opportunity they have a chance to build but they have to be patient. Pick certain games where you can develop certain concepts and whatnot. The Texans are better that the Niners, though. If the Texans weren't in the AFC South they would be making a bigger splash.
2. The 49ers are 6th in the NFL against the run. With Reggie Wayne being iffy to play this week do the Colts try to ram the ball down the field or do they let Peyton try his magic with the young receivers (and Dallas Clark)?
No, make the backers chase the receivers on crossing routes, make them sit back in zones. Getting them on their heels will set up the delay runs and the stretch run/playaction option. Beating the Niners will be an exercise in execution, control, and patience. No daring or obnoxious guile needed.
3. The biggest matchup this week has to be the Colts LB's against 49er's TE Vernon Davis, no?
No, it will be the Niners linebackers on Dallas Clark. The Colts linebackers only need to cover Davis in the first 15 yards, the pass rush will take care of the rest. If the Niners push him too deep he will be in the tall grass with Sanders and Bethea. If they beat us that way, God Bless Them, they earned it. If they are trying to spring Davis deep on the seam it's a better bet that the pass rush will eat em up or that Sanders gets to put the big belt buckle on. Davis on the crossing route will be an option all day, but they won't let him squeak by downfield. In the red zone he is a problem, Bethea will just have to saw him in half.
4. Will Lucas Oil Stadium ever provide the Colts with the home field advantage that the Dome used to give them?
No. One thing people don't realize about the ol Dome is that, despite looking shabby, it was a REALLY GOOD place to watch a football game. The seating angles were great, and that really contributed to a good watching time. Yeah, there were metal bleachers in the upper deck, but that also played a part in being an unusually loud stadium. Not only that, but it had an intimate element. If Manning was coming your direction, the place was so quiet (and so small) that you could hear his audibles and cadence. When the other team had the ball, it was unmitigated chaos. People who have never witnessed it simply have no idea what it was like when Freeney or Mathis would drop the QB on third down. It would go from rock concert loud to space shuttle loud in the blink of an eye. Unreal
5. The Colts have been struggling with turning the ball over yet they still manage to win. How many turnovers can they have in this game and still pull out a victory?
6. Brett Favre returns to Lambeau Field this weekend with the Vikings. If he tried to do the Lambeau Leap do you think the fans would reject him?
Maybe. Probably not. If he wanted to make a splash, though, he should try to dunk it like Brees did.
7. Three winless teams remain (Titans, Rams and Bucs) and the Titans and Rams have decent match-ups this week....any chance either of them break into the win column?
The Rams could win in Detroit , Titans could beat the Jags, the Bucs have the week off. I say the Rams win in Detroit .
8. Not taking into account the talent around any of them, would you even rank Jay Cutler in the top half of NFL QB's at this point?
Nope, but I didn't last year and he was in the Pro Bowl.
9. Do New Orleans and Atlanta combine to break the 90 points scored barrier this week?
There is a real good chance. There is also a good chance New Orleans could stomp Atlanta .
10. Is Larry Johnson trying to force his way out of Kansas City or is he just dumb?
When you are talking about Larry Johnson, remember these numbers: 13, 32, 2.5. In 2006, Larry Johnson led a Kansas City team into the opening round of the Playoffs against the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts had a resurgent defense that had spent the years as goats and the post season as monsters. In that playoff game, Johns was held to 32 yards on 13 attempts for an average of 2.5 yards per carry. Johnson had rushed for 1750 yards in 05 and had his biggest year in 06 but on the opening drives of that playoff game the Chiefs consistently went to him on first and second down and the Colts stuffed him for no gain again and again. The Chiefs offense had their chances, Manning threw three picks, but the Colts stuffed Johnson all day and by the end of the first quarter the Chiefs looked defeated on the sidelines. Johnson looked defeated and sat alone on the bench. Hot Tub looked over and said, "He's just not a competitor in this game anymore. We won't be so lucky next week with Tomlinson." He was right about Johnson. He has never been the same since. As luck would have it, the Pats would upset the favored Chargers and set up a Manning v. Brady AFC Championship game for the ages and an eventual Colts Super Bowl. Johnson has done little but get hurt, collect paychecks, and run his bitch-ass mouth ever since. Take a minute to scan the play by play to discover what it is like for a once great back to get dominated.