San Francisco features a rookie running back, Elijah Mitchell, who is playing at a very high level; he already has four 100-yard rushing games despite only getting 20 carries three times all season. Meanwhile, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been as efficient as it gets since the 49ers’ bye week:
And, of course, the Bengals have not had a lot of success against Shanahan, as John Sheeran points out in the video below. In Zac Taylor’s second game as head coach, Cincinnati was outrushed by 234 yards, and Garoppolo completed 17 of 25 passes, including three touchdowns, en route to a 41-17 thumping at the hands of the 49ers.
Further, it was a Shanahan disciple, Mike LaFleur, who, as the offensive coordinator of the New York Jets, oversaw a gameplan that picked apart Cincinnati’s defense in an upset win.
Fortunately, the Bengals’ defense looks to be getting some help this week. The second biggest signing of the 2020 offseason, cornerback Trae Waynes, could be ready to play on Sunday after successful recovery from a hamstring injury back in October.
Waynes could very well be what Cincinnati needs to slow down San Francisco’s rushing attack, as the corner is one of the best at his position against the run:
Bengals fans will drag this, but this is a big deal. In his career (since 2015) Waynes is a big plus-run defender. His 87.2 PFF grade vs run ranks 6th among CBs since 2015.— Andrew Russell (@PFF_AndrewR) December 9, 2021
The run game is where he will most certainly be needed on Sunday. https://t.co/jAwRf8pBG1
The rest of the defense will have to step up as well, as Logan Wilson is out for a while, and the Bengals are coming off a game in which they allowed far too many big plays. We preview the matchup between the Bengals and 49ers in the video below:
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