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What is wrong with the 49ers offense?

What is wrong with the 49ers offense?

Coming into the 2013 season, the San Francisco 49ers were touted as one of the most diverse offenses in the NFL.  They had a dynamic quarterback in Colin Kaepernick, who was one play away from leading the Niners to their sixth Super Bowl victory and looking to become an elite quarterback in this league.  They had a running back that looked to be getting stronger with age and their franchise leader in rushing in Frank Gore.  They had great receivers and an All-Pro tight end in Michael Crabtree, Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis.  It seemed like the sky was the limit for this offense but that has not been the case.


In the off-season, Kaepernick lost his favorite target, Michael Crabtree to a torn Achilles but all the pundits were still vowing that the 49ers would be a contender for the Super Bowl.  The season started off well with a huge win over the Packers with newcomer, Anquan Boldin, having a stellar debut.  The Niners lost their next two games to the Seahawks and Colts.  Then they won five games in a row against inferior competition but the last two, they have lost to NFC South powerhouses, the Panthers and Saints.  The 49ers are now 6-4 tied for the last wildcard spot in the NFC and are in danger of missing the playoffs this season.


This was supposed to be a Super Bowl bound team, not a team fighting just to get in the playoffs.  The passing offense has been anemic all season with the exception of week 1 and Kaepernick and the play calling are the culprits why this team is struggling.  Kaepernick has clearly lost confidence by the way he has been playing the last couple weeks.  Two weeks ago, he threw for just 91 yards and was sacked 6 times.  On Sunday against the Saints, he was not much better, throwing for 127 yards, two touchdown passes and was sacked three more times in a crucial loss to the Saints, 23-20.


The play calling has not helped Kaepernick either.  Coach Jim Harbaugh and Greg Roman have not had the same imagination they did last year to make Kaepernick so successful.  You never see designed runs for Kaepernick or passes down the field.  I have hard time believing that Kaepernick’s receivers never get open and that is the reason why the passing attack has been so poor.  It should be dynamic no matter who is on the field because of the threat of Frank Gore.


When Gore runs the ball more than 17 times or more, the 49ers are 6-0 and when runs less, they are 0-4.  You do not have to be a rocket scientist to see that recipe for success is for Gore to run the ball as much as possible.  When Gore controls the tempo, the 49ers win and the passing game opens up.  Look for the 49ers to get back on the winning track by running Gore against the Washington Redskins which will hopefully open up the passing game and provides Kaepernick with the confidence he needs to become successful.


Follow me on Twitter: Michael Shultz @shultzreport


About Michael Shultz

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Michael Shultz is a writer for baysportsreport.com and is a huge A's, 49ers and Warriors fan. He is currently a 49ers contributor and looking to become a sports writer in the future. You can follow him on Twitter @shultzreport and comments are appreciated.


  1. It’s all Kaeper-not.

    • It’s not all on Kaep., I believe if you allow Kaep to play more read-option, use his feet to open up down field plays due to the lack of pocket protection. He will regain his confidence.
      As for the wide receiver situation, implement LaMichael James as RB/WR along w/Anquan Baldin, Mario Manningham, slowly submerging a dose of Michael Crabtree. You must run Frank Gore 17-20 touches. He will establish the run game. believe that! this remedy will in fact get the 49ers rolling on all cylinders.

  2. Kaepernick is not at all at fault here. Kaps only fault that he doesn’t improvise when needed this year. I’m wondering if Eric Mangini and Greg Roman are not jiving on the same page and things are getting 2nd guessed on offense. Defense is lights out. Vic Fangios play calling on D is on the money. Maybe Greg Roman don’t need a specialist 2nd guessing him or challenging calls when not needed!
    Crabtree was Kaps go to guy last year. Maningham is still a work in progress so Kap doesn’t really have a deep threat. Vernon is questionable with his concussions.
    Hopefully they put it all together against the REDSKINS!

  3. this is a major lack of offensive coordination…running against a loaded box….this is a recipe for disaster!!! singeltary tried this remember the result …NO running back can be successful against a stacked box!!!

    • Greg Roman and Kaepernick can destroy a stacked box simply employing designed roll-outs, moving pockets, more read-option, giving Kaep/WR’s better opportunity to get open, or just RUN. This would keep the defense at bay. Utilizing Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter, and LaMichael James in these designed options would make any defense mind the 49ers

  4. As a 49er Fan, I know what Greg Roman brings to the table. His offensive play calling is brilliant. Eric Mangini is another situation, for our west coast offense, I can’t say the same. If they are 2nd guessing each call, this could very well be the problem. Need to be investigated.
    It is time to implement Tank Carradine into the defense. Aldon Smith needs to stay in the game full time.

  5. vacairri patterson

    I think teams are not letting kap run the read option like he did last year teams had time to do home work on him.

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