Andrew Luck comes to San Francisco to face his former coach, Jim Harbaugh for the first time since they were both at Stanford. Luck, the #1 pick from last year’s draft, has thrived in the NFL and could potentially become the best player in football in the next few years. Harbaugh, on the other hand, has been the one of the better coaches in football, leading the 49ers to a NFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl since he left Stanford.
At Stanford, Luck was the best player in college football under the tutelage of Coach Harbaugh and 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman. Harbaugh is known as a “quarterback guru” and he has showed he is just that at the college and pro levels. After Luck, he came to the Niners and transformed Alex Smith into an elite quarterback, leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 3-0 record. When Smith got injured last season, he turned to Colin Kaepernick and he has become one of the best young players in football.
Kaepernick and Luck will also face each other for the first time at Candlestick Park on Sunday afternoon. In fact, Luck might have been the first guy to alert Harbaugh how good Kaepernick really was. Luck and Kaepernick met at the Manning Passing Academy in 2010 before Luck’s sophomore season where Kaepernick impressed everyone at the academy, including Luck. He immediately told Harbaugh about Kaepernick’s talents and once the 49ers hired Harbaugh in 2011, he went to Reno to scout Kaepernick. He ultimately drafted Kaepernick in the same year.
As for the game itself, I expect the 49ers to win big because their defense will make the Colts one-dimensional. The 49ers will have to stop newly acquired Trent Richardson and make Luck beat them. The Colts have already struggled against the Raiders and Dolphins, two inferior teams so I expect them to have an even tougher time against the Niners.
The Niners need to get their own running game going, especially Frank Gore, who has struggled in the first two games of the season. He should be able to bounce back since the Colts are 29th in the NFL against the run. Kaepernick should be able to light up their secondary with the Colts allowing 250 yards per game through the air. This seems like the perfect matchup for the Niners to bounce back from their matchup with the Seahawks to get a win on Sunday.
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