I went to Twitter and asked for your questions as the 49ers have completed 3/4ths of their season thus far. Here are some answers as we approach the final four games:
If Joe Staley and Mike Iupati’s injuries are chronic problems for season, do the 49ers have enough O-line talent to go all the way?
First of all, the good news is that Staley looks to be a healthy for this Sunday's game as he practice on Thursday. Second, the run blocking of the offensive line would become a liability if both players were out for a significant amount of time.
The offensive line did well in pass protection against a solid Rams front-seven, but if they face the Panthers or Saints again, the team would struggle in my opinion. San Francisco's offense would become one-dimensional because there wouldn't be any lanes for Frank Gore or Kendall Hunter to run through. I thought Looney looked good against pass rushers, but he couldn't create holes. Adam Snyder has done a good job at LG in place of Iupati and should be fine at any position he plays.
How or can the Niners exploit the strong Seattle secondary?
The 49ers are able to exploit the Seahawks secondary with Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin. With Brandon Browner still injured (and still appealing his suspension) as well as Walter Thurmond serving a suspension, there is vulnerability with reserves Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell playing on the opposite side of Richard Sherman.
I expect Colin Kaepernick to target both cornerbacks throughout the game in hopes to find Crabtree, Boldin or Vernon Davis. With Crabtree back for his second game, Greg Roman has more flexibility to call multiple WR sets where the Seahawks will have to cover them. In Week 2, Seattle only had to face Davis and Boldin, which both Browner and Sherman were able to handle respectively. If the receivers start attacking down field, there should be opportunity with Lane and Maxwell in coverage.
Is Tank Carradine going to make any kind of a contribution this season?
The only way this happens is if there is a significant injury on the defensive line. Carradine would have been a first round draft pick had he been healthy, but he fell to the second round and the 49ers were willing to try and develop him for the long term.
Vic Fangio made it clear that both Carradine and Quinton Dial had to show they're NFL ready when coming back from their ACL and toe injuries, respectively. Both players missed OTAs and training camp which is vital for the rookies. While Carradine is practicing with the team, it's obvious that he hasn't shown he is better than Tony Jerod-Eddie or Demarcus Dobbs by being inactive each week. Don't be surprised if Carradine is inactive in every game this year as the 49ers prepare to utilize him for 2014 and beyond.