While the thrill of the victory that the 49ers enjoyed last night was great, that feeling will be short lived if the 49ers repeat a similar performance next week against the Cowboys. The quarterback, receivers, and all-around talent is superior in Dallas when comparing them to Seattle—both offensively and defensively.
There are two major things San Francisco will need to improve in order to defeat the boys next week.
Frank Gore has always struggled on opening day with the rush. By Gore, I mean, the line. It's natural for run blocking to stumble out of the gates. However, the good news for 49er fans is they did fairly well with the pass protection in week one.
All happiness behind us, the Cowboys have a very dynamic defensive scheme helmed by Rob Ryan. The best way to stifle the exotic blitzes and pressure is with a solid running game and that will serve as the most important thing San Francisco can do against Dallas. The 49ers need to improve with the rush, and I expect they will.
Second: Passing on Third Down
If the 49ers have any intention of competing with real NFL teams, they will need to complete some third-down conversion throws. Scratch that, attempt some third-down conversion attempts through the air.
I understand the reasoning of Jim Harbaugh's conservative play calling against the Seahawks, but that formula will not work against a team like the Cowboys. Harbaugh knows that.
Look for an upgraded play scheme against Dallas, hopefully.
A victory against the Cowboys would be huge. Humongous, in fact. As starting the season with a win over rival Seattle—and a win over 90s rival Dallas—would be euphoric for 49er fans.
This will be the first true test for the 49ers, Jim Harbaugh, and Alex Smith. All happiness behind us.
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