Last week, Darnell Dockett insisted he didn’t want to provide any bulletin board material for the 49ers. The Cards seemed to be careful about that, and there wasn’t much coming out of San Francisco either, until Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis decided to talk about the Cardinals’ running game.
“We’re not worried about the run,” Willis told Bay Area reporters. “We know that they’re not going to run the ball on us. They will not run the ball on us.”
OK, so it’s not exactly guaranteeing a win. But it is an interesting comment given that the Cards have run the ball much better over the last five games. In that span the Cards are averaging 135 rushing yards per game and almost five yards a carry. The Cards had 113 yards rushing (and averaged 4.5 yards a carry) against the Vikings, who had the third-best rushing defense in the league. The 49ers are fifth against the run.
Now, the 49ers have reason to be confident, seeing they held the Cards to 40 rushing yards in the teams’ first meeting. And part of Willis’ point is that the Cards have a very good passing game, one that will be much better tonight with a healthy Anquan Boldin and Steve Breaston compared to the first meeting. Still, Tim Hightower is running the ball well much better than before (Hightower had just 15 yards on eight carries in the opener; he has 215 yards on just 31 carries the past three games) and Beanie Wells is improved as well. It would seem the Cards have a chance to prove Willis otherwise.
Tags: 49ers, Anquan Boldin, Beanie Wells, Patrick Willis, run game, Steve Breaston, Tim Hightower
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