Tale Of The Tape: Houston Texans At San Francisco 49ers

Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints v Houston Texans
San Francisco 49ers v St Louis Rams
Matt Schaub is struggling this season and he has already thrown three interceptions that have been returned for touchdowns. Schaub has been making key mistakes at big moments. While he has a quick release, excellent vision and reads defenses well, something is missing from his game and if he doesn’t find it, the Texans could lose their way this season.
Winner While the 49ers got on the right track in their win over the St. Louis Rams, Colin Kaepernick is struggling quite a bit. Instead of the wide open game that marked his play last year, Kaepernick appears to be concerned about mistakes. He has also toned down his running quite a bit and he needs to get back to the way he was playing.
Winner The Texans have sensational balance on paper and should be nearly unstoppable. Few teams can match the running game they get with Arian Foster and Ben Tate, while Andre Johnson is still capable of dominating a game. However, the Texans simply are not finishing drives and they are not playing the way they can.
With the 49ers’ attack struggling, Jim Harbaugh decided to go back to the basics and Frank Gore rewarded him with a sensational effort. Gore rushed for 153 yards and punished the Rams with his hard-charging style. Anquan Boldin can get open and he is coming off a five-catch, 90-yard effort against St. Louis. Jim Harbaugh would like to see Vernon Davis do a bit more.
J.J. Watt was the defensive player of the year in 2012, but he is starting to get frustrated with the way his team is playing. Watt had eight tackles vs. the Seahawks, while Houston linebacker Whitney Mercilus had six tackles and 2.5 sacks. Brian Cushing is coming off a nine-tackle effort and he also forced a fumble, but he suffered a concussion and may not play vs. the 49ers.
Winner The 49ers are going through a period of adjustment without Aldon Smith, who is going through rehab for his off-the-field problems. Glenn Dorsey stepped into the breach and recorded four tackles and 1.0 sack. NaVorro Bowman continues to play dominating football as he overpowered the rams with six tackles, 2.0 sacks and a forced fumble.
Special Teams
Special teams have been a big problem for the Texans. They struggle in coverage and rarely make big returns, which has hurt them in big games in the past. Former Raider Shane Lechler is punting the ball well, and he averaged 45.3 yards per attempt vs. the Seahawks.
Winner The 49ers are struggling on special teams once again. They rarely break big returns and that costs them in the field position battle. Phil Dawson was supposed to solidify the Niners’ placekicking, but he missed both of his attempts vs. the Rams. Andy Lee averaged 54.7 yards per punt in that game.

The Winner Is

San Francisco 49ers v St Louis Rams
Winner San Francisco 49ers
3 out of 4

The 49ers are not where they want to be at this point in the season, but they have the tools to improve and get back on track. The Texans are simply not playing with the effort and confidence that they need to and this game could turn out to be a big problem for them.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: San Francisco 49ers At New York Giants

    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

See All Tales of the Tape