Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


Why play-calling shouldn’t be blamed for 49ers’ offensive woes

Rohan Chakravarthi
Nov 18, 2022 at 12:15 PM--



The 49ers don't have a playcalling issue. They have an execution issue.

Week after week, I've evaluated the 49ers' offensive film to understand where the problems stem from, and it's the same answer every week: execution.

In Week 10, the 49ers scored just 22 points, as they converted only two of their five red zone drives into touchdowns, while leaving other points on the board elsewhere.



First Red Zone drive


On 1st & Goal at the LAC 9, Jimmy Garoppolo threw an incompletion out of the endzone to a well-covered Deebo Samuel.

This play was poorly called, as there were only two developing routes, with George Kittle going to help Mike McGlinchey block, while Kyle Juszczyk gets lost in the traffic.

Brandon Aiyuk is well-guarded along the sideline, while a safety helps to cover Deebo Samuel, leaving him in tight double coverage.

On 2nd & Goal, Deebo Samuel takes the carry, but doesn't follow Trent Williams, his lead blocker, instead cutting to the left and getting to the two-yard line. Had Samuel followed Williams, he likely runs into the endzone for a touchdown. That's the first execution error.

On 3rd & Goal, the offensive line can't gain any push at the line of scrimmage, and Christian McCaffrey is swallowed up at the line of scrimmage, forcing a field goal opportunity instead of a go-for-it on 4th & Short.

Second Red Zone drive


The 49ers get to 1st & Goal at the LAC 5-yard line, where Christian McCaffrey pushes forward for a three-yard gain.

Then, on 2nd & Goal from the LAC 2, McCaffrey gets the carry again, inching forward for another yard to set up an opportunity at the 1-yard line.

Jimmy Garoppolo seals the deal with a quarterback sneak on 3rd & Goal, securing the 49ers their first touchdown of the game.

Third Red Zone drive


The 49ers get to 1st & Goal from the LAC 7-yard line to begin this series of plays.

On 1st & Goal, Jake Brendel and Kyle Juszczyk whiff on their respective blocks, allowing Chargers defenders to swallow up Elijah Mitchell for no gain.

On 2nd & Goal, Jimmy Garoppolo incorrectly reads the RPO, throwing the ball to Elijah Mitchell, despite the edge rusher aiming for the passing situation. If Garoppolo hands the ball off to Deebo Samuel, it's likely a touchdown. Instead, San Francisco loses a yard on the play.

On 3rd & Goal, Brandon Aiyuk drops a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo after running a good route, as the ball hits off his hands and falls incomplete. Either this play or the previous play could've resulted in 49ers' touchdowns, but instead force the team to settle for a field goal.

Fourth Red Zone drive


On 3rd & 10 from the LAC 26, Jimmy Garoppolo delivered to Brandon Aiyuk, who gets ten yards after the catch to end at the LAC 2-yard line.

Christian McCaffrey quickly finished the drive with a 2-yard touchdown run on 1st & Goal from the 2-yard line, which gave San Francisco a 19-16 lead at the time.

Fifth Red Zone drive


San Francisco's fifth red zone drive had a chance to put away the game for good as they started on the 8-yard line after the Chargers turned the ball over on downs.

Up 19-16 at the time, a touchdown would've made the game a two-score bout with a minute remaining, sealing the game for the 49ers, but they were unable to execute.

Elijah Mitchell had a strong first down carry, gaining six and setting up a 2nd & Goal situation at the LAC 2-yard line.

On 2nd & Goal, Spencer Burford was unable to get to the second level on his linebacker Kyle Van Noy in time, who sprung into the hole and made the tackle on Elijah Mitchell a yard short of the goal line.

On 3rd & Goal, the 49ers faced two execution errors that killed the opportunity to score a touchdown. First, Mike McGlinchey whiffed on his block on the right side. Second, Elijah Mitchell slipped and took an extra step on the outside before cutting inside. Had Mitchell not taken that extra step, he would've been able to cut and reach the endzone, even with McGlinchey's error.

Regardless, the play failed as a result of the execution errors and the 49ers kicked a field goal at the 1-yard line. Ultimately, the game ended one play later when Justin Herbert's pass was altered by Charles Omenihu and ended in the hands of Talanoa Hufanga, sealing the deal for San Francisco.
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.
Nobody's perfect. Did you find a mistake in this article?
Report it.



0 Comments

  • No Comments

LISTEN

Facebook Comments



More San Francisco 49ers News



Steve Young believes Kyle Shanahan's conservative play-calling is due to 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo

By David Bonilla
Nov 17

Is Kyle Shanahan's play-calling too conservative? Many watching Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers might say it is. The San Francisco 49ers offense scores an average of 22 points per game, ranking 18th in the NFL. Coincidentally, that's exactly how many points they scored in the win over the Chargers. Most would think the 49ers should score more on offense rather than stalling and settling for field goals. There is too much talent on the roster with playmakers like Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, Jauan Jennings, and recently-added running back Christian McCaffrey. On Monday, Shanahan was asked if he felt his offense wasn't clicking and if anything could be done to increase production in the second half of the season.



Mailbag: Who is the 49ers' best offensive weapon? Has Brian Griese helped Jimmy Garoppolo?

By Marc Adams
Nov 23

It's Thanksgiving week, and San Francisco 49ers fans are giving thanks for the team's current winning streak, now at three games, as well as being victorious in five out of the last seven games. The defense is dominating, as usual. And the offense is starting to look dangerous, too. Between the Monday night game and the holiday, it's a short week, and a brief mailbag. But we still took time to open it up and hear from 49ers' fans. Let's get to it. Who would you say is the 49ers' best offensive weapon at the moment? - Paul H. I would say Christian McCaffrey is the best offensive weapon the 49ers have. But I also think each week, the best offensive player could be someone different. The week before the bye, against the Rams, it was



Baldy: Why 49ers should want to face Cardinals' Kyler Murray, not Colt McCoy

By David Bonilla
Nov 19

Colt McCoy completed 26 of his 37 pass attempts for 238 yards and a touchdown in the Arizona Cardinals' 27-17 win over the Los Angeles Rams last weekend. McCoy has been limited in practices this week as he works through a knee injury suffered in that game. The Cardinals' regular starting quarterback, Kyler Murray, is dealing with a hamstring injury that kept him out against the Rams. One of the two quarterbacks is expected to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Monday night in Mexico City. We just don't know which one yet. "They're still going to run a similar offense with both, so, schematically, you've got to be ready," head coach Kyle



49ers Notebook: Why not practice in Mexico City? Is Kyle Shanahan still tough on WRs? Adjusting to the altitude

By David Bonilla
Nov 19

On Saturday, the San Francisco 49ers finished up their last of three practices this week. They'll depart Colorado Springs, where they have spent the week to get acclimated to the altitude, for Mexico City on Sunday afternoon. The 49ers and Arizona Cardinals play on Monday night at Estadio Azteca, where the elevation is about 7,200 feet above sea level. The team had to practice indoors on artificial turf the last two days due to some snowfall this week. "It's not ideal, but it's not the end of the world," head coach Kyle Shanahan said after Saturday's practice. "We made it through it, and I'm happy we did it now. ... Everyone would rather be on nice, soft grass, but most of the places I've been at this time of year, there isn't soft grass. We're fortunate to have


Featured

Trending News

Share 49ersWebzone