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Three questions for 49ers at Indianapolis

San Francisco continues quest for first win of Shanahan era

John Dickinson
October 07, 2017 - 6:42 pm

Can the 49ers withstand the added emotion in the stadium?

This is a game that on paper looks like a legitimate opportunity for the 49ers to win their first game of 2017. There will however be two added intangibles working in the Colts favor Sunday.

Peyton Manning will be inducted into the Colts Ring of Honor on Sunday in addition to having his jersey retired. On Saturday the Colts unveiled a statue of the legendary quarterback in front of Lucas Oil Stadium. The crowd should be frenzied and the team will likely want to show out in front of one of the all-time greats in NFL history.

It will also be an emotional afternoon for Frank Gore who will be facing the 49ers for the first time in his career. Gore is just four yards away from moving into seventh place on the all-time career rushing yards list.

The 49ers will have to battle the Colts and withstand a more intense atmosphere than a typical game involving a 1-3 team vs. a 0-4 team would provide in an attempt to win for the first time in the Kyle Shanahan era.

Will the 49ers take advantage of the Colts bad defense?

Indianapolis has allowed an NFL worst 34 points per game and ranks only ahead of the Patriots (entering Week 5) by giving just over 396 yards per contest.

The 49ers have failed to score a touchdown in three of their four games.

This week is an opportunity for Kyle Shanahan, Brian Hoyer and Carlos Hyde all to shine against a porous Indy defense. The 49ers offense should be able to take control and wear the Colts down as the game goes on or comeback if they have to against a team that has been outscored 82-15 this season in the second half.

Can the defensive line replicate its performance from Arizona?

The 49ers sacked Carson Palmer six times in the desert with DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas each notching their first of the season.

Buckner has been one of the most dominant defensive tackles in the league, leading a defensive line unit that took advantage of an injured Cardinals front. The Colts have had similar issues on their offensive line. Stopping the run and preventing Jacoby Brissett from making plays with his legs to get away from the pass rush will be key.

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