49ers Need To Start Quicker
June 18 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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The 49ers are coming off a successful season, but that doesnít mean thereís no room for improvement. Last season the 49ers caught other teams by surprise, keeping games close and striking when it counted. This season, the team wonít have that luxury. They will have to strike hard, and fast to be a winning ball club this season.
Over seventeen games last season, the 49ers only recorded fifty-two points in the first quarters. All save you the effort on the math; it works out to be about 3.06 points in the first quarter of each game. In other words, despite all the offensive fire power that the team is legendary for and about 5000 total offensive yards, the team was downright awful in the first quarter.
A year more experience for the offense working together will surely help. So will the emergence of guys like Eric Johnson, Kevan Barlow and maybe even a scoring threat opposite Owens should help. The 49ers coaches, mainly Gregg Knapp and Steve Mariucci will have to game plan to score early though.
In the NFL itís much easier to protect a lead than it is to come from behind, and while controlling the ball with the run proved effective last season, the 49ers will have to bring a more potent attack this season. If the team can put teams away early in the game, it will allow the starting squad to stay fresh, and thus help out tremendously as the season wears on.