Why offense has to lead the way in 49ers’ playoff push initially appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers are having a tricky time following their defense-first recipe for achievement from final season.
That is to be anticipated, contemplating what number of elements are lacking in 2020. Veteran cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) hasn’t performed since Week 1. Defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas will miss the rest of the season after sustaining torn ACLs in Week 2. Edge rusher Dee Ford has a again harm and no timetable to return. Nickel cornerback Okay’Waun Williams and linebacker Kwon Alexander aren’t wholesome, both.
However like the perfect cooks on “Chopped,” the 49ers are going to should make due with what they’ve with the intention to make a playoff push. With the intention to overcome their 2-Three begin and get again within the hunt, NBC Sports activities analyst Chris Simms believes the offense should develop into the idea of the 49ers’ id.
“They’ve gotta be the driving pressure this yr,” Simms instructed NBC Sports activities Bay Space’s Grant Liffmann earlier this week. “They’re gonna should be those to show it round. We’re seeing guys again. They’re getting wholesome. It isn’t completely good but right here. We want Jimmy [Garoppolo] to be healthy and hitting on all cylinders, however [with tight end George] Kittle], the receivers, the operating backs … let’s have a look at if they’ll begin to apply the pressure onto opponents on a weekly foundation and perhaps change the sport by the offensive aspect of the ball as an alternative of vice versa, what we noticed all final yr with the protection type of controlling the sport.”
Any crew coached by Kyle Shanahan will at the least considerably depend on its offense, and the 49ers scored the second-most factors per sport in 2019 whereas their protection grabbed many of the headlines. The offense is not clicking to the identical diploma this yr.
The 49ers are averaging fewer yards per play in 2020 (5.7 in comparison with 6.0), scoring on a decrease proportion of drives (40.7 p.c vs. 44.3) and turning the ball over on the next proportion of drives (13.Zero p.c vs. 12.0). Excessive-scoring wins in opposition to the lowly New York Jets and New York Giants really feel like true outliers at this level, and the 49ers have scored a mean of simply 19 factors of their three losses this season.
Loads of caveats can contextualize that common, together with the 49ers’ spate of accidents on offense at varied factors by the primary 5 weeks of the season. However Shanahan now has near a full complement of offensive weapons at his disposal, whereas the identical cannot be stated of the protection. Due to that, Simms believes the 49ers may should rethink their total defensive strategy.
“I’m frightened in regards to the protection,” Simms stated. “No Dee Ford, no Nick Bosa. We’re beginning to notice the cross rush is not practically the identical, and that may should compromise Robert Saleh to should do issues he would not actually wish to do on [defense] to create strain and do these kind of issues.”
The 49ers enter a frightening stretch of their schedule Sunday once they host the Los Angeles Rams at Levi’s Stadium. None of their subsequent six opponents at the moment are beneath .500, and three video games — two in opposition to the Rams, one in opposition to the Seattle Seahawks — are throughout the NFC West.
If the 49ers are going to make it by that stretch (comparatively) unscathed, their components for achievement will look totally different than 2019’s, purely out of necessity.