The Crack In San FranciscoDecember 14th, 2013
Joe’s scoured various 49ers websites, news and analysis, and Joe can relay that nobody in the other Bay area is afraid of your Tampa Bay Buccaneers, despite national media gurus Mike Florio, Brian Baldinger and Bucs-fan basher Jason La Canfora predicting a victory for the pewter and red.
The only common worry in San Francisco is that the 49ers will have a letdown after their statement win against the mighty Seahawks. But there is at least a little concern in the land of legendary sourdough bread.
All-Pro 49ers left guard Mike Iupati has been out for a month with an MCL (knee) injury and it’s possible he returns Sunday after practicing this week. But without him (and even with him less than 100 percent) there’s worry that Gerald McCoy is so dominant and explosive that it will seriously upset the core of the Niners’ offense, which is the running game.
San Francisco’s passing attack is the worst in the NFL.
Joe even heard it suggested on San Francisco sports radio that Iupati could be held out specifically because McCoy is on the other side of the line. McCoy is just too strong, the analyst said, and the Niners would prefer to keep Iupati healthy for the remainder of the season and believe they can beat the Bucs with their defense alone.
Sadly, Joe buys into that line of thinking. Can green Mike Glennon rise to the occasion with limited weapons and an inconsistent offensive line against a ferocious, veteran defense? Joe surely can’t see that happening.
Joe has a ton of belief in McCoy and the Bucs defense, but it’s hard to fathom much cheering when the Bucs have the ball.
The Bucs are going to need turnovers to be competitive Sunday. If the Bucs can stay within a touchdown entering the fourth quarter, then they’ll have hung tough with a shot to win. That’s about all Joe can ask for with this mismatch.