For the second time in the 2013 season, the 49ers have lost 2 straight and the offense has struggled. Many fans have begun calling for Greg Roman to be fired. For them, it is his fault that the passing offense has averaged only slightly over 150 yards per game over the last 8 games.

Those that don't blame Roman are blaming the front office for not being able to bring in offensive weapons, a problem they say has been magnified by the loss of Michael Crabtree to injury and Delanie Walker to free agency.

The one guy that most don't look to is Colin Kaepernick. After all, he burst onto the scene in the second half of last season and led the team to its first Super Bowl trip since 1994. He torched Green Bay during week one for 412 yards, and had 2 games with a QBR of over 90. It can't possibly be him. Or could it?

What many don't pay attention to is that when the 49ers have needed Kaepernick to make plays this season he hasn't done it. When the 49ers went on their 5 game win streak they did it mostly on the back of their run game, running the ball on 65% of their offensive snaps. By comparison, in the 4 losses this season the 49ers have tried to throw the ball on more than 60% of their snaps.

The problem is simple, Kaepernick is struggling to make throws when forced to play quarterback, and by that I mean actually read the defense and deliver the football to the open receiver. This is what has made the absence of Crabtree such a big factor. Last season, Kaepernick knew that Crabtree was going to get open most of the time, so he was able to drop back and wait for Crabtree to come open and throw it. He didn't have to play quarterback.

This showed up throughout the game on Sunday. On their first 3 possessions, the 49ers tried to throw the ball on 7 of 9 plays because the Saints had 9 and 10 men in the box. The result was three straight 3 and outs. The 49ers had only one long sustained drive, a 12 play drive at the end of the 3rd quarter and beginning of the 4th. This was the 49ers most balanced possession of the game with 5 runs and 7 passes and also Kaepernick's best, until they reached the red zone. That success was mostly due to the 49ers coaches taking the reads away from Kaepernick by giving him simple 1 read throws to Vernon Davis, Anquan Boldin and Bruce Miller early on.

Before you decide who you want to put the blame on, I suggest you take a minute to look at the plays below taken from the all 22 coaches view of the game.

http://ninerchatter.blogspot.com/2013/11/is-roman-to-blame.html

Jack Hammer is the writer for ninerchatter.blogspot.com