This is not a good matchup for the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday afternoon. The San Francisco 49ers are coming off of a Super Bowl runner-up performance in 2012, and are in good shape of returning to the big game this year despite the blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks last Sunday night.
The Colts struggled against a decent, mobile quarterback in Week 1 as Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrell Pryor rushed all over them, keeping plays alive. If it wasn’t for his inaccuracy in the passing game, the Colts likely would have lost.
Then in Week 2 the Colts’ weakness of protecting Andrew Luck came about as they struggled with the Miami Dolphins‘ pass rush all day. Then on the other side of the ball, they struggled to make enough stops to win the game, allowing too many big plays and too big of cushions in the secondary.
Unfortunately for the Colts, the weaknesses exposed in the first two weeks are strong points for the 49ers. San Francisco is a combination of both the Raiders and Dolphins, only they execute much better and are better coached. That spells trouble for the Colts.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is very comparable to Pryor. He’s very mobile, very fast and extremely good at keeping plays alive with his feet. He already has 109 yards on the ground on 16 attempts. If Indy gave up nearly 115 yards to Pryor in Week 1, think of how many yards Kaepernick can get on Sunday.
Kaepernick is also far more accurate than Pryor. If he gets flushed out of the pocket, he can take off and run or hit a guy with better accuracy than Pryor. The Raiders quarterback overthrew receivers all day and was just off against the Colts. Don’t expect that to be the case with Kaepernick.
The other part that makes the 49ers a combination of both teams is their pass rush. The Dolphins brought a lot of heat, and the Colts didn’t handle it well. San Francisco has an even better pass rush with better personnel. Aldon Smith has 3.5 of San Francisco’s six sacks this year. If the line for the Colts doesn’t improve this week, Luck could double his season total of seven sacks very easily.
Overall, the Colts have been prepared for San Francisco as they’ve basically seen them in the first two weeks. The problem is that they’re not ready yet at getting those red flags fixed. This game could be ugly.
Eric Smith is the Colts Beat Writer for Rant Sports. He’s covered the team the past four seasons and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by the Colts. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru