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Bucs-49ers: Scouting report

Projected starters

BUCS

Offense

WR: Vincent Jackson 83

LT: Donald Penn 70

LG: Jamon Meredith 79

C: Jeremy Zuttah 62

RG: Davin Joseph 75

RT: Demar Dotson 69

TE: Tim Wright 81

WR: Tiquan Underwood 11

QB: Mike Glennon 8

RB: Bobby Rainey 43

FB: Erik Lorig 41

defense

DE: Daniel Te'o Nesheim 50

DT: Gerald McCoy 93

DT: Akeem Spence 97

DE: Adrian Clayborn 94

SLB: Dekoda Watson 56

MLB: Mason Foster 59

WLB: Lavonte David 54

CB: Darrelle Revis 24

CB: Johnthan Banks 27

SS: Mark Barron 23

FS: Dashon Goldson 38

Special teams

P/KO: Michael Koenen 9

PK: Rian Lindell 4

LS: Andrew Economos 48

KR/PR: Eric Page 17

49ers

offense

WR: Anquan Boldin 81

LT: Joe Staley 74

LG: Adam Snyder 68

C: Jonathan Goodwin 59

RG: Alex Boone 75

RT: Anthony Davis 76

TE: Vernon Davis 85

WR: Michael Crabtree 15

QB: Colin Kaepernick 7

RB: Frank Gore 21

TE: Vance McDonald 89

defense

DE: Ray McDonald 91

NT: Glenn Dorsey 90

DE: Justin Smith 94

OLB: Ahmad Brooks 55

ILB: NaVorro Bowman 53

ILB: Patrick Willis 52

OLB: Aldon Smith 99

CB: Carlos Rogers 22

CB: Tramaine Brock 26

SS: Donte Whitner 31

FS: Eric Reid 35

Special teams

P: Andy Lee 4

PK/KO: Phil Dawson 9

LS: Kevin McDermott 47

PR/KR: LaMichael James 23

Injury report

BUCS Out: G Carl Nicks (foot). Probable: DE Da'Quan Bowers (knee), LB Lavonte David (back), DE William Gholston (head), DT Gary Gibson (calf), WR Vincent Jackson (hamstring), G Davin Joseph (knee, shoulder), DT Akeem Spence (wrist), G Jeremy Zuttah (shoulder).

49ers Questionable: CB Tarell Brown (ribs), G Mike Iupati (knee), WR Mario Manningham (knee), TE Vance McDonald (ankle). Probable: WR Jon Baldwin (shoulder), WR Michael Crabtree (ankle), S Craig Dahl (ankle), RB Frank Gore (ankle), DT Ray McDonald (ankle), LB Dan Skuta (foot), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), DT Justin Smith (shoulder), G Adam Snyder (not injury related), T Joe Staley (knee).

1 p.m. Raymond James Stadium | TV/radio: Ch. 13; 620-AM, 103.5-FM, 95.3-FM | Line, O/U: 49ers by 5, 41

Four wins in five games have changed the Bucs' course from an 0-8 start. But this is the signature victory that could keep coach Greg Schiano, GM Mark Dominik and QB Mike Glennon in place for 2014. Can the Bucs beat the defending NFC champs given their offensive struggles, especially on third down and in the second half? It won't be easy.

What the 49ers do best

Win with a relentless, harassing 3-4 defense. San Francisco is third in the NFL in scoring defense (16.5 points per game) and fourth in total defense and hasn't allowed a 100-yard rusher this season. Without a steady running game, that's a lot of pressure on rookie QB Mike Glennon, who has four turnovers over his past two games.

How you beat the 49ers

They've been held to fewer than 10 points in three of their four losses, but that's asking a lot. If you can limit Frank Gore's running, this is the NFL's worst passing offense. But it still might take a defensive touchdown.

49ers' top offensive player

Vernon Davis, right, has been Colin Kaepernick's best target with 11 touchdowns, including one in each of the past four games. He has speed you don't expect from a 6-foot-3, 250-pound tight end, so one missed tackle will improve his already-solid average of 16.5 yards per catch.

49ers' top defensive player

Hard to argue with Patrick Willis, but we'll choose his fellow inside linebacker, NaVorro Bowman, who leads the team in tackles and has forced three fumbles. Former USF coach Jim Leavitt's job is to coach those two. You'll see them all over the field against the Bucs.

The Bucs must avoid …

Their much-chronicled second-half letdowns. After scoring 30-plus points in their first five wins, the 49ers have averaged 23 in their past three. So there's a window for a 23-20 type of upset if the turnovers continue coming and the offense plays a full game. But against this defense, that seems unlikely.

The pick

49ers 28, Bucs 17

Unit rankings

OFFENSEDEFENSE
Run PassTotalRunPassTotal
Bucs103.7 (8th)238.4 (17th)342.1 (12th)110.7 (21st)180.8 (31st)291.5 (31st)
49ers104.0 (9th)204.0 (4th)308.0 (4th)133.2 (6th)178.3 (32nd)311.5 (28th)

Bucs-49ers: Scouting report 12/14/13 [Last modified: Saturday, December 14, 2013 6:21pm]
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