49ers week 5 preview: San Francisco at Indianapolis Colts

RB Carlos Hyde and the 49ers seek their first win this Sunday in Indianapolis.

The San Francisco 49ers continue on their quest for their first victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Colt QB Andrew Luck will miss his fifth game of the season, but QB Jacoby Brisett has shown to be a capable backup. Brisett has played admirably and led the Colts to their sole victory on the season.

In week 4, the bowels of the Colts ship burst open in the 2nd half of their Sunday night game when the Seattle Seahawks blew the game away in a 46-18 win. Brisett hopes to quickly rebound and take advantage of a vulnerable 49er secondary. Brisett will look to connect with WR T.Y. Hilton throughout the day.

San Francisco at Colts kicks off at Lucas Oil Stadium at 10:00 a.m. PT and can be watched on the FOX Network.

Essentials to win the game
In order for the Niners to notch their first win of the season, they need to continue to play sound defensively. They need to take advantage of the Colts offensive line and limit the time that Jacoby Brisett has to survey the field to find T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief. Deforest Buckner, Solomon Thomas, and Arik Armstrong will need to keep Jacoby Brisett in the pocket and collapse it around him.

Offensively, the Niners should be able to move the ball efficiently throughout the day. The Colts rank 31st in total defense and haven’t shown the propensity of stopping anyone anytime soon.

If San Francisco is able to limit their penalties and dropped passes, and if Brian Hoyer is able to remain upright and not turn the ball over, the 49ers will win.

Possible downfalls to avoid
If San Francisco allows Jacoby Brisett time to throw the ball, T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief will exploit the 49ers inability to cover. If Brisett and Hilton are able to connect early, the game can turn out to be a shootout. Colts TE Jack Doyle is a wily veteran who, if kept unchecked, can run roughshod over the 49ers. If the Colts offensive line is able to withstand the Niners front four, they’ll win.

If the interior lineman of the 49ers are able to perform more stout than what they did against the Cardinals, Brian Hoyer will have clean pockets to throw from. Any injury to 49er tackles Joe Staley or Trent Brown will be a devastating blow to an already defunct 49er offense.

The Niner receiving corps will need to come up with big catches, opposed to big drops, if they are to win their first game of the year. At a 30% rate, San Francisco is currently 30th in the league on 3rd down conversions. The 49ers offense cannot afford to have drives stall out. If they are unable to have success on 3rd downs, this contest will be closer than it needs to be.

Player spotlight
T.Y. Hilton is going to torch Rashard Robinson — constantly. The Colts will seek to pick on Robinson throughout the game. Hilton will catch deep passes on Robinson, and when those passes are unable to be caught, Hilton will draw pass interference calls on Robinson.

If Rashard Robinson isn’t be able to step up and limit the amount of damage Hilton is able to enact on the secondary, the 49ers are in for a long day.

Game Projection
This game will highlight the rushing attacks of both teams. Former 49er RB Frank Gore will move up the all time rushing list against his former team. The future Hall of Fame RB needs 4 yards to surpass Eric Dickerson as 7th on the all-time list. Not only will Gore get the requisite yardage needed to surpass Eric Dickerson, but will contribute 88 yards on the day with a touchdown.

Gore’s 49er replacement, Carlos Hyde will also have a solid showing. Hyde will have lanes to run through and will finish the game with over 100 yards and a touchdown. Matt Breida, who the 49ers have sought to incorporate more of him into the offense, will also run for 50 yards and a touchdown.

The Colts are the much needed salve San Francisco needs. Brian Hoyer will limit his mistakes and misplaced passes. He will be helped out by a receiving corps that won’t drop any catchable balls. Trent Taylor and Pierre Garçon will carve up the Colts secondary. Garçon will have 90 yards receiving and a touchdown. Taylor will chip in another 50 and a score.

The Colts currently sit as a 1.5 point favorite. Last week, the 49ers extended their 3 week streak against the spread, and sit at 3-1 for the year. Expect the Niners to not only beat the spread, but win their first game of the year. If they don’t win Sunday, they may not win one all year.

Points will be in abundance. The Niners win a 30-26 shootout.

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