San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, AKA Grabtree, became the first Niners wide out to have 1,000 receiving yards in a season since 2003. Crabtree finished with 1,105 receiving yards this season. The last receiver to have 1,000 receiving yards or more in a season was Terrell Owens who finished with 1,102 yards. That was also the last season Owens was in San Francisco.
Since Owens left town, the offense and fans have been waiting for another receiving threat to emerge. We have had Vernon Davis step up, but he cannot provide the breakaway speed and vertical threat a wide receiver brings to an offense. The 49ers have not had much success in finding a wide receiver that makes opposing defenses account for every game.
Back in 2009, the 49ers Faithful finally thought we had the receiver to take over the mantle from Jerry Rice and Owens after Crabtree was drafted 10th overall. It didn’t help that Crabtree started his tenure as a 49er by holding out for a higher playing contract through the first five games. Even though his stats had increased over his first three seasons, he wasn’t living up to the standards of a No. 1 receiver for the 49ers.
But then this season, in what become a make or break year for Crabtree, he emerged as a legitimate No. 1 receiver. Before Colin Kaepernick took over the starting job at quarterback, Crabtree was thriving under Alex Smith. But ever since Kaepernick has been the signal caller, he has made Crabtree a more important part of the offense and it’s most dangerous weapon because of his arm strength. In the past five games, Crabtree has 548 receiving yards, which is almost half of his season total. Not only did Crabtree earn his first 1,000 receiving yard season of his career, he also set a career high with 172 yards in the game against Arizona.