We did really well in free agency because of the lockout. We were able to sign players who wanted to improve their image/skill perception (Braylon Edwards) and get quality players with minimal risk.
We also have done better than some other teams preparing for the season because we knew we were going to have a rougher time than most. A lot of teams who didn’t do well last year came out strong in the first 5 games. I think they benefited at least a little from this effect.
I also think the 49ers had the advantage that most teams didn’t see us as an offensive threat. They also probably thought they could just throw a couple deep balls and that would be enough to outscore us. We have been doing pretty well against the deep passing game, that’s probably the biggest factor of our success compared to last season.
I think Harbaugh being a new coach and the short off season has given us the advantages of under-estimation and lack of previous knowledge of our schemes to game-plan against. Harbaugh has managed to keep them guessing so far.
These advantages will eventually wear off, and I think they are mostly gone. Teams know we can beat them and have stopped relying on the deep ball against us. Eventually some will find ways to seriously challenge us and our offense is going to need to put up quick points once in a while. Harbaugh will have to keep reinventing his playbook as he unleashes his surprises to the opposing coaches and their game film archives.
In short the coaching and our defense have gotten us to this 6-1 record we are enjoying right now. Frank Gore can’t do it all on offense. We are going to seriously need the rest of the offense to step it up about 11 notches sooner or later. I am talking about a situation where the players need to take over the game, as a team. The coaches are already there, but the players are still on the train awaiting arrival.
I think they will get there sooner or later, hopefully sooner. I also think that when they do arrive we will all be impressed a lot more than we have been even up to now.