A look at the 49ers Week 5 matchup vs. the Buffalo Bills:
Vegas says: Buffalo by 7 1/2
TV: FOX, 10 a.m./Dick Stockton, Chris Spielman, Krista Pink (sideline)
Injury issues: 49ers–CB Jimmie Ward missed practice with a quadriceps injury; LB Ahmad Brooks was limited with a groin injury; DT DeForest Buckner is limited with a foot injury; DT Quinton Dial is limited with a knee injury. Bills–DT Marcel Dareus missed practice with a hamstring injury; T Cordy Glenn missed practice with an ankle injury.
Did you know: Colin Kaepernick scored his second NFL rushing touchdown against Buffalo (and lost a fumble) on Oct. 7, 2012, a game the 49ers won 45-3 behind 303 yards and a passer rating of 156.3 passer rating by starter Alex Smith.
Five Burning Questions
After a year of inactivity, what is a realistic expectation for Colin Kaepernick?
Even when he was playing regularly, Kaepernick was not a particularly sharp or precise passer. As he lost his confidence, he developed into something less than that. He’s not going to turn into Tom Brady after a year off, but should be an upgrade from Blaine Gabbert. The best hope is that he could avoid turnovers, do some damage on the perimeter and make some good throws on plays where the read is easy.
How much will Kaepernick carry the ball from scrimmage?
Blaine Gabbert has run the ball just under eight times per game. So you start there and go up. Kaepernick is healthy, fresh and the most damage he’ll be able to do against the Buffalo defense is on the run, whether it be on zone reads or tuck-and-run scrambles. He can’t keep that up game after game — no quarterback can — but for the first time out it can work.
Can the 49ers shore up their tackling and contain running back LeSean McCoy?
Remember when the 49ers bottled up Todd Gurley in Week 1? Seems like a long time ago, considering their No. 31 rank in run defense at 146.8 yards per game. In order, the 49ers have given up 100 yards to someone named Fozzy Whitaker, 106 yards to Christine Michael, 138 yards to Ezekiel Elliott and 157 yards to David Johnson. The way it’s trending, McCoy is at 100 by halftime and finishes close to 200.
When will the Ducks take wing?
The 49ers hoped going into the season that the Oregon duo of DeForest Buckner and Arik Armstead would be key pieces in a 3-4 defense and would be major contributors who would learn on the fly at the least and be emerging dominant defenders at best. Currently, they’ve combined for zero sacks and Buckner is 15th on the team in tackles and Armstead 19th (unoffcially). Part of the problem is that Armstead has a shoulder problem that could hamper him all season and Buckner missed the Cardinals game with a foot injury.
Have the 49ers finally decided to put first-round pick Joshua Garnett on the field?
Our own Cam Inman writes the 49ers that the former Stanford guard will start in place of Andrew Tiller at right guard. If it doesn’t happen, you wonder why the guy was taken in the first round at all, and why the 49ers traded up to get him. Yes, it’s early, but the 49ers aren’t going to the playoffs, and there’s no excuse for those considered to be foundation pieces for the future to be on the sidelines if they’re healthy.
Bills 30, 49ers 20
The 49ers have shown no proclivity for taking their show on the road, and just because they’ve got a headliner in Colin Kaepernick (for a week anyway) is no reason to believe this week will be any different. Things were so desultory under Blaine Gabbert, however, that the 49ers could get the `spark’ Chip Kelly says they’re not looking for by simply adding a superior runner and possibly better passer in to the mix.
Predicting 49ers vs. Bills: What can we expect… – The Mercury News