There hasn’t been much going wrong in San Francisco in the last six games. Starting with the victory over the Rams in Week 10, the 49ers have been one of the league's most efficient and explosive teams. Despite that good fortune, however, In today’s Oh, Hey There! podcast, Javier Vega and Leo Luna wondered if the offense is capable of even greater things the rest of the season.
The highest-scoring team in the league is the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 29.1 points per game. Over their last six games, the 49ers are right at that level, averaging 29.1 points per game. Why, then, do Leo and Javi wonder if the best is yet to come?
It all stems from something Matt Maiocco said on KNBR yesterday.
“I think with Shanahan and Garoppolo, Shanahan has been frustrated with Jimmy over the past few years...But I think Shanahan finally kind of came to the feeling like, ‘Okay, I’m not going to change him. We don’t have enough time to change him, he’s not going to be here, probably, beyond this season. Let me kind of tailor this offense more to what he does, rather than him trying to change and do what I want to do. I think it’s worked for both sides. I think you’ve gotten the best out of Garoppolo, and I think you’ve gotten the best out of Kyle Shanahan, too. Right now the 49ers offense is clicking, and as several guys said after the game, they’re playing the best football they have this year. George Kittle, Kyle Juszczyk, and others all said that there’s still a lot of room to grow and I think that’s why there’s a lot of optimism around this team right now.”
We have seen the offense perform at this level in the past. The 2019 49ers scored 29.9 points per game for the entire regular season. This is the offense you expect to see when you hire an offensive coach like Kyle Shanahan and have superstars at the skills positions.
If what Maiocco said about Shanahan and the game plan is true, it does beg the question Leo himself asked on the podcast: Why wasn’t this done sooner? That would definitely be an answer worth hearing, but regardless, the 49ers look like they’re steamrolling towards the playoffs, hitting on all cylinders.
Given the rest of the schedule, it’s not unreasonable to expect the offensive production to continue. Playing on a short week against a very physical team will be a tough ask for sure, but after that, the hapless Houston Texans come to town followed by a trip to LA for a close-out game against Kyle Shanahan’s son Sean McVay. The 49ers may fly into the playoffs scoring 30 points a game while also having a top ten defense.