The San Francisco 49ers' 20-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football has once again put the NFC West champions in the lead for the second seed in the NFC––the 49ers have the tiebreaker over the New Orleans Saints.
This was a grueling 60-minute battle between two strong defenses, and you know what? The matchup did not disappoint.
This wasn't going to be a flashy, pass-happy game––especially with a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger––but the matchup was intriguing nonetheless. Ben Roethlisberger did throw for more than 300 yards, but you have to take into account that the Steelers were playing catch-up in the fourth quarter.
This victory should put any doubts to rest regarding the 49ers' chances in the postseason. This is a legit postseason team that has a great chance to make some real noise in the playoffs.
With all this success, fans and analysts alike have side-swept the Braylon Edwards injury. Edwards sat out against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday night and has not played in a regular season game since the 49ers' matchup with the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving Day.
A nagging knee injury has fans wondering if Edwards will ever be available for more than two games at a time.
The postseason quickly approaches, and the 49ers can ill avoid another injured receiver. The 49ers need all hands on deck at wide receiver.
Here is why I believe the San Francisco 49ers should leave Braylon Edwards off the postseason roster.
With the absence of Braylon Edwards––in addition to limited depth at wide receiver, Kyle Williams has developed into a nice weapon for Alex Smith in recent weeks.
In two of the last three games, Williams has recorded 50 or more receiving yards.
In that same span, Williams has also hauled in two receiving touchdowns––one being a 56-yard touchdown against the St. Louis Rams in Week 13.
The implemented West Coast system seems to better fit the skill set of Kyle Williams rather than the aforementioned Braylon Edwards.
Braylon Edwards continues to nurse a nagging knee injury that has prevented the seven-year veteran from making his mark thus far into the season.
The 49ers need healthy bodies at wide receiver, especially with the absence of Josh Morgan on IR, but Edwards has not been reliable thus far.
If Edwards can show he is healthy enough––and productive—in the homestretch of the regular season, then I would definitely reconsider leaving the veteran off the postseason roster.
The West Coast scheme relies on quick, rhythm throws.
Alex Smith has developed an on-the-field camaraderie with Michael Crabtree, and just recently, Kyle Williams.
Braylon Edwards' presence––if he misses the rest of the regular season—will be a detriment to Harbaugh's rhythm offense come the postseason.
In no way am I downplaying the talent of Braylon Edwards. Don't get me wrong.
Edwards is a big-time red-zone threat and could be extremely beneficial to a 49ers offense that has struggled in that area of the field, but his presence––after missing so many games in the regular season––could be detrimental in the postseason.