The San Francisco 49ers haven’t lived up to fans’ and critics’ expectations this year. They haven’t been the team that was chosen as #2 in the preseason power rankings as they have fallen out of the top 5 this week.
But, there is no reason for the “Niner Faithful” to hit the panic button just yet as there are improvements that can be made now rather than later late in the season. Here are some headlines from the first quarter of the season for the Niners.
1. 49ers must stop being “cute” on offense
The Niners showed early in the first two games that they have a lot of pre-snap movement before each play. Coach Jim Harbaugh does this to try to gain an advantage in numbers against the opposing defense. But sometimes he relies on it too much. Instead of helping us, it just hurts us and puts us in horrible down and distance situations.
But, the past two weeks has show some improvement. We’ve gone back to our strength, smash mouth football. Frank Gore has seen some progress of late as the o-line has created many paths for the star to run through. This proves that the formula to constantly run the ball through the defense’s throat will open up looks down the field for Colin Kaepernick.
2. Kapernick has to excel in his second year
If Kap hasn’t figured it out yet, the other 31 defenses in the league made him the #1 priority to try to stop in the offseason and that hasn’t failed to show.
Colin hasn’t showed much improvement so far this year. He showcased a small amount against Green Bay in Week 1 but since then, he has started to being an average quarterback. Defensive Coordinators are exposing his weaknesses such as his vision, strength, and looking off his defenders.
3. The 49ers need to stay healthy
Injuries have plagued the Niners so far this year. For example, our receiver core is no where close to being complete as we are missing other stars such as Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham. The absence of Aldon Smith for an undisclosed amount of time isn’t helping the team either.
Hopefully Patrick Willis and Vernon Davis will be active against the powerful Houston Texans this weekend as we will need to be close to full strength if we want to defeat the AFC Champions of a year ago.
These are the 3 main headlines through the first quarter of the season. But looking at these three, justifies why the Faithful shouldn’t throw this season away as a failure just yet.
There’s still a lot of football to be played. Fans just need to be patient as these are minor areas that need to be fixed. There’s no doubt in my mind that the San Francisco 49ers are still one of the most dangerous teams in the league.