I didn’t get the chance to see the 49ers beat the Cardinals but if you look at the box score you can tell there were two reasons why this happened. First, the Cardinals turned the ball over seven times. Second, Frank Gore. He had 25 carries in the game and rushed for more yards than Alex Smith threw for. Although he has had trouble being consistent, when Gore is playing well he is one of the best.
He is the key component of the 49ers offense and is going to need to be shutdown if the Eagles want to win this football game. Currently, the Eagles defense is ranked 10th in rush defense and hasn’t had huge trouble stopping the run so far this year. There have been a few points in the season where it was frustrating, but overall I’ve been pretty pleased with the Eagles run defense. In Gore’s three previous games before the Cardinals win, he was held to less than 60 yards. In the three games before that he had 80+ yards per game. You can tell he is very streaky and the Eagles can’t let him stay hot right now.
Shutting down Frank Gore is key because it forces Alex Smith to have to try and beat you. He is not a very good quarterback and tends to make bad decisions which result in turnovers. This is not a very scary offense at all, but when a team can develop a run game early, it opens up a whole lot of other things. Our defense can’t afford to do this as the Eagles need to keep winning and clinch a playoff berth as soon as possible. If Frank Gore is shut down, I don’t see the 49ers offense being very effective.