Vernon Davis had been non-existent in the last two games for the 49ers. He had just three catches in a blowout loss to the Seahawks and he did not play against the Colts, due to a hamstring injury. His ineffectiveness thwarted the 49ers offense in the passing game as well as the running game.
Davis has become a huge part of the 49ers passing game because he provides a big target for Colin Kaepernick. He is mismatch for any linebacker that guards him because of his speed and strength. Opponents usually have to put a safety on him, which allows his fellow receivers to make plays. Without Davis against the Colts, Kaepernick struggled to find receivers and had his worst game at home in his career due his lack of weapons.
Davis is a major part of the run game as well because he is such a good run blocker. Against the Colts, the 49ers abandoned the run in the second half, even though Frank Gore had a good first half. It was a questionable move by the 49ers, who have been known as a running and a good defensive team. They may have doubted their run blocking, especially without their best run blocker, Davis.
All of that changed on Thursday night where the 49ers absolutely dominated the Rams, rushing for over 200 yards on their way to a 35-11 win. Davis made huge holes for Gore, Kendall Hunter, and Anthony Dixon who combined for three touchdowns. His run blocking allowed Kaepernick to be relaxed in the pocket and not have to win the game. He also helped the passing game, scoring a touchdown to put the 49ers put 21-3 early in the second half.
He only had two catches in the game but just his presence on the field allowed other players to step up. Anquan Boldin had a bounce back game with five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. Gore had his best game of the season, running for over 150 yards and scoring a touchdown, looking like the Gore of old.
If Davis continues to stay healthy, the 49ers run game should return to its dominant form in 2012, which is great news for Kaepernick, who will not have to do it all for the 49ers. He should continue to be a presence in this offense and is a main key for the 49ers playoff push this season.
Do you think Davis is the key to the 49ers’ success?
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