Sunday Night Football’s Week 5 matchup will take place at Candlestick Park, as the San Francisco 49ers take on the Houston Texans. With smarter play calling, an aggressive defense, and a balanced offense, the Texans will win this game 28-20. The 49ers have not proven that they have fixed the major issues which plagued them in their two losses this season. One issue was the play calling; San Francisco did not use veteran running back Frank Gore as their primary offensive weapon in their two losses. In Week 4, head coach Jim Harbaugh made the smart decision to go with a run heavy offense and have quarterback Colin Kaepernick manage the game at signal caller.
The San Francisco defense is still missing All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith, as he is still in a rehabilitation facility. If linebacker Patrick Willis does not play, that will put another hole in the lineup, even though NaVorro Bowman is no slouch and a run stopping specialist. Texans wide receiver Andre Johnson will make plays, as he has done for a decade on any secondary, especially with both Carlos Rogers and Nnamdi Asomugha being questionable for this game. Houston still has two running backs that can start for any team in Arian Foster and Ben Tate. A good mix of these two up the middle, on the edge, and short passes, will keep the 49ers’ offense off the field.
Expect the Texans’ defense to attack Kaepernick and try to take the ball away to give the offense more opportunities. Since the 49ers have abandoned the read option to minimize the harm that could come their quarterback’s way, defensive end J.J. Watt will be looking to hit him often. This game will be physical and nasty, but the Texans will be standing tall after 60 minutes. The defense will have the mindset to have to carry the offense, and the offense will have smarter play calling after last week’s screw up, which led to a loss.