San Francisco 49ers: Top 5 Ways They Will Notch a Blowout Win
1. Weak Receiving Corps
Despite the nice numbers for the Ravens, their passing game does possess one area of weakness, and that’s their receiving unit.
Their leading receiver during the regular season was Anquan Boldin, who caught only 65 receptions and scored just four TDs.
The next best receiver was Torrey Smith with only 49 catches, but he made his living off the deep ball and his speed, yet neither receiver went for 1,000 or more yards during the season.
If the 49ers can keep close coverage, the Ravens' offense will be forced to go through Ray Rice, which limits outflow of yardage and increases their chances of defensive stops.
2. Aggressive Defense
I have yet to see a game where the Ravens use a conservative defense. The Ravens' front seven plays a highly-aggressive game, and this plays right into the hands of Kaepernick.
The moment you over pursue him on passing downs, he either cannon’s the ball quickly to a receiver or takes off running for a huge gain. The Ravens will come out wanting to shut down the 49ers immediately with a big rush, as they typically do in most games, which will result in their undoing as Kaepernick will "Kaepitalize" on this weakness.
3. Pressure Flacco
Flacco is very dangerous when given time to check his receivers, but when pressured he tends to make costly throws, which has cost the Ravens in the wins column.
The 49ers need to be aggressive along the front line, while remaining aware in zone and man coverage. Blitzing 5-6 at times will rattle Flacco enough to force the errant passes they need to force turnovers and shut down the Ravens' offense.
Here’s the most suspect area of the Ravens' defense. The Ravens' top two play-makers are their safeties, while their corners are not very good in zone or man coverage. With Crabtree, Davis, and Moss available on passing downs, along with Gore or James from the backfield, the Ravens will give up plenty of yards through the air unless they lay off the aggressive push and settle back in zone coverage against the 49ers' offense.
The 49ers love using short cuts that go for large gain against suspect corners, and the Ravens better stack up on coverage or it’s going to be a long game for their secondary.
5. Coaching Ravens vs. The Pistol
Many aren’t aware that the Pistol is a look not a formation, and that it mimics other formations, thus makes it very difficult to defend. The Ravens will have to use a man on every down to spy on Colin Kaepernick, thus creates an 11-10 disadvantage on every defensive down for the Ravens.
The Ravens will be hard-pressed to overcome this disadvantage. While both Jim and John are excellent coaches, John hasn’t faced the Pistol enough to properly prepare the defense and Jim has the right set of players to run the Pistol perfectly for a blowout win.