Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Sprains, Strains and A Weekend of Rain: Why the 49ers offense may struggle Sunday night

Marc Adams
Oct 22, 2021 at 1:42 PM--


It could get ugly. Not just the weather, although it is expected to be ugly this weekend in the Bay Area, but also the San Francisco 49ers offense.

The 49ers have lost three games in a row, and seem to be struggling to "find themselves." The team's offense lacks identity right now. And this Sunday, on a soggy Levi's Stadium field, they likely will continue to struggle. But the 49ers won't just be battling the Indianapolis Colts. They will also be fighting sprains, strains and a whole lot of rain.

First the weather. Lawrence Karnow, Chief Meteorologist of KRON-TV, was a guest on The Papa and Lund Show on KNBR Radio today to talk about Sunday's weather. He is predicting a big storm for the weekend.


Weather doesn't usually offer one team an advantage over the other, as both teams have to play in it the same. It is often an advantage for the defense because it can disrupt timing on the offensive side of the ball, make the ball harder to catch and hold on to, and can increase the likelihood that there are turnovers. But in this game, it could be an advantage for the Colts.

It's one thing for a struggling offense to try to get back on track during a nationally-televised game, but the weather won't make it any easier. The Colts are not great against the run, but have been solid against outside-zone concepts like those that the 49ers run. How well can the 49ers run their power and zone concepts on a wet, and possibly slick, field? They haven't been doing so well lately on a dry field. I wouldn't expect much of a running game for the 49ers this week.

The Colts have also not been that effective in getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. So it would seem to be a good bounce-back opportunity for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers passing game. But this is where the weather plays a factor. Wet fields can be the great equalizer. Players who rely on speed can find it more difficult to find their footing. And making quick cuts and breaks can be more challenging. Wide receivers have a harder time gaining separation.

And when there is rain, or wet fields, the football is hard to keep dry. For quarterbacks, that can make it more difficult to grip the ball, and hold on to the ball. And if it happens to be windy, someone like Garoppolo, who doesn't have the strongest arm, can find it more difficult to make certain throws. So it doesn't seem like this is the game the passing game gets going either.

But the 49ers aren't just fighting the weather. They're also fighting injuries.

Garoppolo is dealing with a strained right calf. Although coach Kyle Shanahan expects him to be fully healthy for the game, a recent calf injury, and playing on a wet field, will likely make Garoppolo even less mobile than he normally is.

Nate Sudfeld will be the backup quarterback, because rookie Trey Lance is sidelined with a left knee sprain. So Lance will not even be in uniform. Not that a rookie making his second start, on national television, on a wet field would be any better for the 49ers.

But even more concerning is the Trent Williams injuries. Williams, widely considered the best left tackle in the NFL, is dealing with an elbow injury and an ankle sprain. He did not practice on Friday, and will probably miss Sunday's game. Shanahan said Williams is considered doubtful to play. If he is unavailable, rookie Jaylon Moore would make the start...on national television...on a wet field. I direct your attention back to the Garoppolo injury.


So whether it is the sprains, the strains, or the rain, I don't expect the 49ers offense to have much success Sunday night. I hope I'm wrong and they get back on track, but it will be a challenge, battling the injuries, the weather, and a Colts defense that features a motivated DeForest Buckner.

Let's hope the 49ers defense can score.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.





More San Francisco 49ers News



49ers-Seahawks Week 13 matchup flexed out of Sunday Night Football

By David Bonilla
Nov 23

This news shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The NFL announced that it has flexed the Week 13 matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks at Lumen Field out of "Sunday Night Football." While the 49ers are getting hot and are 5-5, the Seahawks are an abysmal 3-7. So the game doesn't have as much appeal as the NFL once believed it might. More schedule changes: The NFL flexed #Chiefs-#Broncos to Sunday night in Week 13,



49ers showed their identity on offense against Rams, and it looked a lot like 2019

By Kirk Larrabee
Nov 15

After an inconsistent start to the season, the 49ers finally found a groove on offense Monday night against the Los Angeles Rams, and it looked pleasantly familiar. The 49ers ran the ball 44 times in their 31-10 win over the Rams for 156 yards and one touchdown. They converted eight of 14 third downs and were able to chew up over 39 minutes of possession time while committing zero turnovers throughout the game. In a nutshell, what the 49ers were able to do Monday night seemed a lot like the level of play they showed when they were at the top of their game in 2019. "Honestly it felt pretty similar to the Super Bowl year," quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo told reporters after the game. "It felt like we ran the ball 30 times every time that year. When we can



Jimmy Garoppolo's "fun night": Fast start, complementary football led to 49ers' rout of Rams

By David Bonilla
Nov 15

No one was really expecting this. Yes, the San Francisco 49ers entered the game having won four straight against the Los Angeles Rams, but they were 3-5 this season and had lost five of their last six games. The Rams had just added Odell Beckham Jr. and Von Miller. It didn't look like the 49ers had a chance against Sean McVay's Super Bowl-hopeful squad that upgraded its starting quarterback this offseason, swapping Jared Goff (plus some draft capital) for Matthew Stafford. As most expected, the game was a good old-fashioned beatdown. Except, Kyle Shanahan and the 49ers delivered the blows to the tune of a 31-10 victory. It was the Niners' first home victory in 393



49ers-Jaguars: Deebo Samuel credits this player for his leap as a receiver, expects to play Sunday

By David Bonilla
Nov 18

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is dealing with a shin contusion and has been limited during practice this week. That probably won't keep him out of Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, though. "I'll be ready for Sunday," Samuel said after practice. "We're just taking our time. Just had a shin contusion, so just taking it slow, but we'll be ready." That's good news for the Niners. Samuel is the team's leading receiver, and his 979 receiving yards rank second among all NFL receivers this season. After struggling through injuries last season, the wideout has made a significant leap in his third year. Many, including Samuel, credit one player's influence for that leap as an offensive weapon. Samuel doesn't typically give long


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone