I hate to admit it, but Stevie Johnson has a point:
Eyeing a corps of pass-catchers 11 deep and littered withMichael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin, Quinton Patton and Brandon Lloyd -- not to mention tight end Vernon Davis -- Johnson says the 49ers have the manpower to raid opponents through the air.
"Right now, we're all ones," Johnson told the team's official website Tuesday. "The defense has gotta pick their poison, whether they're going to double-team Anquan, whether they're going to double-team Crab, Vernon, me, Q.P. is coming in -- you gotta pick your poison."
Our new west coast nemesis has definitely upgraded their air power by adding Johnson (and, yes, I hate them and consider them in some ways just as much a rival as our division foes). It could be very formidable depending upon Colin Kaepernick's development.
Around here we like to talk about our defense's ability to just plain out-pressure an opposition's QB, and in theory that may work extremely well for most opponents, but will it work against the likes of the 49ers who came to our house and beat us up in the playoffs mentally, if not physically. Like it or not, their defense was not too far away from ours from a relative statistical perspective, and the two teams play defense (and offense) with a similar philosophy. That being said, on paper their receiving corps looks a lot better at the moment than ours.
Unlike most NFL fans, for argument's sake, I am going to call the two teams' defenses a push (and I am really hoping that we are better). But even if we are a little better defensively, I can see an addition like Stevie Johnson---not to mention the crafty and productive Brandon Lloyd---as tipping the scales in the 49ers favor. I know it may be too early to be thinking about such things, but this leaves a bad taste in my mouth, about as bad as the taste that I had watching my team pretty much get beat down (in stages) last January at Bank of America Stadium.
When healthy, the 49ers could very well have "all ones". I hate it, but it's probably going to come down to hoping that our defense can break them down to halves by breaking Kap in half, and whether Cam and company can do just enough to win.
Our WRs will have to step up to the plate come playoff time. Benjamin will be a legitimate threat, no doubt, but someone else is going to have to step up in a big way to match what the 49ers have (on paper and in theory anyway).