Where Are the Turnovers?
November 12 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers started off the season creating turnovers at an exponential rate. In four of the five first games the 49ers forced a turnover on the opening possession. Fumbles, interceptions, big plays came from everywhere, helping the 49ers offense, which at the time was struggling. In recent games, the team has not been able to generate the same amount of turnovers, nor have they capitalized on the few they have made, itís lead to much tighter margins of victory.
One of the reasons the amount of turnovers have decreased are the injuries to Zack Bronson and Jamie Winborn. Bronson and fellow safety Tony Parrish had established a great chemistry allowing them to create big plays all over the field. While backup safety Ronnie Heard had three interceptions in one game, he and Parrish have not established the same type of chemistry and thus the turnovers have dropped off.
Winborn had been working well with the teamís linebacking core, and was doing a good job of disrupting the run and pass game, forcing fumbles and some bad throws. Jeff Ulbrich has been solid in Winbornís absence but he doesnít posses that play making skill that Winborn does. The 49ers hope to get Winborn back this week.
The 49ers need to get back to creating turnovers. Their defense hasnít been on the field a whole lot over the past two games, and if they can create turnovers like they did at the beginning of the season, the team could begin to dismantle offenses rather than just stopping them. Getting Winborn back in the defense should be the first step.