Sep 15, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman (25) tackles San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kyle Williams (10) during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Field. Seattle defeated San Francisco 29-3. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

49ers: After Vernon Davis and Boldin, who will step up in passing game


Two games into the 2013 season and the San Francisco 49ers passing attack has seen both the very highs and lows of a patchwork offense.

On opening weekend against Green Bay, Colin Kaepernick torched the Packers to the tune of 412 yards and three touchdown passes. Newly acquired receiver Anquan Boldin caught 13 passes for 208 yards and one score, and tight end Vernon Davis caught nine balls for 98 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

On the road in Seattle the next week, Kaepernick passed for just 127 yards with three interceptions and was held out of the end zone. Boldin and Davis combined for four catches and just 27 total yards.

In the meantime, the 49ers other receiving options have been all but absent through two games.

Kyle Williams, the No. 2 receiver has 7 catches through two games for just 75 total yards. Marlon Moore is the only other receiver with a catch, good enough for a 6-yard gain. Rookie Quinton Patton, who left 49er fans buzzing with excitement during the preseason, has no catches.

Most disturbing about the 49ers up-and-down passing game through two weeks, has the lack of consistency and the play of the slot receiver.

Seattle was able to shut down Boldin with their No. 1 cover corner, Richard Sherman while Vernon Davis wasn’t able to shake lose the defense leaving Kaepernick with little options other than forced passes that lead to a couple of interceptions, or passes well short of first downs.

Of Kaepernick’s 28 attempts on Sunday, six went to Williams and five went to fullback Bruce Miller while Boldin and Davis combined for just 9 attempts. Against Green Bay they combined for 26 of Kap’s 39 attempts.

Without a significant threat from the No. 2 and No. 3 wide receivers, the 49ers could be pushing themselves into a corner where defenses may simply man up their best cover corner on Boldin and/or double team if need be. With Vernon Davis hurting from a hamstring injury, the vertical passing game could be in danger, forcing the 49ers offense to play within a 10-yard box, which is what happened against Seattle on Sunday.

This boxed passing offense works against the 49ers open passing game and against Kaepernick’s strengths to vertically stretch the field both with his arms and legs.

With Mario Manningham possibly returning soon after Week 6, the 49ers in the meantime, might be stuck in the boxed passing game unless Patton, Williams or Moore can help stretch the field against defenses that will undoubtedly view Sunday’s blowout loss to the Seahawks as the remedy against the 49ers passing attack.

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Tags: Anquan Boldin Colin Kaepernick Kyle Williams Mario Manningham Marlon Moore Quinton Patton San Francisco 49ers Vernon Davis

  • loverpoint

    I could write about all the things that Greg Roman did wrong. But that would take up this whole site.

    Why are fans so confused about the WR’s ? Well for one thing the 3 WR’s in question, Marlon Moore, Kyle Williams and Quinton Patton saw very little playing time in the preseason. Williams and Patton missed significant playing time because of injuries. Marlon Moore supposedly won the hearts of Johnnny Morton, Jim Harbaugh, Brad Seely and Greg Roman behind the scenes at training camp. After all these years you would think that these coaches would know that some players perform good in training camp and some perform better at game time.

    Plain and Simply the 49ers got rid of 4 or 5 players they should have kept when the 53 man deadline came, and they kept 4-5 players on the roster so that when all the injured players come back to play, releasing their substitutes will be an easy job. Right now all we hear about is ” I can’t wait till Manningham and Crabtree get better” and everyone is assuming that both will return to their former level of play. If the 49ers are depending on those players then it might be to late for them if they play like they did against Seattle.

    While everyone is concerned about Williams, Moore, and Patton. Everyone has forgotten about Jon Baldwin, like they don’t expect him to make the 46 man roster all season long like A.J. Jenkins, Baldwin is a better WR than Jenkins. The 49ers need a big body in the Red Zone and you would of thought with Seattle big corners that Baldwin would be a necessity. Thus the 49ers came up 0-2 in the Red Zone, scoring only 3 points.

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