Concern On Offense?
September 15 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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Itís hard to believe that the 49ers, a team known for having one of the most explosive offenses in the league, a team that has an offensive minded coach, a team that has thrown for over 60 touchdowns in the past two years, a team that has had three consecutive Pro Bowl quarterback, spent the last week worrying about their offense. But after narrowly escaping victory in New York last Thursday, the 49ers realized they need to put points on the board -early and often.
As much as we all hate to admit, what happened in the past, stays in the past, and so the records of Joe Montana, Steve Young and even of Jeff Garcia, the 49ers current starting quarterback, mean nothing this season. What matters this season is the week to week performance, and the ability to win games. That is how the 49ers will be judged by opponents and the NFL. That they were the first team to win five Super Bowl championships really has no affect on how they will play today.
It is however somewhat surprising, that a team, so loaded with offensive threats, between Pro Bowl players at running back, quarterback and of course receiver, can struggle on offense as much as they did against the Giants. While the defense, which is comprised of mainly players with three years of experience or less, can thrive.
While the 49ers will want their defense to continue playing at the high level it has been - and even improve on that, there concern has to be on the other side of the ball. The 49ers failed to put points on the board eighty percent of the time they were in the redzone in their season opener. The teamís third down conversion percentage was dismal too. And those are the two areas the 49ers will focus on to beat the Broncos today.
To improve, look for the 49ers to try and establish the ground game early. They will try and use all of their offensive threats, instead of narrowing in specifically on Terrell Owens. The result, may be an offense that looks a little bit more like last yearís version - and despite what some may say about conservatism, as long as the 49ers avoid being predictable, looking like last season really isnít that bad. After all, the team did win 12 games.