It’s easy to point out what someone is doing wrong when you’re not the one that has to do it. I think we can all agree that Jimmy Raye’s offense has been kind of bi-polar and by that I mean that they’ve been either all run or all pass. Save for a few big runs snapped off by Gore, the O went all throwey when Alex came in and showed his ability to sling it.
Last night was the best mix of run and throw I’d seen out of the offense in 6 years. Throwing out of the shotgun was working for Smith as we’ve seen it do over the past 6 weeks and running out of two-back sets was working for Gore. I didn’t get a chance to re-watch the game and key in on what Arizona was doing defensively on a play-by-play basis, but I know that the Niners were definitely controlling the tempo and forcing their will on them. It was very encouraging to see and I have to think that you can attribute a lot of it to improved o-line play.
With an o-line that can just perform their jobs adequately, so much more productivity can come from your position players. I’m curious to see what will be done about that situation in the offseason, especially if the unit continues to improve over the last three games. I’m nearly certain one of the two first rounders next year will go to the line, either in the form of a pick or some kind of trade for a vet. Either way, it should be good news.