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Fan’s Take: Will 49ers’ ‘Jumbo’ Package Neutralize Lions Defensive Line?

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After much success on offense in Week 1 against the Green Bay Packers, the San Francisco 49ers will look to do the same against the Detroit Lions in Week 2. With injuries in the Lions secondary to Bill Bentley, Louis Delmas, and Chris Houston, the 49ers have an advantage in the passing game. While Alex Smith did connect with Randy Moss and Vernon Davis in the passing game, San Francisco will always be a team that works through the running game.

Aside from an injury to Corey Williams, the Lions defensive line is healthy and could definitely cause major problems for the 49ers run game. With behemoth defensive tackles Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in the middle and great pass-rushing defensive ends in Kyle Vanden Bosch and Cliff Avril on the edges, the Lions front four will definitely need to be a major concern for the 49ers offensive line. To combat this, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman plans on using what he used to call his "Giant Personnel" back in his time as the offensive coordinator at Holy Spirit High School in Ventor, New Jersey.

In Week 1, the 49ers rushed for 186 in the game against the Packers, including 112 yards and a touchdown by Frank Gore. When utilizing this formation, San Francisco featured six or seven offensive linemen with backups Leonard Davis and Daniel Kilgore often coming in to serve as extra blockers. In the game's only rushing touchdown, Gore went 23 yards over the right side in a formation that had Davis lined up at tight end and Kilgore at wing back.

The 49ers are no stranger to using alternative packages against the Lions defense, particularly against Suh. When facing the Lions last season, the 49ers used the "wham" blocking play in which tight end Delanie Walker had a running start before slamming into the defender. In that Week 6 victory, the 49ers had 203 rushing yards on the day.

If the 49ers want to continue their success pounding the ball in-between the tackles, the jumbo package could be the key. After success on the ground last year, dominating Detroit's defense early will be key for a 49ers Week 2 win.

Sources:

Genesis of 49ers' jumbo formations: Holy Spirit High School, Niners Insider Blog, SF Gate

49ers plan to muzzle Ndamukong Suh with 'jumbo' set, NFL.com

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Austin Chang is a lifelong football fan, San Francisco 49ers supporter, and a Featured Contributor for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.

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