The niners are in a hole and it could be deeper in a couple of weeks. The passing game has been the main culprit, it's been totally ineffective over the past two weeks and the resulting loaded fronts are probably a big factor in the disappearing act from the run offense.
After Boldin the marginal trio of Quinton Patton, Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore just aren't good enough to win against man coverage. Without Vernon Davis the receivers look as punchless as any corps in the league and it will be a while before any help arrives. Manningham is due back sometime after week 6, depending on his recovery and Crabtree sometime in late december, which could be too late. A short week before a road trip to the Rams is followed by the Texans so a 1-4 start is not out of the question, which would make even a wildcard look like a long shot.
And the injuries are piling up. Any team would look bad if they were missing players of the quality of Willis, Davis and Crabtree along with major role players Ian Williams, Manningham and Culliver (we might also be without Asomugha for a couple of weeks but I'm not crying any tears about that one). Now it looks like Aldon Smith will be gone for up to a month as he tries to overcome his substance abuse issues. So the niners will be without seven of their 24 players that see major playing time, it's a huge handicap and as we're only three games in it's likely that more injuries will follow. Injury regression is a bitch.
I'm also getting concerned that Greg Roman might be bizarro-Martz. Mad Mike used to get so obsessed with his genius in the passing game that he just couldn't bring himself to run more modest plays. Roman refuses to run a simple iso lead or an inside zone when he can pull two linemen across the formation leading a counter option pitch toss. The passing game struggles too. We've played against a ton of man coverage in the past two weeks and we're still running the same isolation routes. When you watch the 49ers you see the man-beating route combinations every week because they play so much man-2 on defense but Roman doesn't seem to want to wander across the hall and ask Vic Fangio about them. It isn't that difficult: you run the flanker on a shallow cross to create a natural pick for the halfback as he releases on a swing pass; poco routes; out and ups; stop and go etc. So why are the niners convinced that all you need to do is run a corner to beat man coverage? It might work with Vernon Davis on a linebacker or if Crabtree is going to be able to leave his man for dead but the smurfs aren't beating anyone.
Long season coming up.