Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Steve Young: Healthy Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers need to find a way to manufacture 5 TDs a game

Oct 15, 2020 at 7:54 AM--

Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young has an idea to help the San Francisco 49ers turn things around during this upcoming brutal stretch of games.

Score. A lot.

The defense — the pass rush specifically — helped carry the 49ers last season during their championship run. Robert Saleh's unit probably isn't going to be able to do so again this season. Injuries have ravaged the defense, and it is in shambles. That was evident during this past weekend's dismantling by the Miami Dolphins.

Now, it is up to the offense to try to carry the 49ers. To do that, head coach Kyle Shanahan, who calls the plays, will have to rely on a (hopefully) healthier Jimmy Garoppolo to manufacture more trips to the end zone and improve upon the 18th-ranked scoring offense.

The defense showed on Sunday that it probably won't be able to do what it did last season. The pieces just aren't there anymore.

"If we're going to do this, if we're going to go back to the Super Bowl," Young said on KNBR's Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks show, "it's going to be because the offense and Jimmy are going to be able to match up with everyone in our division, and all the big teams that are coming in the next seven, eight weeks, that we're going to be able to score five touchdowns, minimum.

"Five touchdowns, and that's how we're going to do it. And we're going to stay in ball games, and the defense will get better and better as we get kind of used to doing it a little bit differently. And that's how we're going to do it."

San Francisco faces the Los Angeles Rams at home this weekend. The 49ers, by the way, remain winless at home. After that, they will travel to play the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, return to Levi's Stadium to host the Green Bay Packers, and then travel to face the New Orleans Saints. Those teams own a combined record of 11-5.

Things don't get much easier after the bye. The 49ers will play the Rams again and then the Buffalo Bills in the weeks that follow.

That's a brutal stretch.

"But if we're not going to score five touchdowns," Young continued, "and we're not going to score four or three, then we've got a problem because the rest of the games are teams where you're going to need to be in the 30s, generally.

"Where do we go from here? Jimmy needs to get healthy, and he needs to get this team running the ball and shortening games, so it's nine possessions, or not worrying about that and being able to throw his way to five, six touchdowns."

Young understands that the 49ers won't necessarily have to score at least in the mid-30s every game. There could be a 17-14 matchup here and there. But the team needs to enter this stretch assuming it needs to score a significant number of points in each game to beat opponents.

You can listen to the entire conversation with Young below.

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