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Is the 49ers offense good enough to win a Super Bowl?

History says no, but there is some hope

It’s no secret that the 49ers haven’t exactly been lighting it up offensively. Fortunately, with a defense on a historic pace, they don’t have to be the Greatest Show on Turf every week. If things continue as they are on both sides of the ball, can the 49ers win the Super Bowl? Levin Black and I dove into that question on today’s Gold Standard podcast.

First, let’s examine the offense. Right now, they’re tied with the Dallas Cowboys for 28th in the league in points per game and 27th in the league in yards. Some of that can be explained by injuries, sure, but regardless of the reason, that’s where the 49ers stand.

As Levin explained during today’s show, the offense has to pick it up a little if this team is going to win a Super Bowl - even if the defense continues at this ridiculous pace. In the history of the Super Bowl, there has never been a team to win it all that finished the year outside of the top 20 in points scored. Even those great defenses you’re thinking of right now. The 2000 Ravens were 14th in points scored. The Buccaneers in 2002? They were 18th in points scored.

If you want to look at more recent history, there’s even more work for the offense to do. In the last 13 years, only one team has won the Super Bowl with an offense that was outside the top ten in points scored. Of course, that would be the 2015 Denver Broncos, who were 19th in Peyton Manning’s shaky final season.

Luckily, there’s plenty of hope on the horizon. For one, we’re still very early in the season, which means sample size is still an issue. For example, if the 49ers scored just ten more points so far this year, they’d jump from 28th all the way to 17th. For what it’s worth, Jimmy Garoppolo claims to still be getting into game shape, so perhaps his efficiency will improve as we go along. Hopefully, the return of players like Trent Williams and Elijah Mitchell later this year will provide a boost as well.

The 49ers’ offensive issues have mostly flown under the radar so far this season, but history has shown that Kyle Shanahan is going to have to squeeze a little more juice from that orange if he’s going to take this team to the promised land.

Hear the whole conversation in today’s Gold Standard podcast!

Other topics in today’s show

  • Why George Kittle isn’t producing like he used to (1:42)
  • Shanahan’s response to questions about Kittle (8:08)
  • Kyle still has trust issues with Jimmy Garoppolo (10:07)
  • Shanahan’s conservative play-calling hurts the team (13:05)
  • Why this defense is so much better than the rest of the league (19:49)
  • What the hell could the Panthers be thinking this week? (20:36)
  • The Baker Mayfield experiment has failed (22:49)
  • Special teams could be an issue right now that’s flying under the radar (27:48)
  • The 49ers are usually good on East coast trips (34:30)
  • Which 49er would you least like to be next door to in a hotel room? (36:32)
  • Historical evidence proves the 49ers' offense has to get better to win a title (38:13)
  • Nickname suggestions for the defense (41:37)
  • Will Jimmy Garoppolo getting into game shape help the offense? (43:21)
  • One comment by Troy Aikman that made Stats thinks Kyle doesn’t trust his running backs (45:09)