The San Francisco 49ers had an anemic performance last Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. They ran for only 105 yards, well below their average and their passing offense was even worse. If you take into account the six sacks that the Panthers accumulated, the 49ers had less than 50 yards passing, a number you would never associate with the 49ers or any other team in the National Football League.
On 95.7 The Game’s Bucher & Towny, General Manager Trent Baalke said there was a “possibility” that Michael Crabtree would play on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. I don’t know how truthful Baalke was in the interview but if he was, this would be a huge lift to the league’s worst passing attack.
Crabtree was Colin Kaepernick’s favorite receiver and go-to-guy last season. Crabtree led the team with 85 receptions, 1,105 yards receiving and 9 touchdowns, making him one of the elite receivers in the NFL. Kaepernick has been searching for that go-to-guy all season with only Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis contributing to the passing attack.
In the beginning of the season, it looked like Boldin would be his favorite receiver, after catching 13 passes for a whopping 208 yards in a week 1 win over the Green Bay Packers. Since week 1, Boldin has only accumulated 28 receptions and 366 yards receiving with only one touchdown. Boldin has been described as one of the slowest receivers in the NFL and because of the lack of receivers that the 49ers have, defenses have been able to shut him down.
As for Davis, he does not have as many yards as Boldin but he has caught seven of Kaepernick’s nine touchdown passes, a low number for a quarterback that was considered to be an elite quarterback at the beginning of the season. He has been Kaepernick’s red zone target but Davis has not been as reliable as Boldin, due to the two concussions he suffered earlier this season.
If Crabtree does play on Sunday, it would give Kaepernick another weapon and his go-to-guy back in the fold. Add Crabtree with Mario Manningham, Boldin and Davis, you have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL. Even if Crabtree does not contribute right away, defenses will have to respect and honor his skill, which will allow his fellow receivers to make more plays. Hopefully, this all starts on Sunday and the 49ers’ offense can flourish like it did last season.
What are your thoughts on the possibility of Michael Crabtree returning to the 49ers?
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