As the San Francisco 49ers gear up for Saturday’s training camp, I had a thought: is the offense this good or is the defense taking a step back?
There’s been a lot of positives on the 49ers offense in 2024 training camp. This is thanks largely in part to the quarterback room of Trey Lance, Sam Darnold, Brandon Allen, and of course, Brock Purdy leading the pack. The Athletic’s David Lombardi posted this great stat Friday regarding the accuracy of the group as well, which definitely says something:
49ers QBs cumulatively here at 2023 camp...— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) August 4, 2023
First 3 practices: 47.6%
Next 5 practices: 72.4%
They've never been above the low-60s as a group under Shanahan during camp. The last week has been exceptional
The offense has turned a page, there’s no doubt about it. Whether it's the offensive line stepping up and doing a fantastic job when veterans like Trent Williams are out or Ty Davis-Price showing us Christian McCaffrey can get a decent breather with the running backs, the 49ers offensive unit has been showing up.
Wait a second. Isn’t the 49ers defense supposed to be other-worldly? Does this mean the offense is that good or is the defense taking a step back? If the offense is doing so good, does this say something about the guys on the other side of the line?
Well, it’s probably a combination of the two. For starters, edge-rusher Nick Bosa hasn’t shown up at camp. That’s going to change the landscape of everything if he’s not locking horns with Trent Williams and other offensive linemen to terrorize quarterbacks. On the offensive side, the 49ers have a lot of pieces now and players like Deebo Samuel none too happy with how they did in 2023.
The 49ers also have depth in the quarterback room this year. Sam Darnold hasn’t been throwing his dial-a-interceptions, and Trey Lance has shown vast improvement. Brandon Allen, who was seen as No. 4 in this whole thing, has also been showing a thing or two.
But in previous training camps it’s always been the defense. In fact, it seems like we’ve been making excuses for the offense due to just how good the 49ers defense was in training camp. The defense usually starts out strong first because installs for the offense take a bit more time. The 49ers defense has been no different. In 2023, they gathered interceptions like some people gather Pokémon, which signaled just how dominant they’d be in the regular season. The defense so far hasn’t been bad by any means, but the offense seems to be making a bit more progress a bit sooner against them
So here’s the question: Is the offense getting better or is the defense taking a step back? Like I’ve said, I think it’s just a combination of the two and the fact one of the key cogs isn’t even at camp right now. Once Nick Bosa hits the field (is it time to say “if”?) we’ll see how much of a shot in the arm that does to the defensive line. As far as the offense goes, if they can do this against the 49ers defense, Bosa or not, well, iron sharpens iron.
Do you think the 49ers offense has turned a page or is the defense worse?
This poll is closed
Offense figured it out
Defense has taken a step back
Right now it’s a combination of the two, we need Bosa back