They could call it a “trap” game. Or the Overlook Bowl. Or the Bye Week Stale Game. Going into this Sunday’s contest hosting the Cleveland Browns, the San Francisco 49ers have nothing much to prove and everything to lose.
From the inside, however, teams this time of year always welcome a two-week layoff between games. It lets everyone heal, rest and rejuvenate. For a coaching staff, the hours during training camp and the regular season are long, grueling and pressured. Working normal 40-hour weeks during the bye week can seem like a vacation compared to the 110-plus hours that go into week-long preparations for the game.
But in light of the 49ers’ 25-19 win over Detroit, a win that cemented their status as a team on the rise with a defense that has become a genuine force, it would be normal for a fan to wonder if the bye week could stall the team’s momentum.
Hot teams want to stay hot, but it’s not easy to do when you’re off the job. Here are four things coach Jim Harbaugh and staff will focus on to have the 49ers ready to avoid a letdown Sunday against the Browns.
[Quotes from Harbaugh press conference courtesy of the 49er PR staff.]