The second half of the season kicks off Sunday as the 49ers gear up for a playoff run. Anything can happen down the stretch, but the path to the Super Bowl likely won’t run through Santa Clara. At the very least, the 49ers will have to travel for one playoff game. The old saying is “defense travels.” With the return of many impact players on the defensive side of the ball, this unit will be ready to travel.
I’ll pose this question, does the defense have to lift this team? Health will be the only variable for this unit. They will be fine, if healthy. However, this playoff run is going to hinge on the offense this time around.
Let’s reflect on last season’s playoff run. The 49ers’ offense did enough for three quarters to hold off Dallas. Dak Prescott and Mike McCarthy helped seal the victory with their time management choices. Nick Bosa left the game early, but the defense certainly stepped up. The chance to fully close the game out was on the offense. Either way, the 49ers moved on to Lambeau.
If I were to tell you an offense wouldn’t score a touchdown in a playoff game, would you give them an excellent chance to advance? Usually, that would spell elimination for a team. Not the 49ers. A blocked field goal and punt, paired with one of the better defensive performances from any 49ers team in playoff history, sent the 49ers to the NFC title game.
I have no desire to revisit the NFC championship in detail. The offense sputtered down the stretch. However, the stout 49ers’ defense was on the field far too much, and the Rams made enough plays to clinch a Super Bowl berth.
What I’m getting at is counting on your defense to be nearly perfect is a dangerous proposition. Complimentary football is the 49ers’ recipe. There may be games where the defense isn’t elite. The offense will have to score points, avoid turnovers, and keep their defense fresh by sustaining drives.
How far the 49ers advance in the playoffs will hinge on the offense. What’s your answer?
Which unit will be more vital to a deep playoff run?
This poll is closed