Three things I’ll be looking for in 49ers at Colts:
Curtis Painter: He’s not a popular guy in Indianapolis, where people remember how much he struggled in the two regular-season losses at the end of the 2009 regular season. If he’s good, it’s gravy. If he’s not, fans just have to grin and endure it, knowing that the expectation is that Peyton Manning stays healthy and plays every snap the team deems relevant once the games count.
The run defense: Frank Gore is the kind of back and San Francisco has the kind of power attack that many think should give the Colts problems. Interior linemen Daniel Muir, Antonio Johnson and Fili Moala should all be better players than they were last season. Let’s see how they fare in their first action.
Brody Eldridge: Even if Dallas Clark starts after suffering an unknown left leg injury Friday -- which is highly doubtful -- we should see plenty of the rookie tight end. He was drafted more because of his blocking skills. So we will look for Eldridge’s role in run blocking. But he’s also shown himself to be a capable receiver, and should get some chances.