As the season wraps up, we've still got some Sprint Game Ball posts to do. Given how poorly the 49ers have performed at times, I've decided to use these last couple posts to look at the team's performance over the whole season. There's one game left, but we've got enough games in hand to take a look at season long performances. For this first one I wanted to look at the top performers on the 49ers offense this year.
While 2010 was a brutal season for the 49ers, there were some notable performances on offense. While we could make arguments for several players, I would suggest that Frank Gore, Vernon Davis, and Davis Baas are three of the top candidates at this point. Mike Iupati's development as a run-blocking guard his first season is noteworthy, but I'm thinking one of the first three is most worthy.
Although Frank Gore's season was ended too soon with a hip injury, he's going to finish the year with most total yards from scrimmage on the team outside of Alex Smith. Additionally, he's fourth among all running backs this season in average total yards from scrimmage per game. Some of that has to do with all the checkdowns to him, but it still shows his value to the offense. Additionally, the 49ers handed out their team awards yesterday and Gore was named the team MVP (Bill Walsh award).
Vernon Davis has seen a decrease in his numbers this season after his career-year in 2009. However, given the turmoil on offense his numbers are quite impressive. A strong performance against Arizona could even vault him to a career best in receiving yards. While he's listed as the first Pro Bowl alternate, most people agree he had better numbers than Tony Gonzalez. Throw in his strong blocking and he continues to be one of the best all around weapons on the 49ers and Mike Singletary's one significant success story in 2 1/2 seasons.
David Baas deserves consideration for this "honor" as well given the context of his role with the team. He came into the season looking at a battle for playing time at guard, and before long he found himself as the starting center. It's now reached the point where folks are discussing the idea of just sticking with him over Eric Heitmann going forward. It's hard to measure the center's performance so we can only go so far with this. However, his work has appeared solid thus far. He's a free agent after this season and it's safe to say his value is at the highest of his career. Although he doesn't have the flashy stats of a skill position player, he's had a strong season. We'll have plenty more on Baas as we move into the offseason.
Given all that, who gets your offensive game ball of the year? There's no real specifications for what this award means exactly. You can vote based on who you think is MVP, who did the best relative to their situation, or really whatever you want.