The 49ers’ offense does not get enough credit.
It feels weird to say that about a team coached by Kyle Shanahan, but it’s true.
By now, everyone knows about the quarterback injuries. There have been plenty of injuries beyond those, however. The 49ers have had one starting skill position player participate in every game for them this season - Brandon Aiyuk. Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Elijah Mitchell have all missed time at different points this year. Even Kyle Juszczyk has missed games, and Christian McCaffrey didn’t arrive until the end of October.
Despite all of that, however, the 49ers are still among the league’s best offenses. A quick check shows San Francisco 5th in total yards, 6th in points per game, and 7th in rushing yards on the year. That is a phenomenal accomplishment given the context around those numbers.
“I think we’re playing at a high level right now,” Kyle Shanahan said yesterday, “I also felt that way in 2019 about our offense going into playoffs too. I think you need to be doing that, especially to have a chance to get through these games.”
49ers fans know that sentiment all too well having lost Super Bowls in 2012 and 2019 despite having the better team in each of those years. As great as all of the statistical accomplishments have been, they’re now also totally meaningless in a single-elimination tournament.
“Nothing really matters how you’re doing going into it. It’s how you do that first game. And if there is a first game and you play like you’re capable, then you get the privilege for a second game, but this season can end fast and that’s why these playoffs are such a big deal and that’s why they’re so fun to watch for everybody because it’s just one game. It’s just one moment and we have to do everything we can for the next six days to get ready for that and when we get to those three and a half hours, just cut it loose.”
The 49ers begin the second season on Saturday. Everything that happened to that point becomes irrelevant. The only thing that matters is beating the man across from you, and clearly Kyle Shanahan thinks his team is ready to face that challenge.
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