The San Francisco 49ers Week 3 battle against the Indianapolis Colts just got a bit more interesting. The Colts just traded for the Cleveland Browns’ 2012 first-round draft pick Trent Richardson. In exchange for the second-year running back, the Browns received the Colts 2014 first-round pick.
As it pertains to this Sunday’s game at Candlestick Park, this provides an upgrade for the Colts’ running game since Vick Ballard went down for the season with injury. In the Niners Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, running back Marshawn Lynch gained 98 rushing yards, two rushing touchdowns and three receptions for 37 yards and one touchdown.
The 49ers may have more of a degree of vulnerability to a power-run game now than in Week 2 because third-year nose tackle Ian Williams is out for the season with a broken left ankle. Backup Glenn Dorsey will now be taking over as starting nose tackle. Richardson is the type of back who can run between the tackles and he has more receptions since 2012 than any Colts’ running back.
Indianapolis could try to run the ball against the 49ers defense early to see if Richardson can eat up the field. If he does break for big runs early, then the Colts have a chance to upset San Francisco.
If the 49ers want to redeem themselves defensively, then they will need to limit the production of both Richardson and Ahmad Bradshaw. They need to get after the quarterback and stuff the holes on the offensive line.