Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann
The scouting combine and free agency are right around the corner. Thank goodness, because 49er fans are ready for news other than a Chiefs Super Bowl victory. But there are still some things from 2019 that we discuss without crying into a gallon of ice cream and drowning our sorrows in red wine. Not that I have done that…..moving on.
In 2018 the 49ers offense had difficulties moving the ball up and down the field. When they finally made it to the red zone they usually settled for a field goal instead of a touchdown. However, that changed in 2019 when they were ranked second in points scoring with 479 points (29.9 points per game). Only the Ravens scored more points than the 49ers.
Leading the charge, once again, is the best tight end in the league, George Kittle. For the second straight season he had over 1,000 yards receiving and over 80 receptions. He only had five touchdowns but had three called back because of penalty. Which means they are coming; you cannot give a player the ball as much as George Kittle and not expect the touchdowns.
Also leading the way for the 49ers in 2019 was the entire running backs corps. They exceled, just not all at the same time. Matt Breida tore up the Browns’ defense. Tevin Coleman went ham against the Panthers. And Raheem Mostert’s 220 yards against the Packers in the NFC title game was 28 yards shy from breaking Eric Dickerson’s all-time rushing record in a single playoff game.
The point is, it doesn’t matter who is the backfield; head coach Kyle Shanahan is going to get production out of them. Over the regular and post season in 2019 they averaged over 150 yards per game. Only four times did they not rush for over 100 yards. Damn good, if you ask me.
Another player who contributed was Deebo Samuel, who runs like George Kittle when he has the ball. They practically dare people to hit them as they are running down the field and a lot of times makes the defenders pay for even trying.
Emmanuel Sanders was a nice boost to the offense. And he came up huge in both the Rams and the Saints games. Even though he didn’t always show up on the stat sheet, you saw a change in the offense and especially the wide receivers when he came to town.
And, Kendrick Bourne stepped up and turned into a reliable target on third down and in the end zone.
The quest for six fell short in 2019 but this offense should be intact for 2020. The NFL has been warned.
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