49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

December 17, 2009
Could winter storm even the playing field for Niners?

Oh, the weather outside is frightful ... in the mid-Atlantic states, that is. The Philadelphia area is bracing for "near-blizzard" conditions over the weekend, according to one local tv station. I know what you're thinking: Could a snowstorm take away Donovan McNabb and DeSean Jackson and be a nice equalizer for the 49ers? The Eagles certainly like to pass the ball, but maybe not as much as you think. They rank 12th in pass attempts per game; the 49ers rank 19th. As far as running the ball, the Eagles - who have gone with a rookie running back, LeSean McCoy, in Brian Westbrook's absence - rank 19th. The 49ers rank 24th in rushing offense.

The biggest advantage would be in rushing defense. The 49ers are fifth-best at stopping the run. Philadelphia ranks 10th. Of course, there's a good chance the snow might not factor in at all. The storm is supposed to taper off by Sunday morning. The game is at 1 p.m. local time. And having grown up a few miles down I-95, I can attest that the weather experts are often dead wrong. I can't tell you the number of times young Matt Barrows put off his homework in giddy anticipation of a snow day only to wake up the next morning to find the streets bone dry and a yellow school bus waiting at the corner.

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-- Matt Barrows

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MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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