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Can San Francisco 49ers slow down Baltimore Ravens?


Niners cornerback Tarell Brown told us on our podcast the secondary has been thoroughly tested this postseason. Even so, can San Francisco slow down Baltimore's passing attack?

Yes, believe it or not, Joe Flacco can actually be slowed down. The Niners, you may recall, do have the fourth-ranked pass defense.

That defensive backfield is one of the best in the NFL, but it did get nearly 400 yards hung on itself by Matt Ryan and the Falcons.

The secondary is great. But a lot of it's not even on the secondary. It's on the pass rushers. Aldon Smith, he of the 19.5 regular-season sacks, remember him?

Right. That 49ers pass rush does make life easier for the defensive backs, but the Ravens offensive line has been excellent keeping Flacco clean. Only four postseason sacks allowed.

If the Niners want to contain him, they'll have to do better. A lot better. The only guy to sack Aaron Rodgers was Patrick Willis. The only guy to sack Matt Ryan was Isaac Sapoaga.

If Flacco has time, Boldin, Pitta, Jones and Smith will get open. They're making plays in traffic too, which is why Flacco isn't afraid to force throws from time to time.

Aldon Smith? Hasn't had a sack in the playoffs. Actually, he hasn't had a sack in six weeks. That's how long I want to sleep. Goodnight.

Why would you want to sleep that long? Too much football. Hate to tell, you Rip Van Kriegel, that when you woke up, it'd be time for the draft.



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