49ers key matchup No. 1: Bowman vs. Spiller

October 7, 2012, 6:57 pm
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This is the final part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Bills matchups to watch Sunday, 1:25 p.m. (CBS-TV), at Candlestick Park.49ers ILB NaVorro Bowman vs. Bills RB C.J. SpillerTale of the tape
Bowman (53): 6-foot, 242 pounds, third season, Penn State
Spiller (28): 5-foot-11, 200 pounds, third season, ClemsonRunning back C.J. Spiller impressed Buffalo Bills coach Chan Gailey with his toughness a week ago.Spiller returned to action one week after sustaining a strained AC joint in his shoulder Sept. 23 against the Cleveland Browns. However, Spillman's fumble at the goal line was a pivotal play last week in the Bills' loss to the New England Patriots.Gailey said he did not know whether the shoulder injury was the reason for the fumble. The Bills believe a banged-up Spiller is better than no Spiller at all. And he felt a lot better in the week leading up to Sunday's game against the 49ers, Gailey said.This matchup features speed against speed."Everyone is going to try to spread us out and try to get their fast guys on our 'backers, so we just have to do a good job of executing the scheme," 49ers linebacker NaVorro Bowman said.Spiller is a legitimate big-play threat. The Bills run most of their plays from a spread formation, much like the 49ers' first two opponents, Green Bay and Detroit. But there's one major difference."The formations are similar," 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said. "These guys run maybe more of a complete offense out of it. They're running it a good bit, and throwing it a good bit. So, it's more of a balanced run-pass ratio with these guys.Spiller has shown an ability to make big plays as a runner or receiver. He has rushed for a eye-popping 8.3 yards a carry (341 yards and three touchdowns on 41 attempts). And he has nine receptions for 119 yards (13.2 average).Bowman, a speedy inside linebacker, will have a big test on Sunday vs. Spiller.
"Buffalo does a great job of showing us different looks," Bowman said, "but all in all, you know they're going to try to get the ball to their playmakers."

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