SAN FRANCISCO, California – In week one the Denver Broncos' defense made quite a name for themselves against one of the most powerful offenses in the National Football League.
Week two may not be as easy as Jeff Garcia and the San Francisco 49ers look to dismantle Denver's revamped linebacking corps. of Ian Gold, John Mobley and Al Wilson.
"One concept when you have a fast defense, if you run laterally, there's a good chance they are going to chase you down from sideline to sideline because they are fast," said San Francisco head coach Steve Mariucci.
"So one philosophy is to run more at them than sideways. They're good up front. They have good defensive linemen that protect them and allow them to run to the ball, a lot like we do. Our linebackers are fast too. Some of your thought has to be more to run at them than that way."
Running it the Broncos way will be the tandem of Garrison Hearst and Keavon Barlow. Despite a lackluster showing against the New York Giants last week the 49ers still managed to average 4.7 yards per carry.
"We've got to establish the run," Garcia told reporters. "I think the Rams found themselves down early so they didn't have a chance too. When you have second and long all day and when you're in that situation, you can't run the ball."
The Broncos, on the other hand, more than welcome the challenge of San Francisco's running game, especially after holding the league's top running ace Marshall Faulk to a mere 19 yards on 10 carries.
"I think we held Marshall in check, as far as against the run," Denver defensive tackle Chester McGlockton told the Denver Post. "Obviously, he caught some passes against us (14 for 91 yards). But we didn't let him get any big plays, and that's going to be a key against San Francisco."
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