SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Even without rugged fullback Bruce Miller, the San Francisco 49ers feel good about their rushing attack as they head toward the playoffs for the third consecutive season.
One final tough test comes first.
The 49ers take the NFL's third-ranked rushing offense to Arizona on Sunday to face the league's top-ranked rushing defense. They'll do it without regular starter Miller, a key player in San Francisco's run scheme who will miss the rest of the season because of a shoulder injury.
But Anthony Dixon and newcomer Will Tukuafu played well in Miller's place Monday night as the 49ers rolled to 199 yards on the ground in 34-24 victory over Atlanta that clinched a playoff berth.
And with All-Pro left guard Mike Iupati back in the lineup after a four-game absence, San Francisco's running game appears to be peaking at the right time for a team ranked 31st in the NFL in passing offense.