The 49ers got themselves a much needed win this past week when they played the Arizona Cardinals on Monday Night Football. It was a dominating 27 - 6 performance that kept the team in contention for the NFC West division crown. It did come with some hangups, though. They lost their star offensive player, running back Frank Gore for the entirety of the season. Center David Baas, already filling in for the injured Eric Heitmann, suffered his second concussion this year and wide receiver Dominiqe Zeigler joined Gore on injured reserve.
The plus side to that was the emergence of Brian Westbrook, or the re-emergence. It might not even be fair to call it a re-emergence, since it's not as though he were underperforming previously, he really just hadn't been playing. He had five carries going into the game, and had twenty-eight carries coming out of it. 167 yards and a touchdown, and the 49ers have another offensive weapon at their disposal. Great, but can he keep it up?
Green Bay sits at 18th in the league in opposing rushing yards per game. Is that low enough for Westbrook? Is he durable enough on the short week to take as many carries as he's needed, coming off a game that featured his highest carry total yet? Rookie running back Anthony Dixon will provide some relief, but how much exactly can he be counted on? Ten carries? Fifteen carries? What if he's not playing well?
There's a lot of questions going forward, and that's just looking at the running back situation. Let's not forget Troy Smith and perhaps Alex Smith. Let's not forget the 49ers offensive line coming off a dominating performance, and not forget Green Bay's pass rush, which has been impressive throughout the season. The Cardinals don't sport a front seven to be ignored and written off, but Green Bay's unit is a different beast.
Lot's of questions going forward, stay tuned for news and matchup analysis in this stream.