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49ers offensive snap count: Blake Bell over Vance McDonald, Shaun Draughn injury

The San Francisco 49ers continue shuffling players around due to injuries and poor play. We break down what this meant for the offensive snap count vs. the Cincinnati Bengals.

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The San Francisco 49ers lost another one on Sunday, dropping a 24-14 decision to the Cincinnati Bengals. The 49ers defense put together a solid performance, while the offense was awful for most of the game. The offense put something together in the second half, but a 24-0 deficit was too much to overcome. The snap count does not reveal everything, but we can make some pretty specific inferences based on it. We'll start with the offensive side of the ball (Gamebook PDF).


Pos Player Plays % Stats
QB Blaine Gabbert
100% 30-of-50 (60.0%) for 295 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT, 4 sacks, 2 carries for 10 yards

As most people are aware, the interceptions are not all on the Gabbert. The third one was on him for not getting the ball out to Jerome Simpson a little bit quicker. However, the first two were on Vance McDonald's stone hands. The biggest problem was the constant short dump-offs. As you can see below, the running backs were quite active. The number of passes short of the sticks on third down was comical. Geep Chryst likely deserves some blame on that, but I am curious how much falls on Gabbert for deciding to throw short, pass protection for forcing quicker throws, and wide receivers for not getting open downfield.

Running Back

Pos Player Plays % Stats
RB Travaris Cadet 30 39% 2 carries, 4 yards, 2.0 avg. 4 catches, 32 yards (6 targets)
RB Kendall Gaskins 29 38% 2 carries, 0 yards, 0.0 avg. 6 catches, 52 yards (7 targets)
RB Shaun Draughn
16 21% 9 carries, 38 yards, 4.2 avg, 1 catch, 4 yards (2 targets)
FB Bruce Miller
10 13% 1 carry, 3 yards (first down conversion)

Shaun Draughn injured his knee, and so we got to see the 49ers roll a whole lot of something at running back. His status is unclear for Week 16, but if he cannot go, one does have to wonder if the team promotes Jarryd Hayne back to the active roster.

Wide Receiver

Pos Player Plays % Stats
WR Anquan Boldin 70 92% 8 catches, 74 yards, 1 TD (10 targets)
WR Torrey Smith 56 74% 2 catches, 33 yards (5 targets)
WR Quinton Patton 37 49% 3 catch, 37 yards (5 targets)
WR Jerome Simpson 18 24% 0 catches, 0 yards (1 target)
WR Bruce Ellington 17 22% 0 catches, 0 yards (1 target)

Torrey Smith was questionable heading into Week 15, coming off a game in which his work was a bit limited. He was back in the mix, but Anquan Boldin was Blaine Gabbert's primary target. Gabbert focused on his running backs and tight ends, and the 49ers did not take a ton of deep shots. The 49ers wide receivers get their work in, and sometimes they can do some big things with Gabbert. But the inconsistency leaves us mostly disappointed by the end of the game.

Tight End

Pos Player Plays % Stats
TE Blake Bell 56 74% 4 catches, 43 yards (8 targets)
TE Vance McDonald 39 51% 1 catch, 10 yards (4 targets)
TE Brian Leonhardt 2 3% 0 targets

Welcome back, brick hands. Vance McDonald seemed to be making progress in recent weeks, and looked salvageable. After missing Week 14 with a concussion, McDonald had a horrible receiving day in Week 15 against the Bengals. He had two bad drops that both led to Bengals interceptions. We'll have more on that in a bit, but if you really felt like declaring a "worst performance of the day", it probably goes to McDonald. Blake Bell surpassed him on the depth chart on Sunday, and one has to wonder if Bell finishes with most of the tight end snaps over the final two weeks.

Offensive Line

Pos Player Plays % Stats
OL Erik Pears 76 100% 3 holding penalty
OL Joe Staley
76 100%
OL Andrew Tiller 76 100%
OL Daniel Kilgore 76 100%
OL Marcus Martin 42 55% 1 holding penalty
OL Trent Brown 34 45%

We got to see a full day of Daniel Kilgore, but injuries could make things interesting the final two weeks. Marcus Martin suffered a concussion, which led to Trent Brown getting some work. After Martin got hurt, Erik Pears moved to right guard, and Trent Brown moved in at right tackle. Andrew Tiller spent the entire game at left guard. Martin will now have to go through the concussion protocol, so his status for this coming Sunday is up in the air. If Martin cannot play, my guess is we see Pears at RG and Brown at RT.