Baltimore Ravens: 5 Keys to Victory vs. San Fransisco 49ers

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Limit Carlos Hyde

Sep 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) carries the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers were fortunate to have a workhorse in Frank Gore that carried the offense for years. They were able to let Gore go to the Philadelphia Eagles – I mean Indianapolis Colts – in large part because they had a young workhorse waiting in the wings in running back Carlos Hyde.

The 49ers offense revolves around their running game. Many of their offensive sets begin out of the pistol formation and the read-option makes them hard to plan for. Each read-option play has three choices: a Hyde run, a Kaepernick carry or a play-action pass.

The Ravens defense must limit Hyde’s impact on first and second downs and force the Niners into long third down situations. The threat of the play-action pass is nullified on longer plays and forces Kaepernick to make throws under pressure. Brandon Williams and Timmy Jernigan have had great starts to the season and they must continue to play well to contain Hyde.

Next: The Battle of Two Strengths