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Week 7: Best and Worst Case Scenarios

Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers face a critical point in the season that will determine their direction down the stretch.

The bye week has finally ended and the 49ers are set to strap it up at home in a primetime matchup against the Colts. Starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will return after he sat out Week 5 with a calf injury and it couldn’t come at a better time as they face a must-win game. Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers face a critical point in the season that will determine their direction down the stretch. Let’s take a look at how things can shake out on Sunday.

Best Case Scenario: After a week to take a step back and reassess where they are as a team, the 49ers will come out in sync and have bounce back performance.

We will see Shanahan get the offense back in rhythm with some early lateral tosses for Garoppolo to help him gain some confidence. They will be forced by Mother Nature to rely on their run game throughout the evening and return to their dominant identity. A 200-yard rushing performance is likely and misdirection will take advantage of an aggressive Colts run defense anchored by defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Deebo Samuel will break a couple long passes and continue his dominance regardless of the conditions on Sunday night. Garoppolo will not be forced to take chances and will have a clean and efficient game while not being asked to do much.

The 49ers defense will be aided by a sloppy field which will negate the Colts biggest strength, Jonathan Taylor’s speed. Expect this to be a physical game that perfectly suits Nick Bosa, DJ Jones and Arik Armstead. There will not be a threat of big pass plays and that will allow the 49ers defensive line to feast. The secondary will have a good game due to the weather and the 49ers defense will completely dominate this game and record at least five sacks.

Worst Case Scenario: The 49ers will prove they are not a good football team and Shanahan will appear to have no answers.

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The offense has looked out of sync, inconsistent and flat out bad all season. Expect this to continue. There is no clear direction offensively and without a dynamic playmaker in the backfield the run game simply will not carry this team. The Colts defense will tee off to stop the run and an inconsistent 49ers offensive line will completely collapse. Given the forecast for the game, the Colts could hold the 49ers under 10 points.

The 49ers have an average run defense and the Colts strength this season has been running the football. Carson Wentz is a great deep ball thrower and the 49ers have struggled with big passing plays all season. Look for this to continue. Given that the 49ers weaknesses complement all of the Colts strengths offensively, this could turn out ugly for a team that lacks confidence. The Colts have the necessary components to completely dominate the 49ers.

Chuy’s Prediction: The 49ers will have a bounce back performance offensively and the defense will completely dominate this matchup. 49ers 30 - Colts 13

Shanahan has officially been put on notice as the 49ers Faithful have spent the bye week calling for his head. He will respond and we will see him dial up some creativity on offense that has been severely lacking. The result will be a vintage rushing attack that uses traps and misdirections to take advantage of our dear friend Buckner’s aggressiveness. Garoppolo will play cleanly and not turn the ball over and help protect the defense. The defense will continue its ascension and will completely dominate. If this game was played on a sunny day in Santa Clara, there would be a different result, but the Colts speed advantage will be completely neutralized and the 49ers defensive line will dominate.

Make sure you follow me on Twitter: Chuy_Alejandra to keep up to date with 49ers news and subscribe on YouTube: Chuy and Alejandra to join in on our call in shows to get your voice heard! Until next week, stay Faithful.