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Is Michael Crabtree Due for a Breakout Game?

Looking at the San Francisco 49er roster on offense, only only a few names catch my immediate attention: Frank Gore, Vernon Davis... One name that the entire NFL has been waiting to see in highlight reels since his college days at Texas Tech is Michael Crabtree. His career thus far as been marred by a rookie holdout, ill fitting shoes and injuries.

Yet there is no getting around Crabtree's talent, no matter how well its been hidden to date. This is a wide receiver that WILL break out of his slumber one day very soon, and his "perfect storm" may very well be provided by the St. Louis Rams this Sunday. With Craig Dahl filling in for the injured Darian Stewart, and the "Justin King Factor" constantly present, I can see Crabtree having a very big day against the Rams defense.

Many may believe the 49ers will attack the abysmal Rams run defense for the greater part of the day? This could be true, with Frank Gore and promising rookie Kendall Hunter out of Oklahoma State University in the 49ers backfield. Yet I can't help but think the 49ers will be looking down the road toward the post season, and the health of the aforementioned running backs has to weigh heavily on head coach Jim Harbaughs's mind. Do you leave them in the game to suffer injury against a team filled with players trying to make a case for employment next year? A case can be made for the 49ers to be taking this opportunity to "Madden" their receiver core in a variety of situations they may see further down the road. Crabtree's numbers this season tell me he's in need of some serious confidence building. He has 509 receiving yards on 44 receptions and one TD so far this season; far below where many thought he'd be.

Will this Sunday be Crabtree's time to shine?