Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 10/4/12
San Francisco 49ers running back Brandon Jacobs looks to make his return to the field this coming Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Jacobs has been sidelined with a knee injury since the preseason, but is now taking part in 49ers practices. His practice participation has been limited to some capacity thus far, but he does offer some insight to his preparedness for the upcoming contest against the Bills.

"I’m ready to play. It’s nothing now, it’s all gone now. There’s a little kinks I’ve got to run out but I feel good. I feel good about my explosiveness, I’ve got fresh legs."

Jacobs’ addition will be a welcome to an already stout running attack employed by the San Francisco offense. According to inside 49ers sources, his role will be that of a short yardage back, primarily used for third down conversions and goal line scoring attempts. It’s a role not unlike the role he made so successful in his years with the New York Giants. The six foot four inch, 264-pound bruiser ran for 571 yards and seven touchdowns last year on his way to a Super Bowl victory. And though his production diminished with the rise of Ahmad Bradshaw in New York, he still maintained a nearly four yards per carry average.

His big body will be crucial in helping the 49ers be more efficient on their woeful third down conversion percentage. As of week four the 49ers are 14 of 42 on third down for a mere 33%, that number is nearly last in the league. And statistically, that figure is nearly as bad as last years third down conversion percentage, which stood at 29%. The 49ers know all to well how much a third down back can mean to a team’s success. As they learned from Jacobs and the Giants in last years NFC Championship game, when the 49ers only converted on one of 13 third down conversions, potentially costing them a trip to the Super Bowl.

Jacobs will also be a factor in red zone touchdowns for the 49ers. Although the 49ers have not been all that bad in this area on the season, converting seven of their nine trips into the red zone into touchdowns. But it is a long season ahead, and any relief that Frank Gore gets in that category will be a blessing come playoff time.

On top of all that, Jacobs is an excellent blocking back. He should look to give fullback Bruce Miller a rest as well. The protection that he can provide for quarterback Alex Smith will be a key element down the stretch. His contribution will open holes for the running game as well as provide more time in the pocket for Smith and the passing game.

With the addition of Jacobs to the 49ers backfield, the 49ers become arguably the best running back unit in the entire league. With Gore taking on the leadership role and with Jacobs and Kendall Hunter dividing the rest of the playing time, the 49ers running game improves from potentially dangerous to outright formidable.  



Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.
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