While Kyle Williams is getting much of the blame for the 49ers loss yesterday, one of the more notable story lines coming out of yesterday's game was that the 49ers wide receivers had a grand total of one reception for three yards. Michael Crabtree hauled in a short third down pass that came up just short of needed first down yardage and that was it for the day. Kyle Williams had a reception earlier that was negated by a defense illegal contact penalty.
The 49ers biggest game-breaker this season has been Vernon Davis, and that was the case once again on Sunday as he had two big touchdown receptions to keep the 49ers in this game until the end. Unfortunately, the wide receivers were almost non-existent in the receiving side of things.
As I was watching the game, it seemed like a variety of issues were in play. Without the all-22 film that actually allows us to view the entire field of play (thanks for nothing NFL), we can only say so much about the play of the 49ers receivers. At times it seemed like they struggled to get off the line, at times they seemed to struggle to get needed separation. Frank Gore had a strong game receiving the ball and the 49ers may have game-planned accordingly, but I can't believe there was any plan that saw the wide receivers see so few passes their way during the game.
On the other side of things, there were several instances of Alex Smith throwing the ball into the ground in front of his receivers or past their outstretched hands. I don't think either Smith or the receivers deserve all the blame because both Alex Smith and the receivers struggled in Sunday's game.
As we look ahead to the offseason, the 49ers have plenty of free agents to deal with, including wide receivers Joshua Morgan and Ted Ginn Jr. I do think bringing back a healthy Morgan would be a significant step in the right direction for this team. Before his injury he seemed to be taking a solid step forward. One question then is whether adding a big name in free agency or with the team's first round pick would be enough to get this offense to take a step forward.
I still am of the belief that a full offseason alone would be huge for this offense, but there does still seem to be some sort of disconnect that might need more than just time to improve. After six months of Harbaugh-Roman football, I am not really quite sure what to think about all this. I don't think any one person or unit should be completely dumped on, but there is some significant discussion that does need to take place for this offense to take some kind of "next step."
We'll have plenty of posts this offseason about potential wide receivers and any adjustments on offense, but for now, I wanted to open the floor for some general discussion. After a season of dominance on defense, it is a fair question to wonder what the offense will do to at least find some manner of consistency.